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Phonics Check at end of Year1

(51 Posts)
lolaonrollerskates Mon 28-Nov-16 13:19:32

What's involved in this at the end of Year 1?

idontlikealdi Mon 28-Nov-16 13:26:21

As far as I can figure out they have to decode a list of made up words.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 28-Nov-16 13:31:02

This is what they're told, it's a good summary:

^In this activity, I am going to ask you to read some words aloud.
You may have seen some of the words before and others will be new to you.
You should try to read each word but don’t worry if you can’t. If it helps you, you may sound out the letters before trying to say the word.
This ‘practice sheet’ shows you what the words will look like.
Have a go at reading out loud these 4 words which you should have come across before [at, in, beg and sum].
The words on this side [turn over ‘practice sheet’] are not real words. They are names for types of imaginary creatures. You can see a picture of the creature next to each word.
Can you read out the words on this page for me [ot, vap, osk and ect]?
Ok, now we are going to start reading out the words in this booklet and I’m going to write down what you say on my sheet.
In this booklet there are 4 words on each page. I will tell you at the start of each page whether they are real words that you may have seen before or names for types of imaginary creatures.
The first page has names for types of imaginary creatures and you can see their pictures.
Can you start reading the words to me?^

AuntieStella Mon 28-Nov-16 13:33:48

It's a screening which few minutes with a teacher, where they have to read a list of words in a booklet, all within the capability of a typical pupil who has been taught phonics at a normal rate.

It's a mix of real words and alien names (the latter are clearly marked as such) so they have to be read, not guessed.

Any pupil who scores low in the screening should be offered additional support so that they master this (important) skill in how to read, so that inability to master text does not become a barrier to effective reading.

christinarossetti Mon 28-Nov-16 15:11:08

It's a five minute screening with a teacher they know to ensure that children have acquired the necessary phonic knowledge to become confident and independent readers and to identify children that haven't so that they can be given additional support in Y2.

IMVHO, schools which make a big fuss about it ('alien' words sent home, practising 'alien' words in class for ages) have generally taught phonics poorly.

If schools have been teaching phonics properly, it's a complete non-issue and the school will indeed know before the screening which children are struggling.

The results have to be reported to the LA and are usually available as a % on school websites/improvement plans etc.

prh47bridge Mon 28-Nov-16 17:06:16

schools which make a big fuss about it have generally taught phonics poorly

Agree. Another huge red flag is if the school tells you that good readers do badly on the phonics test.

As AuntieStella says, the only consequence of a child failing the screening check is that they should get additional help with learning to read.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 28-Nov-16 19:27:33

Agree with what others say about red flags.

There is a good reason for including non-words on the test. The ability to blend words to read them accurately is a key skill for all readers. Some children with very good visual memories can appear to be fluent readers when reading age appropriate texts and this can mask an underlying issue with blending. Including non-words guarantees that the 'words' are new to all children and they will have to rely on their blending skills to be able to read them.

Coconut0il Tue 29-Nov-16 22:30:21

Agree with above, it should be 5 mins out of your child's day. No fuss, just reading 40 words to the teacher.

Feenie Wed 30-Nov-16 19:15:38

Interesting discussion here from teachers and parents who want a Y1 Phonics Check in Australia:


mrz Wed 30-Nov-16 20:09:38

The leader of the NRRF is asking why no phonics check for the US.

christinarossetti Wed 30-Nov-16 21:18:37

It is interesting. Most of the primary school teachers I know who are my age (40s) are really opposed to the screening and 'too much phonics'.

I really don't understand their POV, but they're of the opinion that most teachers 'don't like phonics'.

I've never got to the bottom of why ( I'm fully in support of the phonics screening), and any discussion is shut down by them reminding me that I'm not a teacher.

Which is true, but I'm still very interested in how children learn to read.

Feenie Wed 30-Nov-16 21:50:51

No idea. I have found the same on effing Twinkl - with younger and older teachers. sad One teacher told me she had 'far' more non-readers now in Y2 using phonics than when she used mixed methods hmm. She didn't like it when I suggested that the reason she had any non-readers at all might be her teaching. Further posts revealed she was actually still using mixed methods and didn't actually understand phonics at all. ('Most high frequency words are non-phojetic and have to be learned by sight', etc, etc.)

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 30-Nov-16 23:59:57

I think I once got a similar response in AIBU when I suggested that if you have a whole group of 4-6 children still working on Phase 2 in Yr 2, then something had gone wrong with the teaching.

mrz Thu 01-Dec-16 04:44:37

Sadly I meet teachers of all ages who are absolutely clueless about phonics. Some who have taught for decades and some fresh out of university

Feenie Thu 01-Dec-16 06:52:22

I wouldn't be able to sleep if I had 'loads' of non-readers n Y2 sad She said there was nothing she could do in just one year hmm

mrz Thu 01-Dec-16 07:08:58

It's worse when you visit junior schools with Y6 children reading Ginn 360 (1st stage) and they tell you they don't do phonics

Feenie Thu 01-Dec-16 07:15:57

I don't understand why they don't find out everything they possibly could do.to fix it.

christinarossetti Thu 01-Dec-16 09:50:04

Some years ago under a different head, my children's school attributed its poor SATS results to the 'churn of children many of whom arrive with no or little English'.

This is indeed the demographic of the school, but I vividly remember a discussion with the teacher who reviewed phonic teaching in the school and mentioned that ' they don't do phonics' in KS2'. At all.

It's changed dramatically since then and is shit hot on phonics, but I still feel angry about the number of children who were failed through incompetence.

Mistoffelees Sat 03-Dec-16 10:39:07

At my school we use alien words from reception, partly because when you have children who are working on blending vc words and only confident with satpin there's very few real words you can make. My only issue with the phonics check is that last year there was apparently an alien word with double o in that had to be read as the sound in book rather than moon to be marked as correct, how could the child possibly know this?! Otherwise it's not a big deal.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 03-Dec-16 10:53:01

That's not an issue. If that's the way it was marked, it's because the school were marking incorrectly (which I suspect is an issue).

The marking guidance has always been very clear that in alien words any known pronunciation of a grapheme should be marked as correct. Both pronunciations of the 'oo' should have been marked as correct.

Feenie Sat 03-Dec-16 10:56:15

At my school we use alien words from reception, partly because when you have children who are working on blending vc words and only confident with satpin there's very few real words you can make

Since there are around 40 words you can make with satpin (My kindle won't let me copy and paste them), that's unnecessary. And by the time they've read those, they will have moved on from satpin anyway.

My only issue with the phonics check is that last year there was apparently an alien word with double o in that had to be read as the sound in book rather than moon to be marked as correct, how could the child possibly know this?! Otherwise it's not a big deal.

That's simply incorrect - any phonetically plausible version of an alien word must be accepted. Your teachers need retraining on conducting the check.

Mistoffelees Sat 03-Dec-16 11:04:48

I can only find 6 real vc words from satpin Feenie? Obviously we model and support reading and writing cvc words to but for my very lowest ability I've been getting them to independently have a go at vc words too.

Glad to hear about that last part, I thought that should probably be the case but the Year One teachers were adamant that they needed to use the short oo sound.

Mistoffelees Sat 03-Dec-16 11:05:52


RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 03-Dec-16 11:11:13

in, an, it, at, sit, sat, tip, tap, pip, pat, tap, nip, nit, Nat, tin, pin, pan, nap, sip, nan

To name a few off the top of my head. Should be enough for the 1st week and by the 2nd week you'll probably have added a couple more letters too, which will increase the number of available words.

Mistoffelees Sat 03-Dec-16 11:12:55

Rafalstheking, many of those are cvc I'm talking about children who are only just managing VC words.

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