Helping your child with Phonics

The Phonics Screening Check

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully.  They are taught how to:

* recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;

* identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh‘ or ‘oo‘; and

* blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to solve new words that they hear or see.  This is the first step in learning to read.

The following link takes you to the Phonics Phase 1-5 sound mats.


Sounds of the English Phonic Code -Synthetic Phonics.wmv

Please watch the following video link to see and hear Tami Reis-Frankfort, reading specialist and trainer, as she demonstrates how to pronounce the sounds of the English Phonic Code, when teaching children to read with Synthetic Phonics.


What is the Phonics Screening Check?

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of each child’s phonics knowledge.  It helps our school to confirm whether a child has made the ‘expected‘ progress.

Please follow the links below to see what previous Phonics checks look like:





In 2017 the check will take place during the week commencing Monday 12 June.

The phonics screening check is a list of 40 words (some real words and some non-words) that children read one-to-one with a teacher.  Children may have read some of the words before, whilst others will be completely new.  Non-words are important to use because words such as ‘jap‘ or ‘jound‘ are new to all children and therefore cannot be read by memory. This type of reading activity is not untypical in our school and therefore children do not feel pressured or uncomfortable in any way.  In fact our children usually ‘bounce in’ to read with their teacher and are excited by the experience. The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit.  If a child is struggling, the teacher will stop the check.

Children who have not met the standard in year 1 will retake the check in year 2.


* Let your child see you read and read to them
* Tell your child about interesting things that you have read in newspapers, magazines and books.
* Visit the local library.
* Visit bookshops.
* Sit with your child every night and engage with them in their reading. Please make comments in their reading record book to assist the teachers.
* Discuss with them about what they have read in the book.
* Ask them to retell the story.
* Talk about interesting words and identify words or interesting phrases that they might use in their writing.
* Occasionally ask them to write the sequence of the story and identify characters.