Fly Through the Phonics Screening Check!

The phonics screening check is designed to check all pupils have mastered phonics decoding by reading real and non-words. This test helps to highlight which pupils need some extra help.

If you are teaching a rigorous, systematic Synthetic Phonics programme you will already be preparing your class for the check.

Ensure your pupils are using decoding as a first strategy:

  • The Practice Books have children reading both high frequency words (like ‘dad’, ‘man’, ‘sad’, ‘ant’) and more unusual words (like ‘sap’, ‘din’, ‘nip’). This will ensure pupils aren’t relying on recognising the word. Remember, words like ‘dad’ and ‘sat’ will have been seen lots in the stories Mum and Dad read to them, and many children will simply recognise them.
  • Our Practice Books have no picture cues, i.e. the pictures never match the words, which stops any guessing. It’s no use having a picture of a cat next to the word ‘cat’. No reading is involved in guessing from the picture!
  • The Practice Books include 35% wider vocabulary than other decodable books, children get confident with word level reading before moving on to the complexities of a story.
  • Practise reading with nonsense words. The Martian Reading card games give children lots of practice at decoding these nonsense words.
  • Play this fun free practice test to gear children up and get them comfortable with the notion of Monster/Martian words.

Learn more about why we check children are decoding with nonsense words.