Year 1 Phonic Assessment
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to recognise the sounds each individual letter makes and to identify the sounds that different contributions of letters make such as ‘ch’ and ‘ou’. Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to more complex sounds, it is the most effective way of teaching children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5‐7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go onto read any kind of text fluently and confidently and for enjoyment.
Letters and Sounds
At Moulton, we use a systematic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught.
When children enter the Reception class at Moulton they take part in high-quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. The children’s grasp of the phonics taught is assessed daily and additional activities are provided when necessary.
In Year 1
The National phonics test takes place towards the end of Year 1 and all year 1 children will take the phonics screening test in June. The check is a statutory assessment that was introduced in 2012 for all Year 1 pupils. It is a quick and easy assessment of your child’s phonic knowledge. The check comprises of a list of 40 words and nonsense words. It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learnt through reception and Year 1. Your child will read one‐one with a teacher who will be your child’s current teacher so a familiar face. The check will take up to 10‐15 minutes during which they will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together. The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons. The children at Moulton Primary School are familiar with the set up as we are constantly reviewing children’s progress in the same way. You will be informed of your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check, towards the end of the summer term.
The screening check will identify children who have phonic decoding skills below the level expected for the end of Year 1 and who therefore need further intervention. For these children, additional support will be provided throughout Year 2 and the children will then be able to re‐take the phonics screening check in Year 2.
How can you help your child?
There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading development:
- Let your child see you enjoy reading yourself. They are influenced by you and what you do!
- Immerse your child in a love of reading
- Make time for your child to read their school book to you
- With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess
- There are many phonic games for children to access on the computer
There are some useful weblinks to the left. Please click on them to be taken to the Letters and Sounds and PhonicsPlay websites.