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Phonics Screening Check

Parent video: The Phonics Screening Check

Frequently asked questions:


How will the children know which words are ‘alien’ (nonsense) words?

The made-up ‘alien’ words are always presented with a picture of an alien, so the children know that they are not real words that they might recognise. They are very familiar with this concept.


How will the phonics screening be administered?

Each child is taken through the screening check by a teacher on a 1:1 basis. This will be in a quiet area and there is not a time limit.


What is the pass mark?

The standard threshold pass mark for the Phonics Screening Check 2023 will be published after the children have sat the check. Last year the pass mark was 32 out of 40.


What happens if my child doesn’t pass the phonics screening check?

Any child that does not reach the standard threshold will sit the 2024 screening check when they are in Year 2, with the following year’s cohort of Year 1's.


When will the phonics screening take place?

The government requires that the check must be taken during a week in June- the date for 2023 is yet to be confirmed. A pupil may only take the check the following week if they were absent during check week.

If a pupil doesn’t take the check during this period and returns to school after this period they must be recorded as absent.


How can we support our child out of school?

Support your child by sharing their reading books at home and practice all sounds from their currently phase. 

An excellent website for phonic games is: All phonics phases are covered on this website.


Read as much as possible to and with your child. When children become more capable readers they develop the skill of word recognition. However, it is important that children continue to practise good sounding out and blending so they don’t fall into the trap of guessing the wrong word.


Which phonics phase will the phonics screening check focus on?

The check includes graphemes from all of the phases taught to the children since they started school (Phases 2-5). 

Phonics screening check: Information for parents

Phonics QR codes - providing a range of real and nonsense (Alien) words to practise