At St Mary Magdalene’s School, phonics is taught as part of a broad and rich curriculum that engages children in a range of activities and experiences to develop their reading, writing and spelling. It is multi-sensory, using a variety of visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities that are fun and engaging for all children. We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ as a systematic scheme, supplemented by the actions from ‘Jolly Phonics’ to embed the ‘Letters and Sounds’ teaching sequence. It is taught daily in discrete 20 minute sessions and phonics knowledge and skills are reinforced and applied across the curriculum.
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
Children in Year 1 throughout the country will all be taking part in a phonics screening check during the same week in June. Children in Year 2 will also take the check if they did not achieve the required result when in Year 1 or they have not taken the test before. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard.
What Happens During the Screening?
The test contains 40 words. Each child will sit one-to-one and read each word aloud to a teacher. It should be an enjoyable activity and will take approximately 10 minutes per child, although all children are different and will complete the check at their own pace. The list of words the children read is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words). Pseudo Words (Nonsense Words) The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This provides the children with a context for the pseudo word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Pseudo words are included because they will be new to the pupils and will assess if children can recognise the graphemes in unfamiliar words.
Reporting to Parents
By the end of the summer term your child’s class teacher will report each child’s results to their parents. They will also confirm if the child has met the standard threshold. Children who do not achieve the expected level will retake the test when they are in Year 2.