The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard for year 1. The check comprises a list of 40 words that children read one-to-one with a teacher.

The check contained a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Non-words are important because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills.The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard for year 1. The check comprises a list of 40 words that children read one-to-one with a teacher.

There were no statutory assessments in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic