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Phonics Screening Test 2020-2021

Please see the below information regarding the Statutory Phonics Screening Check 2020-2021

The phonics screening check is an assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills.

The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense/pseudo words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Nonsense words are an established assessment method of all schools as a national requirement, and are included in all phonetic programmes. They are included because they will be new to all pupils, so there won’t be a bias to those with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. This is a test of a child’s ability to decode using phonics. Children who can read non-words should have the skills to decode almost any unfamiliar word.


The 2019 phonics screening check threshold mark was 32/40. 

In March 2020, the Secretary of State for Education announced that the 2019/20 Statutory Phonics Screening Test would not take place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

In the 2020/21 academic year only, the Year 2 pupils during the second half of the 2020 Autumn Term will undertake the Statutory Phonics Screening Check. If the children to do not pass the statutory check they will retake the test in June 2021 (alongside year 1 pupils).

Year 1 pupils will take the Statutory Phonics Screening Test in June 2021.

click here for the 2020/2021 Phonics Screening Check presentation

Please refer to our Phonics page for more information: click here

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