Resources For The Phonics Screen Check

Written by Dan

Last updated

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on resources for the Phonics Screening Check. This essential tool is designed to assess your child’s phonics skills and their ability to decode words using phonetic methods.

We understand that preparing for this check can be a daunting task for both parents and teachers.

That’s why we’ve curated a list of valuable resources, practice materials, and expert tips to help your child succeed in the Phonics Screening Check.

We aim to make the preparation process more accessible, more engaging, and effective, ensuring your child feels confident and ready to ace the check. Let’s dive into these resources and start the journey towards mastering phonics!

phonics screening check

Understanding the Phonics Screening Check

The Phonics Screening Check is a short, light-touch assessment conducted by teachers to gauge how well children master phonics.

Phonics is a method used in reading and writing, where children are taught to associate sounds with letters or groups of letters. The main purpose of the Phonics Screening Check is to ensure that all children learn to read effectively and efficiently.


What Skills Are Assessed in the Check

The Phonics Screening Check assesses a child’s ability to decode words using phonics. This includes their knowledge of different phonemes (sounds), their ability to blend these sounds together to form words, and their understanding of what these words mean.

The check also assesses children’s ability to distinguish between real words and ‘pseudo-words’ or ‘nonsense words’, which test their phonics skills in isolation from their vocabulary knowledge.

When and How It’s Administered

Typically, the Phonics Screening Check is administered towards the end of Year 1, usually in June. The check is conducted one-on-one with each child by their teacher.

The process is designed to be as stress-free as possible for the children, with the check taking around 4-9 minutes to complete. The teacher will present the child with a list of 40 words, both real and pseudo-words, and ask the child to read them out loud.

Resources for Parents

Detailed List of Resources Available for Parents

A wealth of resources is available online to help parents support their children’s phonics learning at home. Here are some notable ones:

  • PhonicsPlay: This website offers a range of interactive phonics games, as well as printable resources and planning schemes.
  • Letters and Sounds: A comprehensive resource with free printable resources for teaching phonics, following the Letters and Sounds programme.
  • Oxford Owl: This site provides a variety of reading and phonics resources, including eBooks and activities.

How to Use These Resources Effectively

To make the most of these resources, it’s important to create a regular study routine. Choose a quiet, comfortable space where your child can focus. Begin with short, focused sessions and gradually increase the time as your child becomes more comfortable with the material.

Aim to incorporate a mix of reading, games, and activities to keep your child engaged.

Tips on Supporting Your Child’s Learning at Home

Supporting your child’s learning at home goes beyond just providing them with resources. It’s about creating an environment that fosters learning. Here are some tips:

  • Make learning fun: Use games, songs, and stories to teach phonics in a fun and engaging way.
  • Be patient: Learning takes time. Celebrate small victories and progress, no matter how slow it might seem.
  • Read together: Regular reading can greatly improve your child’s phonics skills. Choose books suitable for their reading level and gradually introduce more complex texts.

Remember, the goal is not just to prepare your child for the Phonics Screening Check, but to instill in them a love for reading and learning.

IV. Resources for Teachers

Comprehensive List of Resources Available for Teachers

Teachers play a crucial role in preparing students for the Phonics Screening Check. Fortunately, there are several resources available to make this task easier:

  • Twinkl: This website provides a vast range of teaching materials, including lesson plans, worksheets, and interactive presentations.
  • Teacher’s Pet: Here you can find a variety of creative and engaging phonics resources that can be incorporated into your lessons.
  • TES: TES offers a multitude of resources, many of which are free, created by teachers for teachers.

Strategies for Integrating These Resources into Daily Lessons

Integrating these resources into your daily lessons can be achieved in several ways:

  • Incorporate Interactive Games: Using games from sites like Twinkl and Teacher’s Pet can make learning phonics more engaging for students.
  • Use Worksheets for Practice: Worksheets from these sites can be used for practice and reinforcement of the skills learned.
  • Create Lesson Plans: Many of these resources can be combined to create comprehensive lesson plans that cover all aspects of phonics.

Methods for Tracking Student Progress

Tracking student progress is key in ensuring they are ready for the Phonics Screening Check. Here are some methods:

  • Regular Assessments: Use the assessment tools available on these sites to check your students’ understanding and progress regularly.
  • Progress Charts: Create progress charts to represent each student’s development visually.
  • Parent-Teacher Communication: Regular communication with parents can provide valuable insights into a child’s progress outside the classroom.

Practice Materials and Mock Tests

Overview of Practice Materials and Mock Tests

Practice materials and mock tests are crucial in preparing your child for the Phonics Screening Check. These materials simulate the actual check, giving your child a good idea of what to expect. Some useful resources include:

  • PhonicsPlay: This website provides a selection of interactive games and activities that mimic the format of the Phonics Screening Check.
  • TES: TES offers a variety of mock tests and practice materials, many of which are free and created by teachers.
  • Twinkl: Twinkl has a range of practice tests and resources designed specifically for the Phonics Screening Check.

The Role of These Materials in Preparing for the Check

These practice materials and mock tests play a key role in preparing your child for the Phonics Screening Check. They help children familiarize themselves with the check format, reducing anxiety and increasing confidence.

Additionally, they allow children to apply their phonics skills in a similar context to the actual check, reinforcing and assessing their learning.

How Often Should Your Child Practice

The frequency of practice can vary based on your child’s comfort level with phonics. However, a good starting point could be two to three times per week, increasing as the date of the check approaches.

Remember, the goal is not to overwork your child but to ensure they feel confident and prepared. It’s also important to keep practice sessions engaging and fun to maintain your child’s interest in learning.

Expert Tips and Advice

Expert Tips on Preparing for the Phonics Screening Check

  1. Start Early: Don’t wait until the last minute to start preparing. Begin practicing phonics early and make it a regular part of your child’s routine.
  2. Regular Practice: Consistency is key in learning. Make sure your child practices phonics regularly to reinforce their learning.
  3. Use Variety: Use a variety of resources, including games, songs, and worksheets, to keep learning engaging and fun.
  4. Review Previous Tests: Go through previous Phonics Screening Checks to familiarize your child with the format and types of questions.
  5. Personalize Learning: Every child is different. Tailor the learning process to suit your child’s individual needs and interests.

Advice on Handling Test Anxiety

  1. Normalize Anxiety: Let your child know that it’s normal to feel anxious before a test and that they’re not alone in feeling this way.
  2. Practice Relaxation Techniques: Teach your child relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualization, to help them manage anxiety.
  3. Familiarize with the Test: Familiarity with the test format can reduce anxiety. Use practice tests to help your child know what to expect.
  4. Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your child and celebrate their efforts to boost their confidence.

Suggestions for Making Learning Fun and Engaging

  1. Interactive Games: Use interactive games to make learning fun. There are plenty of online resources that offer educational games.
  2. Incorporate Interests: Incorporate your child’s interests into learning. If they love animals, use animal-themed stories or games to teach phonics.
  3. Hands-On Activities: Use hands-on activities, like crafts or science experiments, to make learning more engaging.
  4. Read Together: Choose books that your child enjoys and read together regularly. This not only improves phonics skills but also instills a love for reading.


The Phonics Screening Check plays a significant role in assessing children’s phonics decoding skills to an age-appropriate standard.

The check is designed to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding and helps identify those at risk of developing difficulties with later reading comprehension.

Despite some controversy surrounding it, the check is a valid measure of phonic decoding skills and provides useful information about phonics decoding.

The resources available for teachers and parents, such as Twinkl, TES, Teacher’s Pet, and PhonicsPlay, offer a variety of practice materials and mock tests to help prepare children for the check.

These resources, combined with regular practice and strategies to handle test anxiety, can effectively support children in their learning journey.

As we progress, it’s essential to continue emphasizing the importance of phonics as one of the key components in learning to read.

Regular practice, coupled with fun and engaging activities, can help children improve their phonics skills and develop a love for reading.

While the Phonics Screening Check is a valuable tool, it’s the continuous and targeted learning that truly makes a difference. Let’s keep encouraging our children to explore the world of words, sounds, and stories, and support them every step of the way.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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