What is Phonics?

  • Children are taught to read by breaking down the words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word
  •  Children have a 15 minute Phonics lesson each day and they are encouraged to use the strategies to read and write all the time, in all lessons
  • The children are taught an action for each sound
  • There are 44 different sounds to learn. Children should know all 44 sounds by the end of Year One
  • The sounds are taught to children in sets called phases, Children should be in phase 5 by the end of Year One

What scheme do we use at Waterthorpe?

  • We use the Jolly Phonics scheme for teaching phonics

Who will be tested?

  • Every Year One child in the country will take the Phonics test during the same week in June
  • The children will complete the test one at a time in a quiet area of the school
  • Class teachers will complete the test with the children in their classes
  • The screening only takes about 5 – 10 minutes with each child

Why are the children being tested?

  • The aim of the test is to ensure that all children are able to read by the end of Year Two
  • This midpoint check will ensure we have a clear picture of what children need to learn as they go into Year Two
  • Children who do not pass the test will re-take it in Year Two

What will the children have to do?

  • The test is similar to tasks the children do all the time during their phonics lessons
  • The test will see which sounds the children know. They will be asked to read made up ‘nonsense’ words.
  • They will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together d_o_g = dog

Examples of nonsense words:

gop toop
foz ruch
cheeb dight

How you can help

· Encourage your child to ‘sound out’ when reading and writing. Remember sounds can be made with one, two or three letters

· Digraph: 2 letters making one sound – Cow

· Trigraphs: 3 letters making one sound – Fight

· Split digraphs: 2 vowels with a consonant in between – bite (i_e)

Children should blend each sound (not say the letters individual sounds)

Sh-ee-p      ch-ea-t

.   . .     .  .  .

How you can help

· Encourage your child to use the sound mat when writing and reading, they can use the actions to help them recall and find the sounds they need

· Please continue to read with your child each night and encourage them to blend the sound

· Children can practise their phonics by playing games online, below are some good websites which we use in school:




If you have any questions about the phonics test or want to know how you can help your child further, please see the class teacher.