Phonics Screening Test

Class Pages

Year 1
The phonics screening test will take place in June for all Year 1 pupils. Please get in as much practice as you can with your child before then. I have now updated this page to include ideas for practical non-computer based activities. All attachments on this page are very useful in helping you to gain an understanding of the level of words that will be included in the test. Please concentrate mainly on phase 3 and 5 graphemes. See below.

I have collected some phonics resources for you to have a look at. This includes words and graphemes from phases 3-5. The test will be pitched at phase 5 so your child should be aiming to be able to decode most words from the phase 5 set attached below. Please don't feel that you need to print any of the resource, they are there just give you an idea of what the children will be tested on. Please feel free to speak to me if you have any questions and I will continue to add to this collection in the build up to the test.


**Please use the phase 2, 3 and 5 sound mats attached below to give yourself an idea of which sounds the children should know.

Suggestions for non computer-based activities:

  • Get children to make their own phase 3 and 5 flashcards for daily practise. Use the sound mats to find which graphemes should be used
  • Children could cut out any graphemes they find in magazines or newspapers and use them to spell words.
  • Play splat. Choose graphemes/words (about 5 or 6) to write on a piece of paper and then call out one of the words. The first one to 'splat' the correct word or grapheme, wins a point. Change words/graphemes after a certain time.
  • Write down some words (use phase 3/5 words attached to this page), get children to read and then cut up words into graphemes (e.g. snail would be cut up like so 's-n-ai-l' to include digraph. Then get children to reassemble word correctly. they may then like to think of rhyming words and have a go at spelling these. This could lead to a discussion about how different graphemes can represent the same sound (e.g. a_e in whale).
  • Use books. There are plenty of games that can be played using books. This may include 'digraph detective' in which children should scan a page to see if they can find any digraphs or a specified digraph. You might select a sentence from a book and play 'sentence substitution'. For this game you may choose a sentence such as 'The man walked slowly down the road'. Then you would have a set of words written on small pieces of paper such as 'talked, slept, cartwheeled, toad, clown' (it can really be any set of words) and the children would take one word out of the original sentence and replace it with a new word. The aim of the game is obviously to ensure that children are recognising grpahemes in words but they really enjoy making their sentences as silly as possible-they don't have to make sense.
  • Nonsense words are very important at this stage. Have graphemes (including single letter sounds) written on small pieces of paper and put in a bag, then get children to take out maybe three/four graphemes and make their own nonsense words e.g. 'z-ai-p-er'. They could then think about which other graphemes they could use to spell the same word e.g. 'z-ay-p-u'. The children would benefit from having the sound mats available for use in this type of activity.
  • Bingo. Children should divide paper into 6 sections and write a grapheme in each. You may then choose flashcards (either home-made or printed) for the children to cross off their board. Give bonus point if they can say the sound before you do. The same game can be adapted to play with real or nonsense words.
  • Grapheme hunt. Graphemes can be written on a piece of paper and then stuck up around the house or in the garden. You then say a phoneme and children run to the corresponding grapheme. They may then think of their own words containing that grapheme and bonus points could be given if they use that grapheme in a sentence (written or oral).

This should be plenty now to keep the children going until after Easter and if you search online for phonics activities, there are lots of ideas to be found. It is ery important that as well as knowing what sound each grapheme makes, that the children are also given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practical situations such as word or sentence reading. Please keep this in mind as children practise in the build up to the test.
Music Mark School
Diocese of Westminster