​Year 1 Phonics Screener

The Key Stage 1 Phonics Screener is a short, light touch assessment to determine how well each student can use the phonics skills he/she has learned in Year 1. This is not a formal test, but a way for teachers to ensure students are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and are on track to becoming fluent readers. It also helps teachers determine who needs additional support in phonics as the students move into Year 2. 

The assessment checks that your child can: 

  • sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words
  • read phonetically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words (e.g., cat, sand, windmill)
  • read a selection of nonsense words

The screener consists of 40 words - 20 real words and 20 "alien" (non-sense) words. "Alien" (non-words) are a collection of letters that follow common phonics rules that your child has been taught, but are not real words and do not mean anything. Your child will need to read these words with the correct sounds to show they understand phonics rules and can apply these rules to new, unknown words.                                                                                                                                               

The 40 words contained in the screener are divided into two sections - one section with simple words of three or four letters and a second section with more complex word structures of five or six letters. 

The achievement target is a score of 32. 

Learn more about the Year 1 Phonics Screener. Note this video is UK based; however, the Cayman Islands assessment is modelled from the UK system. 

How can I help my child prepare?

  • Practice the Set 1, 2 and/or 3 sounds he/she is learning in his/her regular Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons 

  • Practice using Fred Talk to read words that use 3, 4 and 5 sounds 

  • Read with your child when he/she brings home his/her Read Write Inc. Phonics books and Book Bag Books

  • Encourage your child to use "Fred Talk" when stuck on a word, paying close attention to looking for and identifying "Special Friends" 

  • Read great and exciting books to your child

  • Occassionally, practice reading "alien" words with your child. See below for resources you can use.