Phonics in KS1

When your child moves into Year One, they would have built the foundations they need in phonics and reading to successfully continue their journey this year. 

Your child will have learnt Levels 1+ to Level 3 in Reception and will continue to apply this knowledge in Year One. Pupils will continue to secure Level 3 phonics knowledge and move onto Level 5 by the end of the year. 

These are the sounds the children are expected to learn by the end of the year:

Phonics Screening Check

In Year One, pupils must complete the Phonics Screening Check (test). This test is designed to check whether pupils understand phonics to an appropriate standard. The phonics screening check data collection is an annual statutory data collection that takes place each June and data is reported to the Department of Education.

The screening checks that your child can:

  • Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words.
  • Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
  • Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as pseudo words.

Here is a video showing you what the phonics screening looks like: 

 Year 1 Phonics Test Example

There are two sections in this 40 word check and it assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year One. Your child will read up to four words per page for their teacher and they will probably do the check in one sitting of about 5 –10 minutes.

Here is a copy of the 2018 Phonics Screening Test from the government website: 2018 phonics screening check: pupils' materials


Your child should have secured all Phonics knowledge by the end of Year One. This will support them to progress onto applying their knowledge within spelling to enable them to spell more complex words. 

If your child does not pass the Phonics Screening Check and still requires phonics support, interventions will be put in place throughout Year 2. They will have the opportunity to re-take the Phonics Screening Check towards the end of Year 2.