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Phonics check this out

3 September 2021

13,500 year 1 students participated in the phonics check this term, helping our teachers to track reading skills and plan for additional support.

The mini “code-breakers” are given a mixture of 20 real words and 20 made-up words to see how well they decode the sounds that make up words.

It’s all part of how our schools teach children how to read, with phonics helping kids to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word

This knowledge helps children to decode new words they hear and see, which is an important first step in learning to read.

Since the phonics check was introduced in 2018 there has been substantial growth in the number of students who meet or exceed the expected achievement, climbing from 43 per cent in 2018 to 63 per cent last year.

We are working hard to push that even higher with training for teachers and leaders to support them to administer the check, analyse the results and design interventions to help students improve.

Learn more about phonics at Phonics screening check for student understanding of letters and sounds.