Rimrose Hope CofE Primary School

Faith in our children – the hope for the future.

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Year 1/2

Welcome to Key Stage 1


We have three mixed year 1 and 2 classes:

1/2Mc - Miss McMinn, Mrs Duffy and Miss Lawler
1/2B - Miss Brady and Miss Sach 
1/2RB - Miss Branegan and Mrs Rogers


Key Information


Phonics Screening Check

The national phonics screening test was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It aims to identify the children who need extra help so that they can be given support by school to improve
their reading skills. The phonics screening test takes place in June.

Who takes the test?

All children in year 1. In addition, any child in year 2 who did not reach the required level when they took the test in year 1 will take the test again in year 2. If for any reason, we feel that there is a valid reason why your child should not take the test in Year 1, the class teacher will discuss this with you. Please note, this is only done in exceptional circumstances and your child would still be eligible to take the retake when they are in Year 2.

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read. They are taught how to:

• Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes

• Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make e.g. sh and oo

• Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to segment and blend new words that they hear or see.

Why phonics?

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.

What is the phonics screening check?

It is a short test that comprises of a list of 40 words that children read one-to-one with a teacher. The list is a combination of both real and made up, non-words which rely purely on using phonics to decode. The non-words are words that have been made up and will be shown with a picture of an imaginary creature to help them. The phonics screening check will take place on a one to one but the children will largely be unaware of it being a test and have already participated in some practice ones.

What are nonsense words?

Your child will be told during the check which words are nonsense words (that he/she will not have seen before). Your child will be familiar with this because we already use ‘nonsense/alien-words’ when teaching phonics in school. Nonsense-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.

After the check

We will tell you about your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check as part of the end of year report. If your child has found the check difficult, we will also tell you what support we have put in place to help him or her improve. You might like to ask your child’s class teacher how you can support your child to take the next step in reading. All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.

Helping your child with phonics

Phonics works best when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a very important part in helping with this. There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading skill development.

  • let your child see you enjoying reading yourself – they are influenced by you and what you value!
  • immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines with your child
  • take them to the library to choose books, read to them regularly, point out texts around you, eg in the street etc
  • make time for your child to read school books to you regularly 
  • encourage them by pointing to the words and ask them about the story they are reading
  • help your child to practise reading key words and sounds when these are sent home


If you require any additional information then please speak to your child's class teacher or alternatively speak to Miss McMinn (English Subject Leader)


KS1 Common Exception Words