Phonics Screening Check
In Year 1 children take part in a phonics screening check to assess their understanding of the different graphemes and their ability to apply this to blending and reading words. The test, which lasts 5-10 minutes and is taken individually as a child sits with their teacher, requires pupils to read aloud forty words. To pass, they must correctly read aloud 32/40 of the words. Some of the words in the test are harder than others and some of the words aren't actual words with any meaning but made-up (alien) words that see if children can apply their ability to decode sounds to correctly read it, to ensure that they can apply the same principles to learning new words as their vocabulary grows.
Alien words form part of the screening test. These words are fake or pseudo words. They are used to test whether the children know the graphemes taught.