Phonics Screening Check Dates 2024

The government has released the dates of the phonics screening check 2024. This blogpost details when they take place and how ReadingWise Zip can support your phonics programmes.

phonics screening check dates 2024

What is the Phonics Screening Check?

The Phonics Screening Check was announced as a government educational policy in September 2011. Some call the check the 'Phonics Screening Test.'

The phonics check is a test to help understand how well children can apply the phonics that they've been taught up to the end of year 1. Since June 2012, the check has taken place every year in primary schools (whether these are state, academy, free, or private) in England and Wales.

The Phonics Screening Test is taken by children at the end of year 1, and then again at the end of year 2 for those that did not pass.

In England and Wales, every pupil in year 1 takes the phonics check which is conducted by a teacher with each child individually. The image below is an example of the sheet the teacher uses to track the result and is taken from the 2019 phonics screening check.

phonics screening checks

When is the Phonics Screening Check in 2024?

2024's Phonics Screening Check or Phonics Screening Test will happen the week commencing Monday the 10th June 2024.

Primary schools, and the responsible year 1 teachers and teaching assistants will receive the test materials the week before.

Here are the key dates for 2024 from the Department for Education:

Phonics Screening Check Dates for Y1 UK 2024

How is the Phonics Screening Check conducted?

During the check children try to decode 40 words as per the image above. Included in this list are some nonsense words (meast, waib...). The image below is an example of how things are presented to children in the check, in this case a nonsense (or 'alien') word.

Example of Nonsense Word in the Phonics Screening Check

The two sections of the check vary in difficulty, with the first covering the earlier and simpler phases of the phonics programme and the second covering more challenging graphemes.

How long is the Phonics Screening Check?

There is no formal time limit, but in general each check takes about 10 minutes.

As per the chart below, most children pass the check. As mentioned, those that don't pass retake the check the following year (at the end of year 2).

There is some variance in the demographics of children who don't pass as shown in the image below. More information on this is available in this government report.

Phonics Screening Check Data By Disadvantage

ReadingWise and the Phonics Screening Check: Our Resources

In 2018 as part of a government-funded study, the impact of ReadingWise Zip was explored in 17 schools across year 1. The impact was promising as the reading gap between chronological age and reading age closed in a short space of time, as shown in the graph below. This provides some promising evidence for the impact of ReadingWise Zip in the context of the phonics screening check.

improving reading attainment

ReadingWise Zip is extremely easy to deliver and in effect 'fills in the gaps' in learners' phonics knowledge as the programme understands each child's strengths and weaknesses and therefore focuses on the areas that need more work. ReadingWise Zip is not a full phonics programme but a supplementary resource that can support and reinforce your phonics programme.

To trial ReadingWise Zip please arrange a demo through the link below and we look forward to discussing your needs.

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