Year 1 Phonics Check, and Description of Phonics Words.

All children in Year 1, and some children in Year 2 will be taking the phonics screening check in June. All children in English schools do this screening. They have to read 40 words – some real, and some ‘alien’. We will let you all know how your child gets on.

Following the recent parent information session about the Year 1 phonics check, please find below information shared at the session.


We have been asked by a parent to provide you with a glossary of terms, so you can understand when you child is telling you about what they are learning. So here goes! Do ask your class teacher for any more information.

‘alien’ words – are words that are not real. Children have to read 20 of these in the phonics check, to show their phonics knowledge. Here are some examples:

yed toth smeep scrownd

digraph – this is any 2 letters, that together, when read, make one sound, for example:

ee (meet) sh (ship) ch (chop) ie (tie) ou (mouth)
ay (say) oi (coin)

trigraph – this is any 3 letters, that together, when read, make one sound, for example:

igh (night) tch (witch) dge (badge)

suffix – these are word endings that change the meaning of a word such as:

s (plural – means more than one – cats, trees)
es (plural – also means more than one – bushes, buses)
ed (past tense – helped, rained)
ing (present tense – making, spelling)
est (biggest, tallest)

prefix – these are word beginnings, which also change the meaning of words, such as:

un (untie, undo, unsafe, unkind)