Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a short assessment that tells teachers how students are progressing in phonics.

The Check takes 5-7 minutes and is carried out in the classroom by classroom teachers with each student individually. Results are available immediately. Teachers analyse the results and, if necessary, plan for any additional support that students might require by targeting teaching aligned with NSW English syllabus outcomes.

The Check complements existing strategies to identify students' progress in developing foundational literacy skills.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check summary and infographic (PDF 456KB) (staff only).

About the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

What does the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check look like?

The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check assesses how students blend sounds together to read a word.

Student responses are mapped to indicators from the National Literacy Learning Progression. Student information from the check is available in PLAN2 upon lodging the assessment.

How will my school be involved?

All Year 1 students in NSW department schools will be required to complete the mandatory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check from 2021.

Schools complete the assessment mid Term 3.

Q&A information sessions will be held in the Literacy statewide staffroom. Join the Literacy NSW statewide staffroom for full details. (staff only).

Visit the resources webpage for support in administering the assessment. There are professional learning, resources and guides to help you.

The resource web page also included information on where to find support for teaching strategies in the classroom following the assessment.

An on-demand diagnostic assessment of phonics knowledge is available for all students in NSW department schools. See the Phonics diagnostic assessment web page for more information.


The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check administration checklist (PDF 194KB) (staff only) will help you to track and complete key actions for administering the check.

Vision impaired student materials requests

Vision impaired student materials are available for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check assessment.

If required, complete the request for vision impairment student materials form (PDF 154 KB) (staff only) and send to as soon as possible.

More information

For other professional learning about early literacy visit the Literacy and Numeracy professional learning web page.

To hear more about how phonics can support early reading acquisition, listen to 'In conversation with Anne Castle: Systematic and Explicit Phonics Instruction'. You can also watch Stephanie Lewis talk about where phonics sits in the NSW English syllabus, in the video below.

Stephanie Lewis talks about where phonics sits in the NSW English syllabus
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