Project focus

    The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Project incorporates the following strategies to improve the trajectory of Year 1 pupils towards meeting the Phonics Check threshold:

    • diagnostic assessment
    • text-matching
    • application of phonics
    • reading fluency development
    • self-regulation development
    • skilled use of reading prompts
    • environment development.

    The project is being delivered with schools in Hertfordshire and is soon to expand to neighbouring counties.

    If you would like to express an interest in participating in the project, please sign up on this page.

    We are also offering bespoke tailored consultancy, using elements of the unique teaching strategies woven into the project, for those schools unable to participate in the full project. To find out more, email

    Next launching:  Thursday 10th January 2019, 9-12 (Round 8) 2019
    Next deadlines for applications: Thursday 13th December 2018 (Round 8)

    Impact and outcomes from the nine-week project

    • pupils made on average double the usual rate of progress
    • 89 schools and 534 pupils have participated to date
    • average percentage point increase seen, for children passing the Y1 PSC, is 16%. This is well above the average rise seen nationally (in 2017) of +0.8 ppts and for Herts of +0.3 ppts
    • largest increase seen has been +49.3 ppts in one school with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils
    • in 2017, the gender gap narrowed from 3-4% to only 1% in project schools.
    Y1 phonics screening diagram

    Pupils typically demonstrated the following improvements in their reading behaviour:

    • deeper enjoyment and engagement
    • increased self-monitoring and self-correcting
    • more graphemes recognised rapidly
    • improved ability to blend, especially longer words
    • more transference of skills across contexts.

    Find out more about the project below.

    Project delivery:

    Participants will receive the 9-week project CPD through:

    • half day training session 1 (school lead and teacher)
    • tailored in-school consultancy half-day (school lead and teacher)
    • midpoint cluster (project Y1 teachers only)
    • half day training session 2 (school lead and teacher)

    School participation / commitments:

    Each school is asked to nominate a Year 1 teacher and a school-based project lead. The project lead may be a deputy Headteacher, or English subject leader / SENCo where they are a member of senior leadership team.  The project lead will be responsible for monitoring changes and following through key actions.

    The project teacher will receive tailored consultancy in school to support them in making adjustments to teaching and provision based on the needs analysis.

    Teachers are asked to work with a group of six pupils for two group reading sessions per week for the 9 week period. These pupils are deemed to be not yet on track to meet the Y1 Phonics Check, at the start of the intervention period.

    Each school is allocated a project adviser. The adviser will be on hand throughout the project period to answer queries and support the school as needed. The adviser will also support schools with analysing their project data.

    Blogs to read

    Y1 Phonics Screening Check blog

    You say potato… a reflection on the Phonics Screening Check 2018

    Do you sound good to listen to? (or ‘Fluency: reading’s best-kept secret weapon’)

    If print be the food of love, read on!

    Modelling early literacy


    KS1 guided reading booklet and CD

    Project contact

    Kirsten Snook
    Primary Teaching and Learning Adviser - English
    Tel: 01438 845111 (option 2)

    Contact details

    Express an interest

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