For them, the check is going to come as an unpleasant shock. Out of forty words on the test, twenty are pseudo or nonsense words – something Sounds-Write has been using since we started in 2003. A further ’40-60%’ of the remaining ‘real’ words will be ‘less common words’. The latter are defined by the DfE as words that pupils ‘are unlikely to have read previously’. This means that approximately 75% of the words will be pseudo words or words ‘pupils are unlikely to have read previously’.
It doesn’t take a genius then to realise that some schools aren’t going to be making a good showing and, given that the test will also include words with more complex structures, as well as a range of vowel and consonant digraphs and trigraphs(two-letter spellings and three-letter spellings), time is running short.
By the way, in case you weren’t aware, Sounds-Write teaches everything covered by the screening test and more. We also offer some advice to those schools looking for a phonics programme that will fit the bill.