Phonics and Reading

Our Approach to Phonics 2020 – 2021

The beginning of our Phonics journey starts with the environmental sounds we hear on a daily basis, whether this is the passing of cars and buses on a busy high street or the birds singing in the trees.  At Fountaindale School we listen out for all these sounds as we walk around our environment, inside or outside.

Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds compliments this beautifully with Letters and Sounds being the Phonics scheme we use.  Please see link below for more information.

We also listen to the sounds we make and those our friends make as our early communication skills develop.  These early fundamentals of communication, developed by an Intensive Interaction approach, underpin the development of communication and phonics.

We provide a multi-sensory approach across all phases of learning.  This includes:

  • Toy manipulation
  • Singing songs and rhymes which contain alliteration
  • Listening to a range of different sounds
  • Swiping on the whiteboard
  • Word and letter games
  • Using Big Macs
  • Using iGaze
  • Using iPads
  • Sharing stories, turning pages, lifting flaps and pressing buttons.

When pupils are ready, we move seamlessly into Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds, oral blending and segmenting. Graphemes and phonemes are introduced and pupils begin to learn how to read and write, starting with CVC words. Then we move on to short captions or sentences.  Students learn that in addition to blending, they can use the pictures in books to help them to read.  They share stories with their peers and ask and answer questions about what they have read.

The power point link below gives an explanation of the terminology used:


When pupils progress to Phase 3 and above of Letters and Sounds, they begin to learn more about spelling and grammatical rules.  These rules help them when reading and they begin to read fluently, accurately and with understanding.  Guided reading sessions enable pupils to read and learn alongside their peers, developing comprehension and the ability to answer questions and make comments about what they have read.  Pupils are taught to recognise the purpose of punctuation in texts and apply this to support expression, flow and context. Different genres are introduced to promote an understanding of purpose and different writing styles.