Jolly Phonics is a systematic phonics scheme that teaches children the
code of English. In the first nine weeks or so, the children are
taught the 42 letter
sounds, how to blend them to read words, and how to cope with the first
keywords. At this point the children can attempt to read books
There are five main elements to the teaching:
1. Learning the Letter Sounds
The main 42 letter sounds of English are taught – one sound every day
and in the
Jolly Phonics order.
1. s a t i p n
2. c k e h r m d
3. g o u l f b
4. ai j oa ie ee or
5. z w ng v oo oo
6. y x ch sh th th
7. qu ou oi ue er ar
A multi-sensory method is used to introduce the children to the letter
is a storyline, action and ‘Sound Sheet’ for each sound. By doing
associated with the sound, e.g., rub tummy and say “mmmmm” for the /m/
children remember it more easily.
Each child is given their own ‘Sound Book’. Every day the new
letter sound is stuck
into the book and taken home. Parents are asked to help their
children learn the
sounds, either by going through the Sound Book, or by cutting up the
playing a game of ‘Pairs’ with their child.
In order to blend efficiently it is important to know the letter sounds
fluently. Every day
flash cards of the letter sounds that have been taught should be held
up for the
children to call out the sounds as they do the actions.
Some sounds are represented by two letters, and are known as
children need to recognize digraphs in words, e.g., the ‘ng’ in
‘strong’. The digraphs
‘oo’ and ‘th’ each have two sounds, e.g., ‘book’ and ‘moon’, ‘thin’ and
‘that’. In Jolly
Phonics they are initially written in two sizes to help the children
understand that there
are two sounds.
© Sue Lloyd