This weekend I finally managed to attend a Jolly Phonics training session for practitioners.
I say finally because it was my 3rd time booking it; a long winter and sick children meant it took several months, but I finally got there and am I glad I did!
So what is Jolly Phonics?
Founded in 1987, basically it is a synthetic phonics method of teaching the letter sounds in a way that is fun and multi-sensory, enabling children to become fluent readers.
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The letter sounds are split into seven groups as shown below.
Letter Sound Order
The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.
How does Jolly Phonics work?
Using a synthetic phonics approach, Jolly Phonics teaches children the five key skills for reading and writing. The programme continues through school enabling the teaching of essential grammar, spelling and punctuation skills.
The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics
Learning the letter sounds – Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, the, ai and ue.
Learning letter formation – using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write letters.
Blending – Children are taught how to blend sounds together to read and write new words.
Identifying the sounds in words (segmenting) – Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
Tricky words – Have irregular spellings and children learn these separately
Are you wondering what all this has to do with Sensory Play?
Well over the years my passion for and in Early Years Care and Education has grown and developed, I have seen the good, they’d and the ugly in practice and policy. As All Of Me Sensory grows, I strive to find balance between facilitating child development at their own rate and meeting statutory requirements in care and education.
Basically how to teach what must be taught without teaching?
Can children truly learn through play in all areas?
Are there exceptions, when young children should be taught something in a more structured and formal way?
Because a young child (or some children) have the capacity to engage in structured learning, should they?