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Reading and Jolly Phonics

There are many ways you as parents and carers can help your a child become a competent and fluent reader. Reading is an essential skill that everyone requires, so helping your child at home from a young age  gives them a head start and allows them to make rapid progress with their reading.

Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds Tricky Words

Jolly Phonics Actions Picture Books

'20' of the Best Picture Books Library

Developing Speech and Language Spelling

Nursery Rhymes and Songs

Jolly Phonics

Many schools are now using the Jolly Phonics* reading scheme to teach reading. The scheme involves children learning 42 sounds which enable them to ‘sound-out’ most words. There are also a set of seven Finger Phonics Books. The sounds have actions and songs to accompany them to make it easier for children to remember the letters and formation. Your child may also like exploring the Jolly Phonics Games CD.

The seven sets of Jolly Phonics letter sounds, which could be displayed in your child's playroom using the Jolly Phonics Poster are taught in this order, focusing on one set at a time. You may want to begin by introducing your child to one or two letter sounds each week. This way you can ensure your child is familiar with both the letter sound and letter formation.

Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds

1)    s, a, t, i, p, n

2)   ck, 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

Jolly Phonics Workbooks: Books 1-7 are an ideal and easy way for teaching letter sounds.

By teaching and reinforcing these sounds at home your child will be able to progress to the next level of their reading. Once a child is competent with all the Jolly Phonics* sounds they are able to start reading words by sounding out e.g c-a-t is ‘cat’, h-e-l-p ‘help’. Each letter sound when blended together makes a word.

There are some words which cannot be ‘sounded-out’ and these are known as ‘Tricky Words'. These words have to be taught and learnt. By learning these together at home with your child, perhaps one or two a week, they will be able to progress more quickly with their reading. 

When your child has learnt the 42 sounds and the tricky words they will have the ability to start reading simple words first from the Jolly Phonics Read and See: Basic Words.

Once your child is able to read simple two and three letter words they can progress to Jolly Readers Books: Complete Set Level 1 and then onto Jolly Readers Level 2. Remember all children learn to read at different rates so don't be discourage if your child takes longer to grasp letter sounds or forgets tricky words.

*Jolly Phonics is a reading and writing scheme which was developed by Sue Lloyd and Sara Wernham.

Picture Books

By sharing a picture book as often as possible with your child  they will learn new language and become familiar with the format and layout of stories. The  Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics: A Child's First Collection is an ideal starting point and way to inspire a love of stories and reading from an early age.

Children get a lot of enjoyment from stories. Books can be found to suit a wide range of abilities and interests. Stories are a powerful tool in teaching your child about the world around them, and are extremely beneficial to their general knowledge and understanding of life. Whether you enjoy the same book over and over again, or have a different story every night, your child is learning new words and discovering the power of language.

There are many bookshops with child friendly reading corners and a wide selection of children's books both factual and fiction. Fairytales Treasuries are always popular with children and are filled with excitement and suspense. Your child may enjoy choosing a book from one of these stores or enjoying a story time session with other children their age. See our page on '20' of the Best Children's Books.

Visiting the Library

There are a wide range of stories and picture books suitable for all ages at your local library. By visiting the library regularly you and your child can choose a range of picture books to share together.

  • Choose fiction and non-fiction books. Non-fiction books provide opportunities for your child to learn about the world around them.

  • Select books which have different types of language and formats, such as board books, pop-up books, rhyming stories, books with audio CDs.

  • Choose simple books which your child can read themselves, as well as books which you can read to your child to extend their language and teach new vocabulary.

  • Source books with repetitive language so your child can join in and get involved with the story. Children also love rhyming books.

  • Borrow pop-up books and picture flap books which encourage your child to ask questions about the story. Encourage them to use a range of different questioning words.

  • Look for books which have large text so you can point to the words and your child can follow as your read.

  • Find read along books with a tape or CD so your child can become more independent and sit and listen to a story themselves.

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