In our Nursery, pupils learn to read using the Jolly Phonics Programme.
The Jolly Phonics programme teaches pupils letter sounds as opposed to letter names (the alphabet).
These sounds are practised daily in school and need to be practised as regularly, at home.
There are 42 letter sounds which are fundamentally the building blocks children use to decode the English language.
The letter sounds are not taught in alphabetical order and each sound has a corresponding action.
(Please refer to the video below to hear the letter sounds and see the corresponding action)
When reading a word, pupils recognise the letters and blend together the respective sounds; when writing a word they identify the sounds and write down the corresponding letters. These skills are called blending and segmenting. These are two of the five skills that children need to master phonics.
Step 1 - Learning the letter sounds:
Children are taught 42 letter sounds, (a mix of alphabet sounds: 1 sound – 1 letter and digraphs: 1 sound – 2 letters, such as sh, th, ai and ue). Using a multi-sensory approach, each letter sound is introduced with fun actions, stories and songs.
Step 2 - Learning letter formation:
Pupils are taught the letter formation alongside the introduction of each letter sound.
Step 3 - Blending:
Once the first few letter sounds are learnt, pupils begin blending the sounds together to help them read and write new words
Step 4 - Segmenting:
When pupils start reading words, they also need to start identifying the phonic components that make the word sound the way it does. By teaching blending and segmenting at the same time, pupils become familiar with assembling and breaking down the sounds within words.