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Jolly Phonics Blog

Keep up to date on phonics and grammar

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Read Teach Primary’s fantastic review of the Jolly Music programme!

Our Jolly Music programme has received a glowing review in this month’s Teach Primary magazine, which we are delighted to share with you.

As a ‘fun, enjoyable, effective and ambitious’ music programme, the review claims that teachers could ‘achieve an astonishingly high standard of musicianship by incorporating five or ten minutes practice each day’.

You can read this excellent review in full by clicking here.

And you can find out more information about this wonderful programme by visiting the dedicated section on our website here.

 

Posted on

May 19, 2017

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Jolly Phonics success in Pakistan!

Following the recent success of Jolly Phonics in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, this report has aired on the news!

 

It shows Jolly Trainer Sadaf Asif training teachers as they discover the five key skills of the Jolly Phonics programme. The video is not in English, though if you listen closely, you will hear several Jolly references! Just click the image below to view this 2-minute video.

Posted on

May 2, 2017

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Teaching Suffixes with ‘Suffishes’ – Sara Wernham features in Teach Primary magazine

One of the co-authors of the Jolly Phonics programme, Sara Wernham, features in this month’s Teach Primary magazine with a fun activity to introduce suffixes and prefixes!

 

The ‘suffishes’ are made up of two parts:

A selection of root words are written on the fish body (e.g. talk, clap, kind).

A selection of suffixes are written on the fish tails (e.g. ness, ed, ing).

 

Click the image below to read the full lesson plan in the magazine!

Posted on

March 15, 2017

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Jolly Learning on the Radio!

Jolly Trainer Silvana Serbanescu has been busy in Romania with a very Jolly radio advert!

You can listen to the full advert – that aired on Radio Guerrilla – below, with a translation into English!

 

Is the sky the same every day? Are mice just as interesting as elephants? Is there only one correct way of eating a delicious chocolate cake with vanilla topping?

There is diversity in the world for sure, and Jolly Star is hereby inviting you all to understand it and benefit from it together. I’m Silvana Serbanescu, Jolly Learning Trainer and Educational Manager of Jolly Star Learning Centre, and together with my team of whole-hearted teachers I’m bringing you this news: that any child can be a skilful user of the English language on the condition that they’ve got key methods in place and ready to use. With the help of Inky, Snake and Bee, they can understand whilst playing with and making sense of how the language works as a code that can be broken down for everyone.

Find out more about our inspirational programme on www.jollystar.ro, on the Jolly Star Learning Centre Facebook page or invite us in to your school so you too can see the difference.

 

Silvana (on the left of the photo): “What I did not have time to say in a 30 second radio spot is that the Jolly Learning programme is so amazingly consistent with the needs of today’s children. Obviously, teaching reading and writing in English can no longer be done in the traditional way, with chalk and talk, according the the jug and mug metaphor. We taught language for so long as a jigsaw puzzle hoping that, by magic, some time, the pieces would fit together. By taking this fractured approach, mainly because of an uninspiring, nationwide curriculum, we’ve taught a lot of kids to read yet not to actually want to read.

“With Jolly Learning, the teacher is not essentially an explainer, but moves towards becoming an involver. This interactive, whole-class experience is undoubtedly more efficient than traditional teaching where the learner is passive and receptive. It encourages children’s interest, their curiosity, exploration and inquiry; it allows children to make meaningful choices and appeals to a great range of learning styles (visual, auditory, verbal, physical, logical, social, etc).

“As a teacher, once I create a wide range of learning opportunities in my classes, I can give more space for my learners to do things and discover things on their own. Thus, children become more aware about how they are learning. Their everyday acquisition is constructed over the foundations of their own earlier learning.”

 

Posted on

February 15, 2017

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Phenomenal Jolly Phonics Success in America!

‘Jolly Phonics is truly one of the best gifts that I have been given as an educator’

When the Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley, Arizona, started using Jolly Phonics, they – like many other schools across America – were stunned at the phenomenal success they started enjoying. Indeed, Jaki Ivins, the Head of Lower School, stated that the subsequent years ‘were filled with many extraordinary moments of seeing my four-year-old students find joy in being able to decode and write, moments that filled my heart with deep professional satisfaction.’

You can read the full case study of the school enjoying success with the programme here.

Training

Furthermore, we’re delighted to announce that schools across America can also enjoy success with the programme by attending one of our 100% FREE Jolly Phonics Training Seminars! Running this June across 11 states, we are running 12 fantastic training seminars so that educators across the country can find out more about this programme – click here to find out more! We’d love to see you there!

Posted on

January 19, 2017

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The Grammar 6 Handbook – Outstanding Results

John Dabell from Teach Reading and Writing reviews The Grammar 6 Handbook.  Read more here.

“The content of the handbook is designed to extend and polish children’s understanding of grammar and introduces them to new elements. It teaches new spelling patterns, supports the greater understanding of sentence structure, expands vocabulary and comprehension, and cultivates dictionary and thesaurus skills.” the-grammar-6-handbook-tp-review

 

Posted on

November 1, 2016

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Jolly Buddies – Making A Difference

By Olubusola Eshiet
“In your PhD thesis I was struck by your references to teenage and adult non-readers.” He continued, “I would be very interested in taking this further with a proposal.” And Chris Jolly’s proposal?

“We would take a group of non-reading older pupils and train them to be 1:1 mentors of children in the middle/late primary school who are themselves struggling to read.  This will give dignity to the older pupils, a reason to get to grips with the teaching in the Jolly Phonics Extra, and it will overcome the younger illustration style.  The overall effect expected is that both older and younger pupils will learn to read.”

Is this an offer or a challenge? Whichever way, I couldn’t resist this. Yes, this should work. We have trialled several projects and often, even the seeming impossible became possible. Surely, I was up for this new adventure. We went about seeking a school where they will allow us try this new resource. That didn’t take long; the Jolly Phonics Extra Kit is fun and full of adventure. Who wouldn’t want to try it? What school head would say ‘no’ to a programme that would raise the reading level of their struggling readers? Besides, we had introduced Jolly Phonics to the school several years ago. This brought much improvement to the pupils and was an additional selling point for the school.

Jolly Buddies 2Approvals received, we set to work immediately. Keen to know what effect the JP Extra Kit will have, we started off with Burt tests of 20 selected pupils- selected by their teachers as being struggling readers. Tests done, we selected the poorest 5 in the higher classes and the same number in the lower classes. As none of them knew the sounds of the English language, it was fair to give the older ones training in the sounds so using Jolly Phonics extra Kit, we taught them the first five groups of sounds as rapidly as possible. And as for the ‘childish materials’, they were not really for these senior pupils, no, the pupils were learning to use them more importantly so that they can assist the teacher in teaching some little ones who didn’t know how to read. The older pupils set to work with great excitement. They had fun discovering all that the talking pen could do. They loved listening to the stories, searching for answers to the questions, blending and reading along with the pen and thoroughly enjoyed singing along. Before long, they were attempting to read the Readers and they found out that they were reading!

It was then time to introduce the younger buddies to the older ones. The older ones were very happy to become teachers and they immediately assumed responsibility for teaching the younger pupils how to read. It became a bonding experience for them. You would find the buddies sitting together on one chair even though there were enough seats for each person. The older ones became not only teachers but also friends. They would hold the hands of the younger ones over the talking pen and guide them through the exercises. The younger ones also soon began to read. Their joy was apparent.

After 3 months of learning with the Jolly Phonics Extra Kit, it was time to fold up the study and of course, time for an exit test. The average gain in reading age was 14 months with one of the pupils making a gain of 43 months in a 3-month long intervention! Jolly Buddies 1

The Buddies are the envy of other pupils. The class teacher for the younger pupils wished all her pupils were part of the trial. Parents begged us to allow their children into the class. The pupils are now happier and more confident readers.

Here are some comments from pupils, parents and teachers:

“I am happy I can now read long words” (Pupil who made the greatest gain)

”My neighbour’s son who could not read at all is reading very well now. Can my son join too or could you come to my house to teach him.” (A Parent whose child is in the secondary school)”

“I will like all my pupils to be part of the learning so that they can be at the same reading pace in the class. (Class teacher primary 2)

“I will like to buy this pack for teaching my children. My pupils in class have improved in reading.”(Class teacher)

JP Extra kit has a lot of benefits for teachers and pupils. Studying independently for pupils becomes easier and their understanding of blending skills becomes faster. Teacher explains less. Also, it gives room for the pupils who lag behind to catch up with the others without much teacher input. This means ‘catch up’ activities require much less time from the teacher.

There is rapid improvement when poor readers use the Jolly Phonics Extra Kit.

 

Posted on

November 20, 2015

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Training in Nigeria

Lagos

Training with Kemi Adebajo:

2 day Jolly Phonics workshop
Date: Thursday 1st and Saturday 3rd October 2015
Time: 10am prompt
Venue: 25, Lucina Joseph, Off Yusufu Sanusi, Off Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere

Please contact Kemi for information or booking: 080-2305-3064 or 09090000810

Posted on

September 2, 2015

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“Right from the Horses Mouth”! by Beki Wilson

“I have learned everything I know from Sara, Sue and the children that I have taught over the past 15 years and I desperately wanted other teachers to experience what I did first hand: that light-bulb moment when you think “Aha!” now I know what all the fuss is about. Jolly Grammar…where have you been all my life?!”
Beki Wilson – Jolly Phonics Professional Trainer in Spain

Snake smiling

 

From Snake:

“Beki and I have spent the last 15 years teaching Jolly Phonics and Grammar to young children in Spain. Here English is taught in most schools with many classrooms following bilingual curriculums. One of the first well-known projects was the British Council/MEC Bilingual programme, which pioneered in Spain and Europe in 1996.

“Over the past few years we have been working especially hard with schools, academies, Universities and some very dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. We all have one thing in common. We want to make learning English fun.

“With Sara here, it gives people the chance to learn about Jolly Grammar years from the person who actually wrote the course: in other words, “right from the horses mouth”! Beki assures me that there is really nothing more inspiring than training with the fantastic, amazing, wonderful Sara (I am the Adjective Snake after all!)”

From Beki:

Over the past few months, many teachers from all over Spain had written to us in order to be able to join this amazing event. The majority of them already had some prior knowledge of Jolly Phonics and Grammar as many schools and teachers now use the programme.

It is now well known in Spain for the positive results that it gets when teaching English as a second language. Although Jolly Phonics is a literacy programme aimed at native English speakers, the multi-sensory approach to teaching young children how to read and write is extremely effective. It can be adapted for any age group and within any education setting, and now many language schools and academies are also using Jolly Phonics as a complimentary part of their English classes. As Jolly Phonics helps children to be able to recognize, read, write and say different letter sounds correctly, this also helps non-native English speakers with their pronunciation skills. This is especially important here in Spain as many young children are expected to do external English language exams (such as Cambridge and Trinity). Other subjects, such as Art and Science, are also taught in English in Primary.

The Training Seminar

Beki-wilson-training

Teachers, parents and students travelled from all over Spain in order to attend the Training Seminar with Sara, who had arrived the Wednesday before in Madrid! The course content during the day was based on Jolly Grammar 1 & 2; these are the next two years following on from Jolly Phonics. Sara took us on a wonderful journey on how to make spelling, punctuation and grammar fun for young children, sharing many simple games and activities which any busy teacher or parent can do or make. Sentence structure was made fun with the use of a washing line and we did a Make and Take Kite activity for Magic “e”. Vocabulary, nouns and comprehension activities were demonstrated through letter sound sorting boxes and picture cards. Sara also discussed creative ways to improve and adapt lessons in order to improve punctuation; for example, long and short vowels were demonstrated by using a rubber glove!

The Seminar was a success with lots of smiles at the end of the day and positive feedback. The most important part of this has been to expose teachers and parents to how a multi-sensory approach to teaching can work in any context, with children from all over the world regardless of their educational background. I, as always, continue to learn many new things from Sara, which I find both motivating and invaluable when teaching and training.

Posted on

May 26, 2015

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“Un serpent dans l’herbe”; an unusual training in the Comoros Islands!

by Chris Jolly

chris1The four little children sitting on tiny chairs in front of me looked surprised. They were at the front of the class whilst their teachers sat at the student desks behind them. Perhaps more strangely, I was stood in front of them, talking in broken French (which is their second language anyway) about snakes and sounds and Jolly!

I was training in the Comoros, which is based in the Indian Ocean east of Mozambique. With the locals speaking a mix of Comorian, French, Arabic and Kibushi to varying levels, the Comoros is an unique jumble of cultures – the last place you would think needs another language!

However, I was in the Comoros because I have been trying to reach widely with Jolly Phonics by providing the first year of the programme philanthropically to state schools in Africa. This has been made possible by working with excellent NGO partners, such as Universal Learning Solutions.  These schools typically have the greatest need yet are the most difficult to access. The Comoros islands was part of my latest tour through Africa, and this was how I ended up in front of these four pupils.

Unfortunately I had not been able to make contact with the Ministry of Education before I arrived in the Comoros, but a quick Google led me to contact Nouzlat, who was from the islands but now runs a Comoros social centre in Manchester: she was just wonderful, and she put me in contact with multiple private schools in the state!

Through sporadic emails and phone calls, all in my static French, the arrangements were made. I managed to secure a headteacher of a local private school, Mr Moussa, who was there at the airport to meet me and who had agreed to let me train in his school.

True to his word, prior to my arrival Mr Moussa had sent around our flyer and invited teachers from 12 other private schools to his school.  Because of the intense heat we began the training at 8am and finished at noon. The teachers were keen enough to teach English, and although they might reasonably have been sceptical of me turning up with an entirely new programme, the demand to learn English was there. These teachers, like my Mancunian acquaintance, told me how important the learning of English is for their pupils, and explained how they would need it in the future for work, and for engaging with the professional world in general. They said how the parents too want it for their children, even though there is little use of English in the country, allaying my previous concerns.

Chris's training4The four children in front of me had to be poked gently by the teachers to pay attention. I began telling them the story for sss. I told them how I was going for a walk, how I then discovered un serpent dans l’herbe, which hissed at me ‘sss…sss…sss’. I waved my arm across my body as I did so. I introduced two more letter sounds in the Jolly formula: story, sound and action. I then  asked the teachers to have a go with other sounds in the first group.  Before long I had the children waving their hands at the flash cards for these sounds, and drawing their chairs up closer to see the book. I was surprised by how quickly they became engaged with it, particularly with so little environmental English knowledge. By the end one boy had even progressed so far that he was able to blend the word ‘spoon’. It was just wonderful to see their progress, and of course it was inspiring to the teachers to see the immediate progress of the children.

After a shorter second morning of training, I moved on, leaving the teachers to take away teaching materials for their schools so they could get continue with the programme. I have since had email contact (and photos, see below) to say it is going really well, which is very encouraging! So it has been a good beginning, reaching further in Africa to help in the teaching of English.Comoros Teachers 2 Weeks Later1

Posted on

March 6, 2015

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