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Jolly Phonics Blog

Keep up to date on phonics and grammar


Jolly Music Player Now Available!

We’re delighted to announce that our Jolly Music Player has arrived and is now available to purchase!

This software is intended for use with The Music Handbooks. It provides you with the entire Jolly Music repertoire for each level and provides support in the class and when preparing lessons. It can be used on an interactive whiteboard or simply with an overhead projector and screen.

Please click here to read more, where you can also download a demo version.


Posted on

January 23, 2018


PIRLS 2016 Results Show Importance of Synthetic Phonics Teaching for Reading and Writing

All of us at Jolly Learning are delighted to see that the release of the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) results has highlighted the importance of synthetic phonics in teaching reading. English speaking countries with impressive improvements are those that have incorporated it widely in schools.


Jolly Phonics is the most widely used international phonics programme, and the successful countries are those where it has been used most extensively. Some of these, such as Ireland (ranked 4th), and Trinidad and Tobago, have Jolly Phonics in almost all schools, while England, Australia and Spain use it in a high proportion of schools.


By contrast, the results have also highlighted the poor performances of many English-speaking countries that do not use Jolly Phonics extensively. The United States and New Zealand both fell in the rankings, whilst South Africa finished bottom.


As Chris Jolly, publisher of Jolly Phonics, says: “These results highlight how a published synthetic phonics programme, such as Jolly Phonics, can enable major improvements in the teaching of reading.”

Posted on

December 13, 2017


Someone has stolen our laptop! Activity in Teach Primary Magazine

One of our wonderful Jolly Trainers, Hannah Friedwald, has this month shared an exciting lesson plan with Teach Primary Magazine.

This lesson is perfect for discovering question words – ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘which’ – as you turn your classroom into a crime scene! Get your class asking questions to interrogate suspects and discover who stole the class laptop.

You can read the full lesson plan here.

Posted on

November 2, 2017


Read this excellent review of the Jolly Phonics and Grammar programme!

We’re delighted to be able to share with you this wonderful review of our Jolly Phonics and Grammar Teacher’s and Pupil Books, as featured in Teach Reading & Writing magazine!

‘High quality curriculum materials’ that ‘deliver superb content’; we really couldn’t have put it any better ourselves. So what’s stopping you? Why not browse our full range of Teacher’s and Pupil Books and introduce ‘a fun and multi sensory approach with real impact’ in your classroom today!

The Phonics Teacher’s and Pupil Books can be found on our website here, whilst the subsequent six years of Grammar books can be found here.

And make sure you read the full fantastic review by clicking here.

Posted on

September 20, 2017


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


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


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


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, 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


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.


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


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