‘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.’
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, 2017Categories: Blog
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.”
Posted on November 1, 2016Categories: Blog
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.
Approvals 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!
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, 2015Categories: Blog
“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
“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!)”
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.
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, 2015Categories: Blog
We are delighted to announce that the Jolly Phonics Lessons app is now available to download for both Apple and Android phones and tablets and, for a limited time only, is completely free! Download it now whilst you can!