Jolly Phonics

Scoil Aonghusa makes reading fun

The new school year is well under way at Scoil Aonghusa CNS. Junior and Senior Infant teacher  Ms Stephanie Mulcahy has welcomed nineteen 4 to 6 year olds into her classroom this year. The Infant classroom is a fun place full of all sorts of learning games and play. Special emphasis is placed on early reading skills. Ms Mulcahy uses a number of approaches to help the children on their reading journey and to develop a love of books at this early age. One of the programs used is called Jolly Phonics, a fun and child centered approach to teaching literacy using synthetic phonics. For those of you that have not heard about phonics before, think back to your days of  watching  Sesame Street and you may have come across letter sounds. Phonics is all about a child learning the sounds of the letters and learning to blend these together and use them to identify the sounds in words that they are trying to read. The letters are split into 7 groups. The letters are taught in this order so that the children can start reading words as soon as possible. Of course there are some words that can’t be sounded out and these are called tricky words, Jolly phonics program allows for them to be taught separately. The phonics method of teaching helps all children learn to read. A study carried out at the London School of Economics showed that children taught using the phonics methodology had better reading skills by age 7 than those taught using traditional methods. Check out http://jollylearning.co.uk/ for more information on the Jolly Phonics program.  Children’s author Kate DiCamillo once said “Reading should not be presented to a child as a chore or a duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift”.