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How do we teach your children to read?




We teach children to read following the Letters and Sounds document.  This is supported by Jolly Phonics which helps children engage with a multi sensory approach, using sounds, actions and songs!

Jolly Phonics - join in with the children and learn the actions yourselves!

Jolly Phonics Actions

Group 1

s           Weave hand in an s shape, like a snake, and say ssssss.

a           Wiggle fingers above elbow as if ants crawling on you and say a, a, a.

t            Turn head from side to side as if watching tennis and say t, t, t.

i            Pretend to be a mouse by wriggling fingers at end of nose and squeak i, i, i.

p           Pretend to puff out candles and say p, p, p.

n           Make a noise, as if you are a plane – hold arms out and say nnnnnn.

Group 2

c k        Raise hands and snap fingers as if playing castanets and say ck, ck, ck.

e           Pretend to tap an egg on the side of a pan and crack it into the pan, saying eh, eh, eh.

h           Hold hand in front of mouth panting as if you are shaking out of breath and say h, h, h

r            Pretend to be a puppy holding a piece of rag, shaking head from side to side, and say rrrrrr.

m          Rub tummy as if seeing tasty food and say mmmmmm.

d           Beat hands up and down as if playing a drum and say d, d, d.

Group 3

g           Spiral hand down, as if water going down the drain, and say g, g, g.

o           Pretend to turn light switch on and off and say o, o, o, o.

u           Pretend to be putting up an umbrella and say u, u, u.

l            Pretend to lick a lollipop and say l, l, l, l, l, l.

f            Let hands gently come together as if toy fish deflating, and say f, f, f, f, f, f.

b           Pretend to hit a ball with a bat and say b, b, b.

Group 4

ai          Cup hand over ear and say ai, ai, ai

j            Pretend to wobble on a plate and say j, j, j.

oa         Bring hand over mouth as if you have done something wrong and say oh!

igh          Stand to attention and salute, saying ie ie.

ee or     Put hands on head as if ears on a donkey and say eeyore, eeyore.

Group 5

z           Put arms out at sides and pretend to be a bee, saying zzzzzz.

w          Blow on to open hand, as if you are the wind, and say wh, wh, wh.

ng         Imagine you are a weightlifter, and pretend to lift a heavy weight above your head, saying ng…

v           Pretend to be holding the steering wheel of a van and say vvvvvv.

oo OO    Move head back and forth as if it is the cuckoo in a cuckoo clock, saying u, oo; u, oo (Little and long oo)

Group 6

y            Pretend to be eating a yoghurt and say y, y, y.

x            Pretend to take an x-ray of someone with an x-ray gun and say ks, ks, ks.

ch          Move arms at sides as if you are a train and say ch, ch, ch.

sh          Place index finger of lips and say sh sh sh.

th th      Pretend to be naughty clowns and stick out tongue a little for the th, and further for the th sounds (this and thumb).

Group 7

qu          Make a duck´s beak with your hands and say qu, qu, qu.

ow          Pretend your finger is a needle and prick thumb saying ou, ou, ou.

oi           Cup hands around mouth and shout to another boat saying oi! Ship ahoy!

ue          Point to people around you and say you, you, you.

er           Roll hands over each other like a mixer and say er er er.

ar           Open mouth wide and say ah.  (UK English).

Jolly Phonics Phase Two

Jolly Phonics is a program designed to help children learn the name and sounds of letters. This video includes all the Jolly Phonic songs from Phase Two, which consists all the letter sounds from A-Z apart from Q as it is a tricky sound and is part of Phase Three as 'qu'. Learn how to articulate all the sounds properly!

Jolly Phonics Phase Three

Phonics - Sounds of the English Alphabetic Code

Synthetic Phonics consultant and programme designer ( ) Debbie Hepplewhite demonstrates the sounds of the English Alphabetic Code. Choose the relevant bits that you might find useful.

Blending Sounds for Reading

Segmenting Words

Oral segmenting example on the video - please try not to focus too much on the accent!

Phonics Terminology


Phoneme - The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (it depends on different accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.


Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough


GPC - This is short for Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. Knowing a GPC means being able to match a phoneme to a grapheme and vice versa.


Digraph - A grapheme containing two letters that makes just one sound (phoneme). E.G. 'ai' in 'pain', 'ee' in 'meet' and 'oa' in 'goat'.


Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes just one sound (phoneme). E.G. 'igh' in 'right', 'ear' in 'tear'.


Oral Blending - This involves hearing phonemes and being able to merge them together to make a word. Children need to develop this skill before they will be able to blend written words.  E.G. orally saying 'c - a - t', and squashing those sounds together to say 'cat'.


Blending- This involves looking at a written word, looking at each grapheme and using knowledge of GPCs to work out which phoneme each grapheme represents and then merging these phonemes together to make a word. This is the basis of reading.  E.G. to read the word 'dog', children would identify each phoneme and say 'd''o''g', we often try to emphasise the first sound in a word as it is easier for children to hear, they should repeat it and squash the sounds together until they hear 'dog'.


Oral Segmenting - This is the act hearing a whole word and then splitting it up into the phonemes that make it. Children need to develop this skill before they will be able to segment words to spell them.  E.G. Children can say the word 'bat', but to write it, just what letters does it need?  This is where the children need to become robots and chop up each part of the sound orally, 'b' 'a' 't'.  


Segmenting - This involves hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes that make it, using knowledge of GPCs to work out which graphemes represent those phonemes and then writing those graphemes down in the right order. This is the basis of spelling.