Why SPELD SA Supports Jolly Phonics

Reading research and a comparative time sampling study Clackmannanshire Study indicated that three factors made a significant difference to students’ reading and spelling achievement. 

  • The type of phonic program taught - a systematic synthetic program with direct and explicit phonics instruction so that children master the essential alphabetic code-breaking skills required for foundational reading proficiency.
  • The amount of time spent actively learning synthetic phonics in the classroom  - 20 minutes each day
  • A belief that each child can learn to read and write regardless of background

One introductory reading program that includes these three factors taught in fun, multisensory lessons, is Jolly Phonics.

1. What is important to teach?

  • Synthetic Phonics (including all activities involving print, letter-sound correspondences, blending, segmenting, detecting sounds in words, all with the printed form of the word)
  • letter formation instruction (which involves talking about the shapes of letters, writing letters and words in the context of learning letter-sound relationships)

2. How long do students need to spend actively involved in these activities?

  • Phonics. A minimum of 20 minutes/day made a difference. This did not include support time spent at home (which was not measured)
  • Letter formation. Here, a minimum of 15 minutes/week made a significant difference to students’ reading and spelling achievement

3. Is there a magic ingredient?

It would seem that there is. For best results, reading instruction for young children should include an element of fun. In one study, the Jolly Phonics sound actions were predictive of achievement over and above achievement related to letter-sound learning activities.

4. Do I need to buy all the resources as I have a limited budget?

No, you don't need to buy all the resources. Click here for a list that will help you make the most of your budget.

5. The Australian Curriculum V8.3 Content Comparison with Jolly Phonics/ Jolly Grammar

Those who are using, or thinking of using the Jolly Phonics and Jolly programs may find this chart with a comparison of the Australian Curriculum V8.3 Content with Jolly Phonics/ Jolly Grammar. The chart was made by Jan Polkinghorne after many queries from schools and teachers.

Click here to download a comparison of the Australian Curriculum V8.3 Content with Jolly Phonics/ Jolly Grammar

We have also included a chart from Jolly Learning (this pdf is for the national curriculum in England not Aust) in the links below.

Click here to download a Jolly Phonics UK National Curriculum spread

Find out more about Jolly Phonics

SPELD SA is generously supported by

thyne reid foundation Education Logo CMYK H Large australian executor trustees

SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the support of the Douglas Whiting Trust in the development of this website.

More benefactors and supporters

We are a proud member of AUSPELD


AUSPELD is a member of the IDA Global Partners Program