The Jolly Phonics Grammar Programme comprises six years’ worth of grammar, spelling and punctuation teaching. It is intended to follow on from an initial year of synthetic phonics teaching, and spans the remaining six years of primary school, developing the children’s knowledge of spelling and introducing them to grammar and punctuation.
By helping them to understand the structure of the language and encouraging them to think about the words they use, the Jolly Phonics Grammar material will ensure that the children become better communicators in their writing, in their speech, and in their understanding of others.
The Jolly Phonics Grammar Programme teaches the ‘structure’ aspects of literacy: grammar, spelling and punctuation. By covering these ‘structure’ aspects of literacy, it is intended to:
- Reinforce and extend the children’s phonics knowledge;
- Teach spelling systematically;
- Expand vocabulary and improve comprehension;
- Introduce parts of speech and verb tenses;
- Introduce morphemes, such as prefixes and suffixes;
- Enable children to analyse and parse text;
- Introduce syntax and sentence structure;
- Develop the children’s use of punctuation;
- Develop the children’s dictionary and thesaurus.
Though the Jolly Phonics Grammar Programme does not, by itself, constitute a complete literacy programme, but takes an even broader view of grammar incorporating not only syntax, morphology, phonology, semantics, but also spelling and punctuation. The reason for this becomes clear when one can start to look at the extent to which grammatical rules affect how words are spelt and how text is punctuated. For instance, when a regular verb, such as ‘walk’, is used in the simple past tense instead of the simple present tense (a grammatical change), it is indicated by adding the suffix (-ed) to the verb root, as in ‘walked’ (a corresponding change in spelling). For example, if we change ‘While John sang, Jane played the flute’ to ‘John sang. Jane played the flute’, we must also replace the comma with a full stop or a semi colon (a change in punctuation). Crossover areas like these are very common, and it is for this reason that Jolly Phonics covers grammar, spelling and punctuation together in its Grammar Programme.
The grammatical definitions (for example, those of the parts of speech and of what constitutes a sentence) are presented necessarily age-appropriate leading to expansion and refinement of those definitions as children progress through the programme and develop in their understanding. In this way, the teaching in grammar programme builds up the children’s knowledge logically and progressively starting with simple concepts and expanding the children’s understanding a bit at a time. Because each year of grammar teaching builds upon the foundations laid by the previous year’s teaching which shows the significance of prior learning and this proves a key to development of language skills.
Looking further reveals another great strength of Jolly Phonics Grammar Programme, that each lesson follows a structure that quickly becomes familiar to teacher and pupils. For teacher, it is simple to grasp the main theme of the lesson prior to teaching it and to use the lesson plan provided to teach it effectively. For pupils, the structure provides a sense of security- they will revise, cover the main points of the new lesson and then apply their learning through activities, worksheets and games to embed learning, which they would love it.
The grammar lessons can be followed as they are written because they are very well-designed, cohesive and structured enabling teachers to spend time differentiating activities for active learning and devise additional, skill-building tasks for children to ensure their own learning process. This practice allows students to receive instruction in a variety of formats: whole class, individual, guided practice, paper/pencil and multimedia.
The Jolly Phonics and Grammar material are designed to cater for all learners through their multi-sensory approach whether pupils are visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learners, their needs are met through the actions, songs, colours and activities, so boys as well as girls, pupils with additional support needs, children for whom English is a second language and adult learners all benefit from this comprehensive and potent programme.
This shows that Jolly Phonics Grammar Programme has something for everyone and will make learning fun and helps to create better readers and writers.