Jolly Phonics

Jolly phonics is probably the most popular phonics programme that is used in infant education in Ireland. It is very much child centred and a multi-sensory approach to teaching literacy. Children learn 42 different letter sounds – the alphabet sounds and other digraphs (2 letters representing one sound) eg sh, ee, ph.

Each letter sound is taught using stories, actions, sounds and songs.

The sounds are taught in a specific sequence so that words can be made easily – eg: s, a, t, i, p, n

These letters can be put together (known as blending) to make words eg pan, tin, sat.

Children are also taught to break sounds up in words – segmenting eg: s-a-t.

Running alongside learning these 42 sounds, the children learn ‘tricky’ words – these are irregular words that can’t be just sounded out eg does, who, many.

Some good websites to help you understand further: and

Also most of the songs and lessons are available on YouTube too.

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