At St Jérôme School children begin learning phonics in Reception with a daily small group phonics lesson. These lessons continue in Year 1 and 2 until children are confident in using their phonological knowledge to read and write words accurately. At St Jérôme School we use the Jolly Phonics programme to teach phonics in English.

Jolly Phonics is a comprehensive programme, based on the proven, fun and muliti-sensory synthetic phonics method that gets children reading and writing from an early age. This means that we teach letter sounds as opposed to the alphabet. These 42 letter sounds are phonic building blocks that children, with the right tools, use to decode the English language. When reading a word, they recognise the letters and blend together the respective sounds; when writing a word, they identify the sounds and write down the corresponding letters.

88% of children at St Jérôme School achieved the required standard in the phonic screening test in Year 1 in 2018. This is above local and national levels and indicates the strength of our stage and not age phonics teaching.

Each year we offer opportunities for parents to come into school to find out more about how we teach phonics and how parents can help at home. Our most recent presentation can be downloaded here.

Children begin learning French phonics formally in Year 1. They begin by learning the vowel sounds and then continue to learn the full 36 letter sounds of the French language. At St Jérôme School we use an innovative colour coding methodology ‘l’alphabet coloré’ pioneered by our Lead Teacher for French and Bilingual Curriculum that ensures children are able to accurately decode and pronounce French words. As our children are taught by French native speakers, who are strong models of spoken language, they develop an authentic accent and speak with confidence. Children are able to identify words in English and French that are identical, similar and different.