Advancing Reading Skills with Jolly Phonics: The Happy Ladybird Approach

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  • 09 Jan, 2024
  • 2 Mins Read

Advancing Reading Skills with Jolly Phonics: The Happy Ladybird Approach

Welcome back to our literacy series at Happy Ladybird. Building on our previous discussion about the foundations of reading through blending, we now turn to the next steps in a child’s reading adventure. Once your little one grasps the concept of joining two sounds, the world of words begins to unfurl before their eyes. Let’s delve into how we use the versatility of vowels and the structure of Jolly Phonics to guide this exciting journey.

The Versatility of Vowels

Vowels are the agile gymnasts of the alphabet, often flexing between sounds and positions within words. To foster this understanding, we might present a child with flashcards, focusing on the vowel ‘a’. The child experiments by placing ‘a’ at the beginning to form ‘app’ or at the end to create ‘pa’. This playful exploration of sound positions not only cements their grasp of vowels but also sparks their creativity in forming words.

The Power of Three: Expanding to Trigraphs

Once the child is comfortable with two sounds, we introduce a third, moving from digraphs to trigraphs. With only the six sounds from the first group of Jolly Phonics—such as ‘p’, ‘a’, and ‘t’—we can already form words like ‘pat’. Through repetition and encouragement, the child learns to identify each sound confidently and blend them into a coherent word.

The Role of Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is crucial for reading success. We enhance this by engaging the child in identifying the beginning sounds of everyday objects. Take, for instance, a bottle. By isolating the initial sound ‘b’, the child starts connecting how letters represent sounds in the world around them.

Solidifying Sound Knowledge

After mastering beginning sounds, we shift focus to the final sounds in words. Here, we utilize CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words as a teaching tool. This framework helps the child to isolate and recognize the sounds at the end of words, an essential skill for both reading and spelling.


At Happy Ladybird, our phonics-driven approach is about more than just learning to read; it’s about instilling a love for the structure and beauty of language. By breaking down the process into understandable and engaging steps, we ensure that children not only learn to read but also to enjoy the rich tapestry of text they encounter. Stick with us for more tips and tricks, and watch your child bloom into a confident reader, one sound at a time.

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