SOUND SCHOOL

Reporter: Marguerite McKinnon

Synthetic Phonics or Jolly Phonics a system that is revolutionising the way Australian Children are learning to read and write.

At Peakhurst South Primary School, in Southern Sydney, Deputy Principal, Anna Matejka proudly boasts that within five weeks of beginning Kindergarten, all students in the class will not only be reading and writing fundamentally, but some will have excelled to read and write at a grade two level.

While most schools in Australia teach Analytical phonics using sounds based on the 26 letters of the alphabet, Synthetic Phonics are based on 42 simple sounds, the 'sounds of English'. Whereas Analytical Phonics teaches English through sight- the difference with Synthetic Phonics is each sound is given an action, and the child learns to associate the pair. Despite it's success, few Australian schools have embraced Synthetic Phonics, which is now standard syllabus in the United Kingdom.

Synthetic Phonics ignores the outdated teaching mode where a child learnt every letter by its name.

For Instance, the letter 'a' should be called 'a' (as in ant) and not 'ai' (as in aim).

Synthetic Phonics is used at various schools around the country, however, analytical phonics is more widely taught. Children read faster under using Jolly Phonics because they learn to break up work into sounds. Spelling and writing are also taught concurrently.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Matejka - Deputy Principal at Peakhurst South Primary School. All emails will be answered.

anicka@optusnet.com.au <mailto:anicka@optusnet.com.au>