Learning English though Jolly Phonics Program
PCF AMK-Hougang Blk 970 differentiates itself from others with its teaching methods where Jolly Phonics is integrated into its main curriculum and not after-class enrichment programme. Since 2003, Ms. Shamsiah Binte A. M. Ibrahim, the centre’s Principal, has introduced Jolly Phonics as it is proven to help students in reading with better identification of alphabets through sounds. It helps to break down difficult words and improves spelling. Jolly Phonics lessons are conducted with jingles and songs to capture students’ interest and allow them to remember better.
The Jolly Phonics lessons are provided to students as young as nursery to K2. As according to Ms. Shamsiah, “It is best to start as early as possible.” The Jolly Phonics has 7 books for each year and covers all alphabets in nursery to grammar in K2. To support the Jolly Phonics curriculum, the teachers create their own worksheets for students to practice. For nursery students, they will have pre-writing skills where they learn to draw straight lines and gradually they will learn to trace and write alphabets. For kindergarteners, they will have a grammar book to recognise things like nouns and adjectives in addition to practising writing worksheets.
For nursery, they will learn 26 alphabets first through songs. What is interesting that every alphabet has action so it easier for them to recall. For example, the letter has a phonic sound of “s” and the corresponding movement action is to move like a snake.
“I find that jolly phonics systematically plan to make it easier for children to learn. It’s something different. Learning letters in a different way that teach them on how to make the words,” said Ms. Shamsiah.
To further emphasize the importance of reading, the school participated in FLAiR programme where K2 students with lower English reading and writing scores are given extra help. “Feedbacks from parents have been positive as the child improves a lot,” said Ms. Shamsiah. The school has also invested in books throughout the years. Besides receiving books from NLB every term through its partnership, the school actively source the books on their own. “The main foundation is to learn to read and expose them to language,” said Ms. Shamsiah.
Besides investing in books, the centre also invests in educational toys to enhance students’ learning. When children play with toys, they are observed to see whether they achieve the intended goals. Thereafter, this will be recorded in the student’s portfolio. For example, in the number fishing boat toy, children are expected to catch a fish and tell the teacher the number on the fish’s body to see whether they recognise numbers. Students also play with Veritech IQ games which “expose them to critical thinking” said Ms. Shamsiah.
The school’s mathematics lessons are also towards hands-on assessments by using “Growing with Mathematics” lessons. The teaching methods are progressively planned that focuses on concept building and hands-on activities. Students are given samples to practise on. “My school‘s enrolment is good due to all of these curriculums (Jolly phonics and Growing with Mathematics). There is no extra charge as this is to support children’s learning,” said Ms. Shamsiah.