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I have a boy in my new class who has learnt letterland in his previous setting.

He recognises at least 10 letters by their letterland name.

Does letterland have any phonic basis?


Only 1 other boy has any phonic knowledge. A few others know a few letter names and may recognise letters as 'my name'.


I have never understood the logic of letterland, in fact was instrumental in moving away from it when I joined my school several years ago SO does anyone know how I can expect this boy to react to jolly phonics, is he basically a non starter with phonics, as the majority, or will I need to beware of causing confusion?

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I don't use Letter Land at school, but have some of the stories that we read occasionally.


All the characters have names that have the appropriate grapheme/phoneme link, such as munching mike and kicking king, and the stories are full of alliteration. Would encouraging him to listen for the initial sound of the characters name help?


We find that parents have often encouraged their child to recognise letter shapes by the letter names, as many parents are unfamiliar with phonics. Therefore, we teach letter sounds and names straight away, emphasising sounds due to their usefulness!!

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Hi Everyone

We successfully combine the use of letterland and phonics i.e. by introducing the Letterland characters and saying "Annie Apple says 'a'", "Bouncey Ben says 'b'". We have found that the children take this on board. :D We have used this approach instead of the jolly phonics as we found some parents were already introducing their children to Letterland and were famiiar with some of the characters.

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Letterland does have a phonics base, and is designed for the chidlren to learn the letter sound along with the character. However, some children focus so much on the character that the sound is somewhat lost on them. It sounds like this is what the child in your class has done.


I would follow Jolly Phonics with him along with the other children. He will draw on what he knows from Letterland, and can be reassured, eg "yes, you're right, that is Sammy Snake, and he says 'ssss'" - then get on with the Jolly Phonics activity. He will maybe forget the Letterland characters, or not. It doesn't really matter, as long as he grasps the phonetic connection. It does matter, thuogh, for his self esteem, that what he has learned from Letterland, even if it is just character names, is acknowledged as an achievement.


Each of these schemes has its strengths, and Letterland can work beautifully - as long as it is followed correctly and proper emphasis is given to the meanign of the lesson, not just the lovely stories! For some children, however, I used to find that a move away from LL became necessary if they became too focused on the characters and story and were missing the phonics.


Hope this helps



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