Jolly Phonics Authors

Sue Lloyd

Sue Lloyd taught for over 20 years in Woods Loke Primary School (Suffolk). Within her school, she began to use phonic methods, and developed and improved them from research, advice and the practical experience she and her colleagues gained. She has been the author of many phonics books and resources in the Jolly Phonics programme, and is viewed as an expert in her field. She travels the world giving synthetic phonics training and advising literacy policy. 

A message from Sue Lloyd : (click arrow to expand)

When I started teaching at Woods Loke Primary School, Suffolk, UK in the late 1970s, the method of teaching reading was ‘Look and Say’, where children were expected to look at whole words and memorise each one. In order to try and reduce the number of underachievers, our school introduced synthetic phonics. Immediately we noticed a huge improvement in all the children.

The next breakthrough came from a research project. The children were taught to hear and identify the sounds in words at the same time as they were being taught the letter sounds. By the end of the year, all the teachers involved felt that these children were a year ahead of where they would have been if we had not changed our method of teaching. On standardised reading tests our children were a year ahead, and best of all, there were very few underachievers.

In the 1980s, most schools in the UK followed the ‘Real Book’ approach, where children use readers from the start and are expected to work out themselves how the letters make up words. At our school we did not go down this route. We spent our time developing and improving the phonic method of teaching that had brought us such good results. Results in other schools started dropping but our results stayed high.

Sara wernham

Sara Wernham is a primary/elementary school teacher at Woods Loke Primary School in Lowestoft, England. She developed Jolly Phonics with Sue Lloyd.

A message from Sara Wernham : (click arrow to expand)

Phonics first made an impact on my life when I joined the reception class at Woods Loke Primary School in Suffolk, UK.I had no experience at all of how to teach reading, as this was not taught at my teacher training college.

Fortunately for me the school had already begun to develop a reading programme that later developed into The Phonics Handbook. I didn’t have much confidence at the start, as I had never come across such a method. When I was at school, I was taught the ‘Look and Say’ method of trying to memorise whole words. Consequently, I had a lot of difficulty with spelling when I was at school. As the term progressed, the reading and writing ability of the children I was teaching grew rapidly. I was amazed by how much could be achieved by teaching letter sounds that the children blended together to make words. It was a complete revelation to me. I felt like I was learning to read and write along with my first class.


Jolly Music Authors

 David Vinden

After studying at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Holloway College, David taught for six years before embarking on two years of study at The Kodály Institute, in Hungary. On returning he worked at the Purcell School, becoming its director. He co-founded the Kodály Centre of London in 1992.

He now lectures at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity College of Music in London and teaches for the Colourstrings UK. He is in demand the word over as a leading Kodály exponent.

Cyrilla Rowsell

After 11 years as a primary teacher, Cyrilla specialised in music education and is now one of the most experienced practitioners of the Kodály approach in the country. She is in great demand not only as a teacher, but also as a trainer and advisor to schools and education authorities.

Currently Cyrilla teaches in the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is tutor for the British Kodály Academy, for whom she teaches musicianship, methodology and conducting. She teaches musicianship to adults of all ages.