I have recommended that the school who asked for my help goes with Jolly Phonics because the interactive IWB resources are excellent and I have written a total program for the first year of school. There are a number of other schools in the local area that also use JP so the teachers have the opportunity to establish a little JP community.
Sadly the school has gone with another phonics program because there is some 'stigma' attached to JP in the school community, i.e. amongst the staff and parents. I have no idea what that means and I didn't ask because they have made up their minds so it's irrelevant.
I won't mention the name of the program but it is not synthetic phonics as described by Elizabeth. I have come across this type of thinking often because there is no guidance and as Yvonne says
For the sake of the next generation I can only hope that Yvonne is right... the reason teachers insist that children can't learn phonics at the speed that is required for the program to be effective is that they can't teach it. The just published review of the National Curriculum makes the point that out teachers received Whole Language/constructivist instruction when they were at school and can't teach what they themselves don't know.
but I won't hold my breath. I got my hopes up back in 2005 when our National Inquiry into Literacy recommended systematic phonics. It's coming up to 10 years next year. In the media you constantly hear that phonics is being taught but it's not. I hope I see it happen before I'm 6 foot under!!I would point out to anyone who gets defensive about synthetic phonics that it will be required once the revised National Curriculum is published, most likely in 2016.
Thanks again everyone.