Thomas Jolyffe Primary School

Thomas Jolyffe Primary School

Phonics. Early reading and writing.

At Thomas Jolyffe, we use the Bug Club Phonics programme. This is a Department For Education validated systematic synthetic phonics (*SSP) teaching programme. Following a SSP, with fidelity, ensures high-quality phonics teaching and improved literacy abilities. Our approach to phonics teaching is therefore rigorous and systematic, helping to achieve strong results for all.  


*A complete SSP programme is one that provides:

-All that’s essential to teach SSP to children in reception and key stage 1 years of mainstream primary schools

-Sufficient support for children in reception and key stage 1 to become fluent readers

-A structured route for most children to meet or exceed the expected standard in the year 1 phonics screening check

-All national curriculum expectations for word reading through decoding by the end of key stage 1.

Developing Fine Motor Skills with Scissors

Learning to cut using scissors develops your child’s fine motor skills and coordination.

As they are developing muscles they haven’t used in this way before, it requires lots and lots of practice.

Be patient and encouraging as you help them learn to use scissors.


Early childhood is the time to build basic skills- mental and physical.

These basic skills are essential because they form the foundation upon which all the rest of your child’s education and development is built on.

Using scissors is a mental and physical activity that helps bridge the two and develop strength and coordination.


Use the following guide to get started.


Strengthen hands and fingers

First, it’s important to build the muscles in your child’s hands and fingers.

Choose some fun activities that focus on squeezing their hands and using their fingers. It will also begin to build their coordination. Activities could include playing with a top, using salad tongs to pick things up, playing with water squirt toys, playing with finger puppets, and tearing paper into pieces. You’re building their dexterity and fine motor skills.


Increase hand-eye coordination

Cutting with scissors gives your child the opportunity to use both hands together while tracking with their eyes. Activities to build their skills prior to cutting include tearing paper into small pieces, throwing and catching a ball, puzzles, and playing with Lego.


Develop bilateral coordination

Bilateral coordination refers to using both sides of your body simultaneously while your hands are doing different things. This is developed while using scissors. Your child will have to hold the paper with one hand while cutting with scissors with the other, perhaps while following a line. Activities you can do with your child to develop bilateral coordination include punching holes in paper and placing clothes pegs around a paper plate.    `


Choose optimal scissors

Try to match the size of the scissors as close to your child’s hand size as possible. Choose scissors with a blunt point, but that are sharp enough to cut and not merely fold the paper. (Purchase special children's scissors) 


Safety first

Communicate and demonstrate scissor safety often while working with young children. You may feel like you’re being repetitive, but that’s okay because they need it. Begin with the basics such as the purpose of scissors. Scissors are for cutting paper and nothing else. Teach your child how to pass a pair of scissors safely. 

They cannot use scissors without an adult until you feel they’re ready. NEVER walk with scissors in your hand.

‘Children are captivated by their learning’, ‘The well-being of pupils is at the heart of the school’, ‘School is a calm place - pupils are polite, courteous and well-mannered.'