Jelly and Bean

History

The first Jelly and Bean books were written in 1998 to accompany the National Literacy Strategy. They were developed with the help of staff and pupils at Saltergate Infant School and Beckwithshaw Primary School in Harrogate. In 2000 they were discovered by the Special Educational Needs advisory teachers in North Yorkshire and Leeds. These advisory teachers recommended them to other local schools. Between 2000 and 2005 their use spread across schools in all areas of the UK and also worldwide.

Jelly and Bean Ltd was set up in January 2006. The company moved to business premises overlooking the fields at Follifoot Ridge Business Park in 2007. The view from the office window became the inspiration for the Follifoot Farm stories published later in 2010.

The Rose Report was also published in 2006. This report advised schools that children should be taught to read using systematic phonics and that they should be given phonically 'decodable' books. The Jelly and Bean books fitted this recommendation and more schools in the UK began using them.

The Department of Education launched their phonic programme Letters and Sounds in the autumn of 2007. The phonic progression of Letters and Sounds was not the same as that of the National Literacy Strategy. The main change was that children were now to be taught one spelling of each of the 44 phonemes of the English language in the Reception Year.

Some of these letter/sound correspondences, GPCs, had not previously been taught until Years 1 and 2. This new initiative meant that the order of introduction of graphemes and phonemes in our books was not the same as the order set out in Letters and Sounds (2007)

By revising the language and vocabulary in our books and republishing them in different series we brought the phonic progression in our stories more into line with the phonic progression of Letters and Sounds.

We also published new series for Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds. Follifoot Farm Series 1 was published early in 2010. This was closely followed by Follifoot Farm Series 2, published later the same year.

However, at this time, teachers were asking for more books for Phonic Phase 2. The First Words Series was devised to accommodate this demand and was published in 2010 also.

More stories suitable for children in Year 1 were devised next. The Early Vowels Combinations Series was published in 2011 to include the vowel graphemes 'ai, oo, ea, ie, y, oa'.

In 2011, one of the stories from the original Long Vowel Series (The Cave) was used as the basis for a series of six books containing words with the split-digraphs 'a-e, i-e, o-e'. This series, Follifoot Farm Series 3 was co-authored by Joe Greenwood, then aged 10.

The Tom and Bella characters were devised in 2012 by James Greenwood. Three series of books about the playful and amusing incidents between this pair of children were written and illustrated for the Phonic Phases 2 and 3 level. 

In 2014 we purchased and moved into our new office and warehouse buiding in Beech Avenue, Harrogate.

In 2015 we added Tom and Bella Series 4 to our collection of books for children in Year 1 reading at the blue book-band level.

In 2019 we added the My First Animals Series to our collecion of books. This series introduced animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, hippos, crocodiles where the single vowel letters in their names have 'long vowel' pronunciations. Whilst the number of words in the books may be suitable for the children in the Reception Year, the phonic content of the books is more suitable for children in Year 1.

In 2020 we added Alfie's Adventure to our collection of books for the green book-band level. This is the first series in which children encounter stories written completely in the past tense.

In 2021 we added Vowel Graphemes Sets 1 and 2 to the red book-band level to ensure that children had reading material for all the Phonic Phase 3 vowel graphemes. This gave teachers the ability to use these books with children at the appropriate time in their teaching sequence of these graphemes.

In 2022 we added the Alfie and Harpo Series. These are six separate stories for the blue book-band level about a young elephant, Alfie, and a young hippo, Harpo, who become friends down by the river.

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