Accurate spelling is a life skill and forms part of the cultural capital we wish to help our children acquire. As a result, spelling is actively taught across the school and, alongside handwriting and punctuation, is regarded as a key transcriptional skill.
We are committed to giving children the tools they need to succeed in spelling. Once their phonemic knowledge is secure, we use Year 2- 6 Spelling Programme developed by the North Somerset Learning Exchange to teach spelling.
This progressive programme is designed to deliver a systematic, explicit and interactive approach to spelling, which encourages children to develop an understanding of how the English spelling system works through investigation and application. Children become familiar with Milton's eight 'BIG Spelling Rules' which they can use whenever they approach an unfamiliar word. A copy of the progression can be viewed below.
From Year 2 to onwards, we teach children the morphology of words (how words are structured and related to one other by a combination of form, grammar and meaning). Children are supported in their understanding of basic morphological principles which they can apply to the spellings of over half a million words. This has been shown to be far more effective than learning spelling lists, which are then quickly forgotten.
Where words are irregular, and do not follow the rules, we use etymology (the stories behind the spelling of certain words) and graphic strategies to help children to learn these spellings.
Daily spelling sessions include an opportunity to revisit previous learning, acquire new learning about spelling rule and finally to practice and apply this learning.
As part of the National Curriculum, children are expected to learn compulsory lists of spellings. These words are ones which are used a lot or may be especially tricky to spell. It is expected that all children will be able to spell these words by the time they leave primary school.
In addition, there are two sets of high frequency words which are taught in Key Stage 1 (KS1). By the beginning of Year 3, all children should be able to spell the words on the KS1 lists.
We teach the Y3/4/5/6 lists through our regular spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons. These words can now be viewed using the links below.
Effective and efficient use of a dictionary forms part of our English teaching and children have access to dictionaries at all times.
Where children have particular barriers in relation to spelling, specific, targeted interventions are used to support them build accuracy and confidence.
Children are assessed in spelling using diagnostic tests twice a year. The results of these tests are used to inform future planning to ensure we address any gaps in understanding.
There is an expectation that children will spell the words they know how to spell correctly in every piece of written work and teachers give feedback to children on this basis. Where a spelling rule has not been taught or a word is completely new to the child, they have access to the resources that will allow a plausible attempt at that spelling.