We have recently reviewed the way we teach spellings at The Lanes Primary School. We are reviewing the teaching and learning of spelling in school to ensure that children can spell well by the time they leave us in Year 6.
Phonics is taught in Reception to Year 2. Once children have passed the phonics test in Year 1 the emphasis moves onto the teaching of spelling patterns and rules.
Every child in school from Year 1 – 6 (Reception in the summer term) has a spelling book to take home. This book is kept in their reading folder and needs to be in school every day. The spellings book contains the spellings that the children need to learn each week. We ask that parents and carers spend five to ten minutes each week practising these spellings with their child. There are lots of suggestions about how to do this in the ‘Spell Well’ booklet which you can find at the bottom of this page.
In addition spelling is taught regularly in class. This gives the children the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and to be praised for their efforts. In addition, it also allows class teachers to see the progress they are making at home through the words that have been highlighted and any comments that have been made. Progress in spelling is assessed each half term.
A spelling test is held each week in every class and a spelling trophy is awarded to the class with the highest percentage of correct spellings or the class that has made the most improvement.
The teachers select the appropriate words for the children to learn to spell. We are trialling a scheme called ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ across school. This links closely to the national curriculum and the expectations are clearly set out for each year group.
All children learn to spell at their own pace and this will be reflected in the number of words given and the frequency with which new spellings are set. For example if a child is given ten spellings to learn in a week but is able to learn only five they may not be given new spellings to learn for the following week in order to give them more time to learn the ones they have already. Also sometimes children find it difficult to retain spellings in their long term memory so they are sometimes asked to revisit a word from a previous list. It is far better for children to be able to recall fewer words quickly than being able to spell lots of words but need to take a minute to stop and think. This is because quick recall makes spellings almost second nature and therefore aids fluency in writing.
We very much appreciate all the support that is given at home to help your child to learn their spellings. Practising at home is benefical, not only in that it helps improve their spelling skills, but also their ability to express themselves in writing and their self confidence in this subject.