Understanding how to spell correctly is important in supporting children to organise their thinking around language. Knowing how to apply spelling rules and recognising keywords is empowering for children and supports both their reading and writing. Children are taught to recognise the etymology and morphology of words to support their transcription but also their comprehension.
Spelling in the EYFS and KS1
Within the EYFS and KS1 the focus is on phonics and children are immersed into the world of phonics as soon as they enter school. Part of phonics is learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences supporting their ability to decode (read) and encode (spell). Therefore, in KS1, phonics lessons also act as spelling lessons. Words, with the sound being taught, are sent home weekly to be practised at home and children are then tested on these the following week. We also ensure children are given opportunity to learn and practise the statutory spelling patterns and common exception words as prescribed in the ‘National Curriculum (2014) English Appendix 1: Spelling’ for Year 1 and Year 2.
Spelling in KS2
Within KS2 we follow schemes which ensure the coverage of all statutory spelling patterns and word lists as prescribed in the ‘National Curriculum (2014) English Appendix 1: Spelling’ for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. Children receive weekly spelling lessons giving them the opportunity to think like ‘spelling detectives’; unpick rules and patterns; discuss the meanings of words; and learn ways to embed spellings into their long-term memory. Children are also given a termly standardised test to determine their spelling age and identify spelling pattern gaps. If a child’s spelling age is behind their chronological age, they will receive intervention to address the gaps in their spelling knowledge and catch them up.
Spelling plays a significant part of standardised assessment and is taught weekly throughout the school as well as within phonics to ensure children can confidently record their thoughts and ideas without the disruption of the lack of automaticity. Pupils should be confident to make plausible attempts at spelling and can draw upon the rules and knowledge of exceptions to help them transcribe without interrupting flow while writing. Pupils know how to access resources efficiently to support spelling.