We aim for all of our pupils to be competent spellers and therefore focus our teaching on phonic spelling patterns, spelling rules and ensuring children are confident with the spelling of ‘tricky’ words. We follow the spelling guidance set out in the 2014 National Curriculum.
For the first two years of school life, in Reception and Year 1, pupils are taught to spell in two ways. Firstly, to use and apply the phonics they have been taught. They are encouraged to break down the word orally and hear the sounds within. Displays in the classroom support this process and encourage independence. Alongside this, they learn that some words are "tricky" and are called "tricky words" because they are not phonically decodable. Children are taught to learn these by "sight reading" and to not segment them. These words are taught as part of the daily phonics lesson.
From Year 2 onwards, up until Year 6, pupils have No Nonsense Spelling lessons four days a week. These lessons last no more than 15 mins and are designed to help children unravel the spelling of difficult words in various ways- by looking at the "shape" of a word, by seeking out patterns and rules, by musing on the origins of a word (etymology) and by noticing exceptions to rules. At the end of the week, children are assessed on a list of words, that is sent home for spelling homework. These are words that have already been taught as part of the No Nonsense spelling programme.
Here are some tips for supporting your child with learning their spellings at home.