With the new National Curriculum comes an even greater push for spelling accuracy. There is now a wide and challenging collection of words for children to understand, spell and adopt in their written work. This page should give you a flavour of how we are preparing our children to be confident writers and spellers.
Why Do We Teach Spelling?
When we enable children to spell and spell with confidence we equip them with a life skill that is highly valued by employers.
The demands of the new Primary Curriculum mean that we need to move beyond weekly tests and help children use these words more than once a week. Spelling now makes up around a third of the end of Key Stage assessment, along with grammar, punctuation and handwriting.
Children who receive regular “Guided Spelling” sessions enjoy investigating spelling rules and spotting patterns. They speak of having fun yet learning at the same time.
How Do We Teach Spelling?
Children have a daily Guided Spelling session within school. These lessons consist of 10-20 minutes of spelling activities and allow children to investigate and learn the rules, strategies and meanings behind the words taught each week.
For all spelling activities children are encouraged to use joined up handwriting. This allows the brain to memorise the movement and pattern in writing as well as remembering the lettering itself.
The Guided Spelling week, spelling within class, is broken down into three elements. They are ‘Guided Group Work’, ‘Dictionary Work’ and ‘Choice Activities’.
How Can I Help My Child with Spelling?
You can help your child at home by helping them to learn to use the new words they are learning in context. Help them to understand what each word means and how it can be used day to day and in their written work.
You could also ask them to explain to you any patterns and spelling rules they have identified.
Guided Group Work
Children should have spelling sessions in class, guided by the class teacher, within the school day. These consist of ten to twenty minutes of spelling activities and allow children to investigate and learn the rules, strategies and meanings behind the words taught each week.
Once a week children must complete dictionary work to help understand the meaning of words they are studying. Once they have located words and researched their meaning they write sentences to show the words in context. Children are then encouraged to use these new words in their wider weekly writing tasks.
On the other three days of the week, children continue to work with the same spellings, completing activities that allow them to grasp an understanding of both the context in which words are used, how they are spelt and in some cases the origin of the word. There are a number of tasks which children can choose from.