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New Spelling Approach

Term 3 sees the start of a new way of teaching spelling at St Stephen's. We are adopting a system pioneered by the North Somerset Learning Exchange that helps to make sense of English spelling and provides strategies and ways of understanding to help pupils learn the rules of our spelling system.


Like many new ideas, this will take some time to become embedded and for pupils to become used to it, but we are confident that it will really make a difference to the spelling skills and attainment of all pupils.  One of the things that is particularly different is that pupils will no longer be tested on a list of words sent home the previous week.  Instead, they will be learning a spelling rule or pattern and will be tested on that using any words that may use that particular pattern or rule.  For example, if we are learning the 'ea' sound, children may be given ear, reach and leaf to practise, but might be tested on tea, beans and treacle.  Testing will usually take place every other week but may be more frequent so it important to keep asking your child to check their spelling log.


The system will involve the use of phonics, graphic strategies (different ways to write words to aid memory and morphological understanding (how and why English words are spelled the way they are) to teach spelling.


Each child was sent home with a spelling pack which included a grapheme chart, spelling lists and some helpful hints on how to approach and practise spelling at home.  At school the pupils are encouraged to use different methods to help them learn their spellings, and grapheme charts are available on their tables.



Statutory spellings


As part of the new National Curriculum children are expected to learn compulsory lists of spellings. These words are ones which are used a lot or may be tricky to spell. It is expected that all children will be able to spell these words by the time they leave Junior School. 


In addition there are two sets of high frequency words which are taught in KS1. By the beginning of Year 3 all children should be able to spell the words on these lists.


We are teaching the Y3/4/5/6 lists through our regular spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons and Spellanywhere lists. These words can now be viewed using the links below. We hope this will give you a clear understanding of what we expect in terms of progress and achievement in spelling through KS2.