At Elburton Primary School, we encourage our children to think and write creatively, be adventurous with their use of language and to write with clear purpose and for pleasure. In order for these aims to be achieved, it is essential that our children learn to spell accurately. Children who can spell feel confident and are able to write with enjoyment. We want our children to be equipped with a range of strategies for learning spelling and to be able to apply their strategies when spelling words in their independent writing.
In September 2022, we introduced the Spelling Programme at Elburton Primary School from Year 2 to 6 for the following reasons-:
- To enable to allow us meet the spelling expectations of the National Curriculum 2014
- To raise standards in spelling
- To provide consistency and progression in the teaching of spelling
- To help support children to enable them to be more confident at spelling.
By following the RWInc Spelling scheme, we aim to:
- To teach spelling systematically throughout the school;
- To teach Phonological Awareness, Word Recognition, Graphic Knowledge and Spelling Knowledge through the use of ‘Read Write Inc’ scheme of work;
- To encourage children to develop and learn a personal bank of frequently used words, as indicated in the English National Curriculum 2014;
- To teach the High Frequency words and Statutory Words for their year group known as red and orange words.
- To equip children with the strategies to tackle unknown words independently and sensibly, thus avoiding dependence upon the teacher;
- To make children aware of the writing process so that they can write fluently, confidently and independently, concentrating on spelling when and where it is appropriate.
- To ensure children edit their work to address spelling errors both following teacher guidance through marking and independently.
- To have access to dictionaries and thesauruses to aid word choice and the use of accurate spellings.
- To complete regular assessments to track progress and retention of key spelling patterns.
RWInc Spelling is an interactive programme which teaches spellings in a fun and engaging way. Each unit is introduced with a short video. It helps children to learn spellings with common patterns and uses rules in order to help them recall spellings as well as teaching exceptions to these rules.
Individual workbooks (practice books) allow children to practise their spellings and the teaching naturally follows on from the Spell Review part of the RWInc phonics programme taught as soon as the children enter preschool Elburton. Therefore, the children are already proficient at using dots (for individual sounds) and dashes (for digraphs) and prefixes and suffixes can be added to root words to help them to spell with greater accuracy, understanding and confidence. The practice book is used in the daily spelling lessons and gives the children opportunities to develop their knowledge of the spelling pattern taught throughout the unit.
All children have log books and these are important in helping them to practise the spellings they need to learn from each unit. Each unit explains the rules and gives handy tips and rhymes for remembering these. During the week the children will log the spellings they found tricky. At the beginning of the unit, they will do speed spell which will assess their ability to spell words with the previous weeks spelling pattern correctly. Again, they will log any words that were misspelt from this activity.
The children are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the spelling pattern through consolidation activities: word lists set on Spelling Shed, Look, Cover, Write & Check sheets (which forms part of the children’s home learning) and work in their log books.
As children’s knowledge of spelling patterns increases, their confidence in spelling also increases. This will be reflected in the children’s written word choice as they will be able to select more ambitious vocabulary and make plausible attempts at spelling the words correctly. The number of errors in their written work will reduce as they develop a larger bank of words they can spell correctly.
At the end of each unit, children are tested on the week’s spelling pattern.
Throughout the year, there are formal testing periods and children are tested in accordance with the RWInc Spelling programme of study. This enables teachers to track progress and prioritise words incorrectly spelt to revisit through ‘speed spell’ activities.
To view our spelling policy and view the subject progression click on the links on the website.
Supporting your child at home
There are a number of ways in which you can support your child’s spelling at home. Here are some handy hints:
- Make sure that the log book is used to practise the tricky spellings regularly.
- Revisit spellings from previous weeks.
- Ask your child to explain the rule for the week and get them to give you example words so that you can build up a word bank that can be referred to frequently.
- Encourage your child to edit their own writing for misspelt words.
- Play homophone games where you give them a word like right/write and they write you both spellings.
- Play ‘hold a sentence dictation’ where you give the child a short sentence with one of their spellings in which will help them to understand the meaning of the word and spell and punctuate correctly.
- Encourage them to use Spelling Shed at home to practise their spellings regularly throughout the week.
- Help them to learn their spellings use the ‘Look, cover, write, check’ sheets and to where possible use dots and dashes to identify the phonemes and graphemes in the word.
Giving children weekly spellings to be tested (even when they do score 10/10!) does not mean that they will apply these in their own written work. With this new approach to the teaching of spellings, we hope to support and encourage your child to become both more confident and independent spellers which will help them become better writers. Revisiting spelling patterns and rules regularly is key to them becoming successful spellers.
Remember that the Spelling Programme is there to help them to become better at spelling with positive praise and encouragement and that, like everything, this will take practice.
Supporting Your Child's Spelling at Home
To help you to support your children at home with their spellings on a weekly basis, the children will be given seven spellings from the unit they are currently on which will follow a set pattern. They will be tested on these the following week. In addition to these, your child will also be given three red (high frequency) or orange (statutory) words to learn from the National Curriculum word lists which are words the children are expected to know for their age range. These were listed in the middle of their Reading Records so you can keep overlearning them throughout the year.