'To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.'
Victor Hugo, 'Les Miserables'
Miss North and Miss Wilkinson are our spelling subject leaders.
This is what they say about spelling.
Learning to spell is extremely useful as it helps children to become confident, fluent writers who are able to communicate what they want to say. Teaching in Reception, I get to see children write simple phrases and sentences for the first time and witness the pride they feel when they can read back their own writing.
Empowering our children to become confident spellers enables them to make more adventurous vocabulary choices and show a stamina for writing. Our English language patterns and rules are fascinating (yet tricky) and through our phonics and spelling scheme, we guide children through the complexities of choosing between several possible sounds and spellings.
The Process of Learning to Spell
As in all areas, there is a developmental process in spelling that children go through in order to improve their spelling, and to become confident and accurate spellers.
- The child uses scribbles, letters, and letter-like forms and shows a preference for uppercase letters.
- There is no understanding of phoneme-grapheme correspondence.
- The child’s writing shows a lack of understanding of conventions of print such as spaces between words and left to right progression of writing.
- Developing understanding of GPCs and attempt to use them
- Use phonemes which are most obvious – initial and final (wt for went) or initial/medial/final (bab for baby)
- Whole word with 2 or 3 letters mostly consonants (ktn for kitten)
- Choose GPCs on the basis of the sound of a word rather than conventional spelling patterns (wen for when, wich for witch)
- Mostly represent the phonemes in a word (necst for next, peepl for people)
- Alternative graphemes insecure (ai, ay, a-e, eigh, a, ey)
- Write as they speak (fink for think, apsolootlee for absolutely)
- Move from sounds to structures
- Use graphemes to represent all consonant and vowel phonemes with vowels in all syllables (enchanted, castel for castle)
- May still over-focus on the sound of words and misunderstand word boundaries (curry door for corridor)
- Beginning to use other strategies – knowledge of common letter patterns, critical features of words (silent letters, double consonants) and making analogies
- Growing bank of known words
- Aware of the many patterns and rules of English spelling system, including uncommon patterns and irregular spellings (ceiling, pleasure)
- Generalise and apply to unfamiliar words
- Use prefixes and suffixes
- Use a range of strategies
- Aware when a word does not look right
- Have a large bank of known words
Learning to Spell at St Paul's
To ensure that our children are able to become confident, accomplished and independent spellers we use:
- Our phonetic approach of Read Write Inc
- Spelling Shed Approach and Programme
Read Write Inc - Fred Fingers
Fred Fingers are used to spell Green Words in the daily Speed Sounds Lessons. This strategy helps children to segment a word into the separate sounds they hear so that they can write them down successfully using the graphemes that they know. Children say the sounds as they press the sounds onto their fingers, they then write down the corresponding letters. Hence the term, 'Fred Fingers'.
Spelling Shed's scheme of work gives an organised progression through the Spelling outlined in the English National Curriculum. The complete curriculum resource allows the teaching and practising of spellings in class, and at home.The Spelling Shed platform enables learning to happen on any device where there is a web-connection and offline using our app.
Every child has a Spelling Shed login. If you need your child's login, please contact your child's class teacher or the main office. (0161) 764 3788
Click here for the link to Spelling Shed Login page.
Click here for our Spelling Shed Parent Booklet.
How We Teach Spelling
Click on our documents below:
Want to help more with spelling at home? Click on our help guides, information and links below:
- Help your Child with Spelling
- Top Tips for Spelling at Home
- 100 High Frequency Words - the 100 most used words
- Statutory Spelling List - Year 1 & 2 - this is the list of words your child should be able to read by the end of Year 2
- Statutory Spelling List - Year 3 & 4 - this is the list of words your child should be able to read by the end of Year 4
- Statutory Spelling List - Year 5 & 6 - this is the list of words your child should be able to read by the end of Year 6