"Anyone who dares to treat spelling as an adventure will find the journey rewarding.”
Most European countries like Finland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria have one symbol (one spelling) for each of the sounds in the language.In English, there are only 26 letters for the 40+ phonemes and approximately 400 different spellings for those sounds!
However, the 40+ phonemes are the basis for the writing code and never change. Teaching children how to unlock the code is the key to them being able to spell accurately.
Children will be able to recognise patterns in words, make links across words and most importantly spell words accurately. Teaching through a mix of short task and longer investigations gives children plenty of opportunities to revisit learning they have previously completed and help them commit spellings to their long term memory.
In KS1, spelling in primarily taught during RWI sessions. This ensures that all pupil have a good grounding in the 44 phoneme of the english language.
In KS2, we are using The Spelling Book. This uses a mix of longer investigation tasks to introduce new learning and shorter tasks to revisit learning.
“Issuing a weekly spelling test is not teaching spelling. I repeat, testing is not teaching.”
For this reason, children will not bring home a list of spelling words to learn. Instead, spelling will be taugh in school with a focus on investigating words and drawing spelling across the curriculum. Every 2 week, children will complete a spell check where they will be given their class focus words in context. Children will be celebrated for all the elements of the spelling they have correctly spelled. This also happens in Read Write Inc where the children tick or fix their spellings.
"Progress in learning to spell comes when words are taught in realistic contexts in sets of related items."
Sample investigation page:
Sample short task: