In the New National Curriculum, there is an increased focus on spelling. It clearly details what Year 1 and Year 2 children will be taught. (Please see English Appendix 1 Spelling pdf document, pages 2 through to 10). Those children who are good at spelling usually have a good visual memory and can also use what they have learnt about sounds and spelling patterns. We know that children learn at different rates and in different ways so the following is a ‘guide’ as to what can be ‘expected’ as children learn to spell.
At Field Place, we use the ‘Read Write Ink’ Reading scheme. In Reception, children learn to write a letter symbol for each of the 26 alphabet sounds and we begin to see letters matching sounds in words in their writing.In Year 1 they build on these skills and learn how to represent ‘long vowel’ sounds like oa/oi/ay. We call these ‘special friends'. At this stage children are encouraged to listen to all sounds in words by stretching the word out or Fred-Talking it (named after the Fred the frog that helps us!) However, as you know our language is rather complicated and there are sometimes two or three different ways of spelling one sound for example ay/ai/a-e all make the same sound. At this stage we are happy for children to use any of the appropriate sounds when they spell e.g. we accept and praise plai or playe for play. As children progress, we want them to be able to see that ‘play with ‘ay’ in correct. Some children find this ‘visual’ approach easier than others and can ‘just see’ which looks right. For others it is not so easy.Children are also taught how to add suffixes –ed or –ing to words.In year 2 we continue to develop their knowledge of spelling patterns e.g. tch/dge/wr and learn that they are a few ‘best fit’ rules that can help with spelling.
Tricky Red words:
In additional to words that can be ‘sounded out’ there are many words that cannot. In the Read Write Ink Reading program they are called ‘tricky red words’, like the, was, saw. In year 1, Children begin to learn how to spell these words and in the National Curriculum they are called ‘Common Exception’ words. We have added a pdf version of The English Appendix 1 Spelling document onto the website to help you understand how complex the spelling curriculum is. It sets out spelling patterns to be taught in each year group and lists the Common Exception words children are expected to spell. Please, remember that all children learn at different paces and we will only teach these spellings and spelling patterns when your child is ready to learn them. But, as you can see, our children have a lot to learn, so we value any help you can give them in learning their spellings at home. As children are ready, they will start to bring home spellings to learn in year 1, which continues in year 2. There is a booklet of activities and ideas we have put together to support your child in learning their spellings. Activities We have been sending spellings home to learn for a while now and the feedback from parents has been very positive. The children are enjoying the spelling quizzes and are far more confident about spelling. If your child is having difficulties learning spellings at home please talk to your child’s teacher. There are lots of ways to practise spellings, above all, it must be fun (for you and your child!) The following link has some suggested websites to try out.