Learning to spell is a fundamental skill and has a renewed emphasis in the 2014 Curriculum. We recognise that a weekly spelling lesson is not alone enough for spellings to embed as such we set the children the task of nightly practice of their spellings. We support the children in this by supplying Look, Cover, Say, Write, Check sheets. This is a strategy that can support all learners and is explained more fully in the document below. Parents can support the children in these by checking through their spellings and giving oral tests i.e. asking the children to spell the words aloud after practising.
Spellings are tested each week on a Friday before input the input of the next set of spellings. Our spelling scheme is planned from the National Curriculum and based on professional experience of what St. Gilbert's children need to learn in addition to this. The objectives are spread across the four years of Key Stage 2 to allow ample time to cover them all and revise particularly tricky topics and allow seamless development from Key Stage 1. The Year 6 spelling curriculum particularly focuses on consolidation and revision of the whole Key Stage in preparation for the National Curriculum Tests (SATs) at the end of the year. Each year we review the spelling programme in light of our evaluations of lessons and pupil progress and parental feedback.
Our spelling overviews are available below. They contain the objectives, an explanation of what each one entails and a word bank that the teachers refer to when putting together the children's spelling sheets each week. The word bank is by no means exhaustive and may be added to in light of the Literacy lessons, observations of the children's spellings in class and words the staff and pupils find from research.
The National Curriculum also outlines that there are core spellings that children must know the meaning of and spell independently in their written work. Where possible we try to cover these in context during weekly literacy lessons and within the other spelling objectives where appropriate. At times we may make these a specific spelling focus and provide practice for these. There are 100 words for Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) and another 104 words for Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6). These are provided below for parents to practice as and when with their child in addition to spelling homework. They will be tested at the end of each year to monitor progress.
At St. Gilbert's we assess the children's spelling regularly. However, much of our judgements on your child's spelling is based on their spelling when writing independently. High weekly test scores are very encouraging but the major emphasis is in applying spellings consistently and with accuracy in their written work. As such weekly test scores and the children's spelling assessment can look very different. We ask that parents take time to encourage accurate spelling at home and in homework to ensure that they have the best support in achieving this challenging target.