Warrington School/Curriculum/Spelling Programme

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School Spelling Programme

It has been only the last 100 or so years that the spelling of the Englihs language has been standardised. During this time spelling has been used as a tool to justify the intelligence of the speller: poor spelling was used as an indicator of a lower intelligence. This is still a common misconception, and even though spelling is a trifling surface feature it is possibly the greatest block to children's writing and is linked with low self-esteem and performance.


To encourage pupils to be able to record their thinking in a written form that allows them to retrieve their thinking at a future date.

To enable pupils to share their thinking with others in a written format.

To use the conventions of spelling where applicable.

To use tools that give greater independence for the writer - computer spell checker, word lists, dictionaries and thesaurus.

To use teaching approaches that are individualized to the learner.

To accept varying forms of spelling whilst encouraging accepted standardized form.

To be aware of children with specific leaning difficulties in the spelling area such as DyslexicsPDF down.png and use latest pedagogical research to best meet their needs.


  • 9-13 year olds are assessed twice yearly using the Dunedin Spelling Test and the essential spelling list.
  • 7-8 year olds
  • 5-7 year olds

Classroom Programmes

9-13 year olds -

  • Dictionaries, word lists and thesaurus on hand in the classroom.
  • Encouraged to use correct spelling formats in writing that is to be displayed.
  • Use pencil to draft their work and seeking tools or assistance with making good of errors.
  • For digital writing pupils are taught to use spell checker and right clicking the mouse on the computer for digital writing.
  • Seeking peer support for assistance and making allowances for those offering assistance.
  • Teachers not making big issues with misspelled work e.g no red underlining, writing in margins
  • Teachers assist with draft copies by correctly spelling words for those that need it.
  • Teachers correctly modeling spelling.

Room 2 -Years 2-4 (6-9 year olds )- At the beginning of the year I gave children tests from Essential word lists. Each childs errors made up their word lists for term one and two. Each Monday the children were tested. They got new words and practised these new words by using them in written sentences. On Tuesday, children were given a spelling / grammar activity. Didn't relate to specific spelling words but rather aspects of grammar. eg plurals, nouns, verbs etc. At the end of term 2 children were retested on Essential word Lists. Term 3 the children worked at an appropriate level of the “You can Spell” programme, written by Peter De Ath. This included activities that relate to the spelling words in each list. On Tuesday children continued with a grammar activity. This continues as our term 4 programme.

Alongside programme above

Within all class written work - children underline words that they are unsure of spelling correctly. When editing their work they use wordlists, dictionaries, Spellwrite to find correct spelling. If unsuccessful teacher will show correct spelling giving them input about sounds, blends, spelling conventions, homophones etc as needed and at their level. During handwriting activities common spelling conventions that fit with letter being practised are included (eg, y at end of word having 'e' sound, 'magic' e on end of words, ch blend etc). Letter of the week: look at its sound at beginning, end and middle of words and note how different they can be (from Joy Allcock). At this level it is expected that most children will have spelling mistakes and that this is a positive thing as it means the child is writing from the huge bank of oral words they know and not just keeping to the safety of the words they already know how to spell. However they are learning to acknowledge the words they have sounded out/tried spelling from known conventions by underlining this to be checked when editing. The expectation is that 'presented work' will be without spelling errors, though this will have needed teacher/spell check input for most children. Learning how to use dictionaries, thesaurus, word lists around class is ongoing. As a teacher being aware that children learn spelling in different ways and at different rates and being able to see beyond the spelling and be aware of the deeper features in their written work.

Junior Room

5 - 6 year olds

Junior writing:

  • During writing time, children attempt an unknown word by sounding out the initial letter or blend, middle and ending sounds, they then underline the word.
  • When editing, the teacher will tick the correct letters in the word and write the correct spelling of that word above that particular word.
  • The child will be praised for their attempt of the word.
  • Year 2 children are encourage to use a Try-Book, a note book which has the alphabet from a -z written on each page. The child will attempt the unknown word and show the teacher who will then tick correct letters/sounds and write the correct word underneath that word.
  • The teacher will sort through a child's story writing book and give the child a personal spelling list using some misspelt words from their story writing and the Essential Lists 1/2.

Sequence: Year 2 Children

  • Children will be given a list of up to 5 - 10 words prepared by the teacher chosen from the children's writing and Essential Word List.
  • Children will glue words into their homework book and learn them.
  • On Friday during reading time, children are tested
  • If children get any words incorrect, they will learn those words over the next few days with a follow up activity.
  • Teacher will record these words in her weekly spelling plan