“Anyone who dares to treat spelling as an adventure will find the journey rewarding”
“Spelling can confuse us, confound us and weigh us down with rules and exceptions. We need to foster a future generation of curious, excited spellers who enjoy finding patterns in the baffling complexities of English spelling” (Jane Considine,2021)
At Cheadle Primary School, we recognise the importance of raising the profile of spellings and therefore we are embarking on an overhaul of our spelling curriculum that is rigorous, vibrant and valued. We believe spelling should be taught and not caught and that children should be inspired to see the magic of words. Phonics should not end in Year 2!
From Year 2- Year 6, we are introducing elements of Jane Considine’s Spelling Book, which provides a coherent system for teaching spelling consistently and supports pupils to define what it means to be an effective speller. Our adaptation of the spelling scheme ensures that children explore the patterns of spellings, work as a team to investigate spelling rules and remember and recall these spellings throughout the year. KS2 children therefore return to a phonics-based spellings approach.
Our new spelling approach removes spelling tests and instead prioritises in-class investigations and modelling. As Chris Quigley states “issuing a weekly spelling test is not teaching spelling”.
Spelling in Year 2 (after the completion of RWI) to Year 6 is taught in blocks of 2 weeks.
Week 1- a 50 minute slot or 30/20 minutes.
Week 2- 5 x 10 minute slots
During week 1, children complete team spelling investigations. Pupils are given a hypothesis and work as spelling detectives to see if they think it is true, false or sometimes true. This facilitates pupils to be word gatherers, sorters, pattern-finders and interrogators.