SPELLING AT ST LUKE’S
What do we want to achieve?
At St Luke’s, we believe that by the end of KS2, children should have a solid understanding of the English alphabetic code and use this to read and spell accurately. We want our pupils to become confident in decoding and encoding in order to access texts that are inspiring and be able to communicate their skills in a literary context.
What does Spelling look like at St Luke’s?
The aim of our Spelling curriculum is to ensure learning is progressive supporting children to build on and develop prior learning. We aim for the curriculum to be accessible to all so that every child’s outcomes are maximised enabling them to access the wider curriculum through reading and writing.
In line with the aims of the National Curriculum, at St Luke’s all pupils in EYFS and Key Stage One are taught phonics following our systematic and synthetic phonics programme, Essential Letters and Sounds, to enable them to learn the fundamentals of early reading and writing (see phonics page for more detail). In Year 2, once pupils are secure in Phase 5 phonics, they then progress onto Phase 6 which is delivered through our spelling scheme, Purple Mash. Phase 6 phonics teaches fundamental grammatical skills, such as verb tenses, suffixes, additional spelling rules and helpful spelling techniques enabling children to become fluent readers and accurate spellers.
Pupils in Key Stage Two then continue to learn more complex spelling rules and conventions following the Purple Mash progressive spelling scheme. Each year group follows a Spelling long term plan (see documents below). As well as learning rules and patterns, children have opportunities to explore morphology and etymology making links between words, not only to learn spelling patterns, but also to develop their understanding and breadth of new vocabulary. For example, when pupils learn the prefix 'sub', they also learn the meaning under or beneath and can then expand their vocabulary to understanding and spelling words such as submarine, submerge and subordinate.
Although children move away from synthetic phonics teaching in Key Stage Two, phonics very much still underpins our spelling curriculum. Teachers continue to encourage pupils to identify phonemes in words in order to help them spell. Phase 1 phonics continues through to Year 6 looking at alliteration and rhyme.
What does a Spelling lesson look like at St Luke’s?
Following Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme ensures that phonics lessons follow a clear and consistent structure across EYFS and Key Stage One. This provides opportunity to review prior learning, learn new sounds, practise and apply reading and writing new phonemes and graphemes and then review new knowledge at the end. This structure enables pupils to learn more and remember more. Children also are encouraged to follow a spelling sequence when attempting to encode:
Spelling lessons through Key Stage Two follow a very similar structure in order for pupils to learn spelling rules set out by the National Curriculum:
In Key Stage Two, children participate in two spelling lessons a week within their writing lessons. Children are taught spelling patterns or rules within the sessions. These sessions follow the structure below:
Assessment in Spelling
Assessment has to serve a purpose and teachers are continually assessing your child in all types of ways so they can help them progress with their learning. In every Spelling lesson, teachers review previously learnt spellings to check children’s knowledge of patterns already taught. Each week in Key Stage Two, children are provided with new spellings to revise at home on Purple Mash and these are tested the following week. This informs the teacher about how well each pupil has retained the rules and patterns taught. All pupils complete a more in-depth summative assessment 3 times a year. This data is kept on record to track your child’s progress as they learn through the year. The tests also show the children what fantastic progress they have made and what they need to learn next.
As mentioned in our Phonics and Early Reading Policy, a number of interventions run throughout Key Stage Two to support children who require further support with phonics or spelling.
Please see the Early Reading and Phonics Policy for how children are assessed in phonics.
How have we adapted learning following a pandemic?
Although spelling was taught through remote learning sessions during school closures, we recognise that some learning has been lost due to the pandemic.
Through assessments, teachers identify gaps and misconceptions in pupils understanding of spelling rules and patterns. In order to address this, we have tailored our spelling programme which is monitored regularly to inform planning based on progress.
Each class in Key Stage Two has two spelling sessions a week. One session teaches or re-teaches a spelling rule or pattern from the year group before. The second session will teach the current year group's spelling programme. .
Children identified as requiring further support have been identified for phonics or spelling additional interventions.
How can I support my child’s learning?
In order to consolidate learning, pupils in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two are given a weekly homework task that links to the learning that is currently taking place in their Phonics or Spelling lessons. St Luke’s currently subscribe to Purple Mash which your child can access at home to practise their spelling.
There are also other websites available with free access to consolidate spelling at home:
Have a look on Twitter at the fantastic spelling work going on at St Luke's: #Stlukesburywriting