Spelling -the full story
For those of us who felt overwhelmed by the original Framework’s long list of spelling I can
objectives, the promise of fewer objectives in the Renewed Framework was welcomed. spell
However, it seems to me that another problem now presents itself – too few in Y6.
objectives! The broad headlines offer insufficient guidance to teachers, e.g.
Spell familiar words correctly and employ a range of strategies to spell difficult and unfamiliar words
Use a range of appropriate strategies to edit, proofread and correct spelling in their own work, on paper
and on screen
The Overviews of Learning give additional information:
In Year 6, the majority of children routinely spell the majority of words correctly and have a range of strategies
to apply to difficult or unfamiliar words. They use dictionaries, spellcheckers and ICT confidently to proofread
their work. They have developed a personal, legible handwriting style which they can adapt to suit different
The following grid aims to plug that guidance gap and support teachers as they plan focused spelling sessions.
These are the key elements to successful teaching of spelling
learning spelling conventions –so learning spelling strategies – so
children can attempt unknown words “tricky” bits in words can be
which may follow a pattern. memorised and learned.
assessment / application (including proofreading).
Over a unit of work, it is useful to try to build in opportunities for each of these elements.
1. Spelling Conventions 2. Spelling Strategies
Investigation of patterns in written language A bank of strategies for personal use when
encountering “tricky words”.
e.g. 1. Break up words into syllables (SYLLABLES)
using phonic knowledge & skills
2. Link new words with old words you can already spell
doubling consonants (ANALOGY)
plurals 3. Identify familiar roots, prefixes and suffixes (ROOTS)
tenses 4. (HANDWRITING
apostrophes 5. (WORDS WITHIN WORDS)
6. Change the sound of a word (PLAY WITH SOUNDS))
7. Use a silly sentence (MNEMONICS)
Over time, alongside tricky words (could be high frequency words or words relevant to a genre or area
of study) and strategies to remember them, children need to investigate the patterns in our language.
The range below is taken from the original Framework and the Spelling Bank publication which is still
a useful resource
Grammar Principles and Graphic Morphemic (affixes and roots)
Term 1 To use word roots, prefixes and suffixes as a
support for spelling, e.g. aero, aqua, audi, bi,
cede, clued, cred, duo,, log(o), hydro/a, in, micro,
oct, photo, port, prim, scribe, scope, sub, tele, tri,
Term 2 To extend work on word origins and derivations
from the previous term. Use personal reading, a
range of dictionaries and previous knowledge to
investigate words with common prefixes, suffixes
and word roots;
Term 3 To invent words using known roots, prefixes and
suffixes, e.g. vacca+ phobe + someone who is
afraid of cows.
Five Session Spelling – across a two week (10 day) unit of literacy work
Session Whole class Independent Plenary
1 Conventions explore feedback
3 tricky bits explore feedback