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Phonics and Spelling

At Markington Primary School we support our pupils to be able to spell quickly and accurately by teaching them a range of strategies, rules and conventions systematically and explicitly.  We give spelling a high profile, responding to individual needs and National Curriculum expectations.

Children begin by learning about the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and develop a greater understanding of morphology (word structure), orthography (spelling structure) and etymology (word origins & history) as they progress through the key stages.  By becoming confident spellers, pupils are then able to focus on the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice within their writing. 

Phonics Teaching

Bella writing

Phonics Teaching

To enable all children to access phonetically decodable reading books, from Autumn 2 2021 we will be switching from 'Letters and Sounds' to  'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds'  phonics, reading and spelling programme in Reception & Year 1, in line with government updates. 

The teaching of phonics (in particular the ability to blend and segment) is a major part of learning to read and write, and forms a substantial part of the learning in EYFS & KS1, where children experience daily phonics lessons.  We recognise that the early teaching of phonics is about helping children to really listen and discriminate between sounds and it is part of a rich communication and language environment.  Phonics, as well as being taught discretely, is threaded through the curriculum, where we provide many opportunities for children to develop the necessary phonics skills to enable them to read and write, and additional phonics sessions provide additonal opportunities to support children to keep up.   Phonic knowledge continues to underpin reading and spelling as children progress through Key stage 1 (and beyond). 

Daily phonics sessions, activities and homework will give children the opportunities to learn strategies for spelling, and teachers provide a variety of opportunities for children to apply their knowledge, across the curriculum.  Children will also learn about words which do not follow phonic conventions and are known in the National Curriculum as ‘common exception words’ (sometimes known as ‘tricky words’).  

Spelling in Year 2 and KS2

We teach a systematic programme of spelling rules, letters strings and conventions, in class, and provide children with the opportunity to practise these skills in a variety of activities.  We also teach the children strategies to help them to learn specific spellings (in line with the National Curriculum requirement ‘wordlists’) through regular practise of these words in whole class work.

In KS2 (Y3,4,5,6) the national curriculum is grouped into two sections – Y3/4 and Y5/6 – this means that children have two years to learn each of these curriculum spelling requirements.   Each 2-year block contains two elements – spelling rules & patterns; and statutory word lists.


Spelling Rules/ Patterns

Spelling knowledge is built progressively enabling children to learn about common letter 'strings' and patterns. E.g. words containing ‘ight’.

This helps children to build the skills necessary to apply these rules to unknown words they want to write, rather than learning to spell a list of unconnected words. 

Statutory Words

A set of ‘statutory’ words.  The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. The government acknowledges that ‘some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the 100 words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of key stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate’. E.g. possession, probably, acidentally(Y3/4) and mischievous, harass, pronunciation (Y5/6) 

The statutory words & spelling rules/ patterns are taught and practised regularly within school using a variety of strategies.

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