While children are working within phase 2-6 phonics, children are encouraged to use the sounds they have learnt to attempt to spell words in a phonically plausible way. They are encouraged to use phonics mats that are provided by our phonics scheme Little Wandle. Once children enter year 1, they have daily spelling lessons using the Spelling Shed scheme which focuses on the National Curriculum expectations for spelling patterns and rules. Throughout the week, children spend time discussing the morphology, etymology and orthology of words which supports their understanding of why spelling patterns and rules occur. To practise and embed this, children complete a weekly activity based on their spelling words. Children also explore their spellings’ definitions through various activities as well as using their spellings in sentences which supports children to give meaning to their spellings. At the end of the week, children complete a low stakes test which gives children an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and identify areas for development. Children are consistently reminded to use their phonic knowledge where needed and appropriate.
Alongside weekly spelling words, children practise common exception words that are described in the National Curriculum for each year group. These are called ‘splat words’. Children learn a set of 10 splat words every half term which are also displayed in the classroom. They are encouraged to spell these words correctly within their writing and all aspects of the curriculum. Once a week, children will learn a handful of the half term’s splat words through various activities designed to raise their profile and identify ways in which to remember their spellings in an easier way. Across the curriculum, children are encouraged to also spell high frequency words correctly and these are focused on when children are encouraged to review their work.