Spelling Words and Support
Some people read words more accurately than they spell them. The word lists for Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the words in each list can easily be taught throughout primary education alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate. Please find below the word lists for each year group. They are available as a download at the bottom of the page. Please also remember the word lists are in the back of your child's Home School Diary. Your support in helping them to learn these spellings would be greatly appreciated and a list of activities is also included below, which you may wish to use.
Memorising the Spelling of New Words
- When you come across a new word ALWAYS use the LOOK - THINK - COVER - WRITE - CHECK method to memorise it. LOOK carefully at the new word. How can you break it into smaller bits? Do any of the smaller bits remind you of the patterns of letters from other words?
- THINK about the parts of the words which might cause problems - double letters for instance, or a vowel that isn't pronounced as you would expect.
- COVER the word and close your eyes. Try to see it in your mind's eye.
- WRITE the word down without looking back.
- CHECK to see if you're right. If not, look carefully at where you went wrong and try again.
More Hot Tips
- Whenever you have to copy a new word from the board, from a book, or from the dictionary always try to write the whole word in one go. Don't keep looking back after every few letters.
- Try finger-writing: while you're THINKing about the word, pretend to write it with your finger, on your desk or on your hand.
Parents can also help their children by:
- Encouraging them to look closely at words and talking to them about words.
- Encouraging them to try new words.
- Play words games like Hangman, Boggle and Scrabble.
- Pointing out interesting newspaper items.
- Encouraging visits to the library or buying comics, magazines and books as treats.
- Encouraging effective memorising strategies (LOOK - THINK - COVER - WRITE – CHECK).
- Respecting "good mistakes".
- Patterns which do make the right sound, even though they are not right for that particular word.
- For regular misspellings, use a mnemonic (because elephants can’t always use small exits = because).
- Use colour for difficult sound/letter spellings (friendly).
- Chunk words into syllables to help spellings – Wed-nes-day.
- Investigate root words and have a go at adding prefixes and suffixes (hope/hopeless/hopefully).
- Use fridge magnets to practise spellings.
- Learn spellings ‘little and often’.
- Write a silly story with words from the spelling lists.