As a mainstream school we are required to deliver the English Programme of Study as specified by the Government. The changes in 2014 placed a greater emphasis on spelling and thus we have looked into ways in which we can improve the teaching of spelling .At each age group there are lists of common exception words, also called 'tricky' words, which we are required to assess children's accuracy when spelling. Therefore, practicing and promoting correct spelling is important, hence the 'spelling tests.' However, for some children tests cause anxiety and they fear disappointing teachers or parents and compare themselves negatively to their peers. This focus on accuracy can also often hinder children when writing creatively; they often choose less ambitious vocabulary for fear of spelling unknown words incorrectly and stick to subjects and words that they know.
In order to help manage this requirement for accuracy we have invested in a spelling programme for the school which promotes short, daily sessions based on repetition of spelling patterns in a variety of activities. The spelling 'test' as you know it has been changed to be carried out in a less formal structure, encouraging children to self-correct, leading to them each having words which they found tricky to focus on in spelling future sessions.
Your role as parents/carers is hugely valued and we have provided some weekly activities for you to carry out at home to further support your child(ren) with their spelling proficiency. These are different to and separate from the programme we are delivering in school. We suggest that you encourage short, practise sessions over the week as repetition is incredibly helpful when learning new spelling patterns.