At Blackpool, we believe that good spelling is an essential skill which allows the children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies we equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking for adult help.
We aim for our pupils to develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters that leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
By the end of Year 6 pupils will understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
EYFS and Key Stage 1:
In EYFS and Year 1 our pupils follow a high-quality, systematic programme of phonics following the Letters and Sounds (DfE 2007) teaching programme. Our phonics teaching makes strong links between blending for reading, segmenting for spelling and handwriting. We encourage all our pupils to apply their phonic knowledge when spelling. By the end of Year one it is our expectation that the vast majority of our pupils will be secure at spelling Phase 5 words. Pupils who do not secure Phase 5 by the end of Year 1 are given additional support and intervention. The National Curriculum spelling objectives for Year 2 work in line with Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds.
Overview of Letters and Sounds Phases 1- 6
Phase One supports the development of speaking and listening.
Phase Two marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught either writing the letters or using magnetic letters to encode words.
Phase Three completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 42 phonemes. Just one spelling is given at this stage for each phoneme.
Phase Four children start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes at this phase.
Phase Five looks at the alternative spellings for some phonemes.
Phase Six overlaps with the material within Support for Spelling. Word specific spellings e.g. see/sea. Spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual GPC’s, e.g. laughs, two.
Key Stage 2:
An investigative approach is taken to the teaching of spelling in Key Stage 2, in line with the spelling objectives in the 2014 English curriculum. The teaching of spelling is taught in discrete lessons each week as well as in context within lessons or when a specific opportunity arises. This will include the learning of the statutory word lists in the 2014 English curriculum. Where necessary, some pupils will consolidate their phonic knowledge and skills from Key Stage 1.
Approaches to teaching spellings:
Our focus on teaching spelling embraces the knowledge of spelling conventions, patterns and rules. Our approach builds on knowledge about words which the children have already acquired through phonics teaching, and expands it to develop critical thinking, word observation skills, discussion and reasoning skills. The children use the skills to describe words, spelling patterns and meanings; developing a knowledge of words and the way they work as they do so. We believe strongly in developing opportunities for children to talk about words and language in meaningful contexts across the curriculum. Our teaching of spelling covers the national curriculum requirements and more through including common exception words, high frequency words, statutory words, personal and topic spelling.
Handwriting is a cross-curriculum task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Formal teaching of spelling is carried out regularly and systematically to ensure progression through the school.
For our youngest pupils we teach phonics on a daily basis for 20 to 30 minutes.
Years 1 to 2:
Tuition will continue with three to five weekly lessons of around 30 minutes.
Years 3 to 6:
During KS2 pupils receive three weekly lessons of around 30 minutes.