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Spelling

RWI Curriculum Matching Spelling Map

Spelling Progression Framework

INTENT

At Southwold, we encourage our children to think and write creatively, be adventurous with their use of language and to write with clear purpose and for pleasure. In order for these aims to be realised, it is essential that our children learn to spell accurately. Children who can spell feel confidently and are able to write with enjoyment. Children benefit from explicit spelling instruction to support them to develop their knowledge to automaticity and fluency (Education Endowment Foundation, (2021). Improving Spelling in Key Stage 2). We want our children to be equipped with a range of strategies to help them manage and learn spelling, in order to be able to apply this in their independent writing. To achieve this, we are implementing a direct, systematic approach to spelling instruction as spelling must be taught, not just tested.

In order to be an efficient speller, a child needs to:

    • Be able to segment words into constituent phonemes;
    • Know which graphemes represent the phonemes in words;
    • Encode words using grapheme phoneme correspondence;
    • Be able to distinguish visually between words which are ‘legitimately’ spelled, e.g. wait, wate;
    • Know the meanings of the homophones, e.g. been and bean, so that the correct spelling is used;
    • Recall, e.g. by mental image, memorising the order of tricky letters and ‘tricky’ words;
    • Know spelling conventions, e.g. relating to double letters;
    • Look for similarities in the spellings of words which are etymologically related, e.g. sign, signal;
    • Be introduced to morphological patterns to add meaning to chunks within words;
    • Regularly practice reading to support orthographic mapping.

Implementation

Weekly spelling lessons

As we implement RWI Spelling, initially four lessons of spelling will be taught weekly at Southwold from Years 3 – 6 with a spelling test of day 5. Reception, Year 1 and 2 (until the phonics programme is completed) will deliver RWI phonics lessons daily. Lessons include a range of opportunities for modelling, scaffolding, practice and feedback.

Weekly spelling lessons will follow the RWI spelling scheme. Rules and/or patterns will be explicitly taught in lesson 1 of the week and opportunities to follow up and practise the patterns taught through dots and dashes, Word changers, choose the right word, Four in a row, dictation as well as teachers own planned activities will form the basis of the additional three lessons. The use of other resources will be used to aid consolidation of taught spelling patterns. (See Spelling progression Map and Spelling curriculum overview)

Lessons are recorded in RWI work books and spelling journals. Spelling lessons are timetabled explicitly as ‘Spelling’ and lasts between 15-20 minutes.

Where appropriate, all children will learn new patterns for their year group, including those receiving other interventions for spelling/phonics. Children are assessed half termly and grouped by spelling stage across KS2. Children identified to have gaps in specific spelling patterns are taught the year group below (or an earlier year group as identified by assessment) spellings using the RWI spelling programme as part of extra intervention.

Assessment

Assessment is built into the activities for every unit. Speed spell tests children’s knowledge of words from previous units; Team teach and Four-in-a-row help children assess their own progress; Jumping red/orange words tests children’s knowledge of red and orange words (words from the word lists in the National Curriculum in England). These are fun and motivating partner activities and team games.

Six Practice Test papers are used (tested every 2-3 units from Y3 upwards), to assess children’s ongoing progress. The tests assess knowledge taught in recent units, and check children’s knowledge of words from previous units or years. After this assessment, teachers use common spelling errors to inform their planning for their consolidation week

Sending spellings home

Every week, Spelling tasks will be sent home. The requirements of spellings going home is as follows:

    • Tricky spellings will be written in the children’s book to ensure they are aware of the spellings they need to focus on (once a half term) – 6 spellings will be taken from the year group spelling words and 4 spellings will be taken from the ‘spelling pattern’ words, which form the current class spelling focus (as above). These will be stuck in their books.
    • Children who are not yet able to access their year group spellings should receive a selection of words appropriate to their phonics interventions, e.g. if learning the ‘ow’ sound, spellings containing these sounds should go home.
    • Children will have their ‘tricky spellings’ tested each half term as part of their assessment. – The whole class will have a spelling test at the end of each week to assess the progress of children towards successfully spelling their ‘spelling pattern’ words. This will be used by the class teacher to identify additional teaching requirements.

IMPACT

At Southwold Primary School, we strive for all children to write with fluency and confidence. As a key element of transcription, learning how to spell correctly helps to develop literacy skills in children by allowing them to use words correctly and express themselves in writing. Children are able to understand the meanings of words better and can also write more accurately. This will also enable children to become more fluent writers, by decreasing the cognitive load within the transcription process.

The quality of reading and writing in English is evaluated by learning walks, drop-ins, ‘pupil voice’ discussions and book looks. This informs the subject leader of the impact of new initiatives as well as future areas for improvement. After monitoring, the subject leader provides feedback to SLT and individuals/whole staff to address areas for development.

Help for parents

Parent Booklet RWI Spelling Extra Practice Zone

 

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