The English spelling system is hard. The difficulty with our language is mainly caused by invasions! Having been invaded by Vikings, Normans and Romans, followed by our lust to invade other nations with other languages has led to our lexicon – the bank of English words – being made up of words from many other languages. The long ‘i’ sound in sight comes from Old English, sign from French and site from Latin. Three different spellings. Same sound. Actually, about 85% of our spelling system follows rules and patterns, so learning about spelling is useful and will make a difference. The most helpful thing you can do to help your child is to stay positive. Some children will spell accurately with seemingly very little effort. Most will experience some degree of struggle. Some will find it very hard. The degree of difficulty they experience is not linked to intelligence. The ability to use memory strategies will emerge and improve, if we support it, usually from around the age of 7. Our end game might be to produce accurate spellers. But the journey to this is to nurture spellers with good self-esteem, who explore a range of self-help strategies and begin to find out which ones work best for them.
Please view the documents at the bottom of this page to see the Spelling Lists for your child's year group. These can be found in the English National Curriculum.
Each week, your child will also learn a group of 10-12 words (some are also in the standard spellings lists). Some of these follow a spelling pattern or set of rules; others are exceptions to the rule and follow no pattern. We use a range of strategies including games to try and make the learning of spellings fun and engaging. Whilst learning the spellings, we will also be learning the meaning of the words and how to correctly use them in written and spoken contexts.
How can I help my child with their spelling homework task?
Top ten ways to learn a spelling!
Break it into sounds (d-i-a-r-y) Break it into syllables (re-mem-ber).
Help your child to use a dictionary and thesaurus.
Break it into root words and affixes (un-necess-ary).
Use a mnemonic (necessary – one Collar and two Sleeves or Never Eat Cakes Eat Salmon Sandwiches and Remain Young!)
Use your knowledge of word roots (two is a number like twelve and twenty).
Use word families (would, could, should).
See words within words (friend til the end).
Use spelling rules (writing, written).
By sight - learn the shape of the word – look, cover, remember (eyes closed and visualise!), write, check (does it help to write the tricky part in a different colour?).
By movement – get used to writing the word with your finger, with a pen, in the air, on the keyboard.
The spellings that your child will learn this term are shown here:
Spring Term 4
Year 4 - awaiting content