Spelling in the new curriculum – everything you need!

Most people have by now looked at the  spelling and grammar expectations in the new curriculum and tests.  Spelling’s time has finally come!  Anecdotal evidence suggests that those schools who were disappointed with their grammar and spelling test results in the summer often cited the spelling element of the test as the area that needs development. In fact the spelling results went from 14% of the marks uner the old regime to 29% of the marks in the GaPS test.

Back at Literacy Headquarters we have been working away at this aspect of the new curriculum for some time and have finally managed to share  the resources that we have created. (All can be found here.)  We are recommending that KS2 will need at least 15 X 15 minute spelling sessions each half-term.  The further away from the age-related expectations, the more spelling you will need, so the fifteen sessions are just a starting point.

First, we have produced a term by term pathway through the spelling for each year group.  You will know that the objectives in the curriculum are in one big bundle for Yrs3 and 4 and Yrs5 and 6 and so what Angela has done is to decide how to divide these up .  This suddenly makes the spelling curriculum look more manageable.  Included in the pathway are signposts to resources and ways of teaching elements that are included in The Spelling Bank and Support for Spelling.

Secondly, we have now started to think about the pattern of teaching across the fifteen sessions.  We are continuing to use the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply structure introduced in Support for Spelling because it is a familiar structure to those moving from kS1 to KS2.  However, in KS2 each element is taught on a different day rather than all occurring in one session.  To make this clear we have now created a day to day pathway for the spring term of each year group. (Click on term 2 to find the planning for each year group) As for all of the above, these are only suggestions and can be changed and moved around to suit your class.

There are certain elements that appear in each year group:

  • homophones
  • rare grapheme/phoneme correspondences (GPCs)
  • prefixes and suffixes
  • letter strings
  • word endings (that are not suffixes)
  • learning and remembering spellings
  • proof-reading

This means that it is very easy to differentiate across a class be it single or mixed age.  The whole class can be working on homophones but different ones can be used for particular groups of children.

Finally, Sandra has created an excel spreadsheet that analyses the spelling results of the test.  So if you plan to give your children the spelling test from the 2013 paper, you can now analyse the results and identify areas to focus on in your teaching.

We hope that this will get you started.  If you use the resources, let us know what you think.

See other spelling posts here.

6 thoughts on “Spelling in the new curriculum – everything you need!

  1. Hello, you very helpful sounding people!!!!

    I’m a teacher in Staffordshire. I believe Claire Brown who now works in my school used to know you. Anyway, my simple question is this:

    Does the new curriculum replace the old Support for Spelling scheme of work or does it run alongside? My Literacy co-ordinator seems to think that we have to teach both. Is she correct or not? Would be very grateful for clarification.


    • Hello
      YOu need to teach the spelling from the NC and use support for spelling where it can give you soe ideas about how to teach it. The pathway you follow is definitely the new curriculum though.
      Hope this helps

  2. Hi,
    I have had a look at the sample pages, but I have a few questions-
    Are the children given spelling lists to learn?
    Are these tested in the assess part?


    • Hi Vicki
      Yes there are statutory lists for KS2. We have planned in opportunities to learn the statutory words but it is up to teachers to choose which of the words off the list they want to focus on. The testing in the assess sections will be based on spelling conventions and patterns that the children have learnt and also statutory words when learning spellings. Hope this helps. Get back in contact if i can help you more.

      • Hi,
        Sorry, still slightly confused. So the children will not be given lists to Learn, but instead will be tested on random words with the sounds they have learnt? Also, is it a two week cycle? Thanks again

        • Hi Vicki
          The spelling is divided into units of work. When a unit focuses on spelling patterns/conventions then the apply session tests that. When the unit focuses on learning words the children will be tested on the statutory words and words which they need to learn how to spell from their writing.

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