Warwick Road Primary School

Exceeding Expectations



Spelling is a crucial element of the curriculum and children are taught and tested on spellings weekly. 

Spelling is important because it aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters. Learning high frequency sight words also has been shown to help with both reading and writing. This is why children learn sight words during their early years. Spelling and reading also have a common factor, proficiency with language. Children should be relaxed about spelling; if not, it will inhibit their writing.

What makes a successful speller?

  • Phonics - The first strategy that is taught to beginning spellers is to listen for each sound in a word and to represent each sound with a letter or combination of letters. The sound of /ă/ is spelled with the letter a and the sound of /n/ is spelled with the letter n, so your child will be able to accurately represent the individual sounds they hear in the word and write the word an. Segmenting (stretching out the sounds) words is a great way for students to practice this strategy. Take the word brush, for example. If your child can identify the individual sounds and knows the graphemes b, r, u, and sh, they will be able to spell the word easily. Hundreds of words can be written correctly simply by applying this phonetic spelling strategy.
  • Rule-Based Spelling Strategies - Beginning spellers will soon recognise, however, that there are often several possible spellings for the same sound—the sound of /j/ can be spelled j, g or dge, for example—and that's when knowing some rules will come in handy! There are many reliable rules and generalisations in English spelling that will help students make the correct choices in their own writing. For example, knowing the rules regarding the use of c and k and knowing that the sound of /ch/ is usually spelled tch after a short vowel helps us write the word kitchen.
  • Visual Spelling Strategies - Does the word look right? Good spellers often try spelling a word several ways to see which way looks correct. Reading, and being read to, helps children build their visual memory of words related to that particular concept. Visual memory is important when it comes to correctly using homophones, too, like pray and prey or tale and tail.  Extensive reading and word games will also help your child to build visual memory.
  • Morphemic Spelling Strategies - Morphemic strategies are based on the knowledge of how the meaning of a word influences its spelling. Many words have Greek and Latin roots and other words are based on other derivatives. Children must learn how to add prefixes and suffixes to base words, and how to form compound words and abbreviations. Morphemic strategies enable good spellers to spell harder words.
    As spellers become more competent, they will usually use a combination of all four strategies in their writing. Most people don’t even realise that they are using these approaches to spelling—with practice, the strategies become automatic and are employed on a subconscious level.

How and what we learn at Warwick Road

Phonics is used as the primary approach to spelling in EYFS and KS1.   In KS2, we use the Rising Stars Spelling scheme of work. Each year group is teeming with fun investigative activities, starter challenges and hands-on resources to use in the classroom.

Enhanced curriculum experiences

Throughout the course of the year, pupils participate in internal spelling bee competitions.  This year, the pupils also participated in the National Spelling Bee Competition! Here are our top ten performers:

Parental support

Spelling can be very difficult but there are many ways that can help children to improve.

1. Copy out the word and leave gaps for them to fill in the letters e.g. ahe_d.

2. Encourage your child to split words into syllables or phonemes e.g. to/mor/row. A phoneme is a sound segment of words or syllables.

3. Looking for words within words this is the compound word strategy and is very useful E.g. separate – a rat

4. Learn as many spelling rules as possible e.g. double the last letter before adding _ed. stopped.

5. Look out for changes in spelling when words turn into plurals e.g.baby- babies.

6. Have some fun with your child’s spelling try and play Scrabble, complete word searches, anagrams and crosswords.

7. Encourage the use of a dictionary.

8. Be careful and aware of silent letters such as knee, write.

9. Use the ‘look, cover, write, check’ method.

10. Keep your child reading everything they can: magazines of interest, books, cereal packets for competitions, children’s newspapers etc.

Purple Mash

In addition to learning their weekly spelling lists in preparation for tests, pupils are assigned weekly spelling homework via the online platform Purple Mash.


English lead: Mrs Rayner

English governor: Fathima Bhamjee

Mrs Rayner is our English leader.  Please speak to Mrs Rayner if you would like to find out more about how we teach spelling at Warwick Road Primary School.