How we teach your children to read and spell at North Ealing Primary School.
Every child deserves success right from the start. We know that the sooner children learn to read and spell the greater their success at school. This is why we put reading and spelling at the heart of what we do.
We use a teaching programme called Read Write Inc Phonics to teach our children to read and spell.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children start by learning the 26 individual letter sounds and they apply them to reading and spelling regular words, e.g. cat and jump. Children then progress to learning the sounds that two or three letters together make. In Read Write Inc these are called ‘Special Friends’, e.g. sh, th, ee, ai, igh.
How do we teach children to spell confidently using Read Write Inc Phonics?
We use just two simple activities: Fred Fingers to spell regular words and Red Rhythms for words with a tricky bit in them.
We teach children to spell regular, decodable (green) words using ‘Fred Fingers’: we say a word and then children pinch the sounds onto their fingers before writing the word, sound by sound.
We teach tricky (red) words with Red Rhythms. We say the tricky letters in a puzzled or annoyed voice and build the letter names up into a rhythm, for example, s-ai-d.
Children learn to spell new words and review past words every week, they practise spelling them with a partner. From Year 1 we send home a spelling list every week, and a test is given the following week to celebrate children’s spelling success.
Most children complete the phonics programme in Year 2, before moving onto the Read Write Inc Spelling programme.
Read Write Inc Spelling Programme
The Read Write Inc Spelling Programme has been specially created to meet the higher demands of the National Curriculum for Years 2 to 6. Whilst children continue to apply the two basic spelling strategies, they learn spelling rules that apply to different groups of words, e.g. adding suffixes and prefixes to root words.
In Year 2, spelling lessons are 30 minutes long, four days a week. Children are grouped according to their spelling ability and spelling rules are introduced by aliens from an exciting online spelling planet! Children often work collaboratively with a partner to complete short tasks. Spelling lists are given out each Wednesday and children are tested the following Monday.
Years 3 to 6
In Years 3-6 there are two spelling sessions per week. Children are grouped according to their spelling ability and taught spelling rules, e.g. suffixes and prefixes, so that they can spell a wide range of words. Spellings lists are given weekly and tested the following week.
In this way children are prepared for the 2016 Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum Spelling Tests.
How can you help at home?
The new English Curriculum places high expectations on being able to spell proficiently, so please help your child to learn their spellings every week. Ask them which spelling rules apply to each set of words and ask them to identify the tricky bits in Red Words.