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St John's C of E Primary School

"Sharing joy and hope in the community."




We believe that children should learn to apply spelling rules to spell words correctly from their very first days at school. Not all children learn to spell in the same way, and we believe it is necessary to adopt a range of strategies to enable children to learn how to spell whilst making the task as much fun and as interesting as possible. We encourage a learning environment which enables children to explore spelling, make links, research rules and also make mistakes in the knowledge that through error comes improvement. We ensure that children are given spellings to learn at the level they need to build confidence.



  • We teach spelling as whole-class lessons, focusing on a text from our exciting English scheme ‘The Literacy Tree’.  The ‘Spelling Seeds’ part of this scheme takes vocabulary from the focus text to provide opportunities to learn age-appropriate spellings and rules. The scheme cross-references to the National Curriculum (2104) programme of spellings.
  • Staff supplement the words from the Literacy Tree with ‘gaps’ that have been identified through previous summative assessments and with High Frequency words, the Exception Words list and common errors identified through daily marking of written work.
  • In EYFS and Key Stage 1 spelling is linked to the learning of reading using the Synthetic Phonic approach in the Essential Letters and Sounds Government-approved scheme, supplemented with resources from Oxford University Press. Letter recognition and formation are explored and practised in daily phonics lessons.
  • Moving on from the phonics programme, children take weekly lists of spellings home to practise for a weekly test. These are in the Look-Say-Cover-Write-Check format. These comprise feature words from the ‘Spelling Seeds’ part of The Literacy Tree scheme, supplemented with rules, letter strings, High Frequency Words, gaps in knowledge etc which have been identified by the current or previous teacher.
  • The spelling list of words can be accompanied by an additional task, such as a word search, mnemonic-maker, puzzle, investigation etc to make the learning of spellings more interactive and long-standing.
  • Spellings are revised through handwriting tasks which link the formation of certain letters to the current list of spellings.
  • Children who are working on phonics phases are given spelling lists based on the sounds they are focusing on.
  • Support is provided in the classroom through the use of personal dictionaries containing common words and new words that the children have ‘collected’, word banks for independent writing, word displays on walls.
  • Spellings are praised and errors addressed through the marking of written work.



This will be measured by:

  • Progress of children through the SPAR and Blackwell tests undertaken in end of year/half-termly assessments.
  • Results of weekly tests.
  • Results of spelling section of the Rising Stars GaPS end-of-term assessment.
  • Pupil Progress meetings to analyse spelling standards.
  • Monitoring of books in staff meetings and SLT.