About the KS1 and KS2 Spelling Scheme
The school uses the ‘Topical Resources’ spelling scheme which is followed by a large number of primary schools across England.
This scheme provides carefully organised lists of spellings to be learned by pupils each week which the child is tested on.
Following this scheme across KS2 ensures that all phonic strands and high frequency spellings will have been learned in a systematic way, building on the Letters and Sounds Programme taught in KS1 and addressing the demands of the 2014 National Curriculum.
How are spelling lists determined?
At the start of each term, children are given a diagnostic spelling test. The outcome of this test determines the set of spelling words to be learnt throughout the term. If children score 8 out of 12 or more on a particular ‘phase’ of words, they can be assumed to have secured the sounds and patterns adequately within that test. Children begin their weekly spelling work on the first phase of words where their score is lower than 8 out of 12. As a result, children will have some spellings within their weekly lists that they can already spell.
How does the spelling programme work?
The spelling words build on letters and sounds teaching previously. Children first learn to spell in school by sound (i.e. phonetically), that is to say by using their auditory memory (memory of sounds), and then progress naturally to spelling by sight using their visual memory (memory of how a word looks).
Sometimes, children need to have this phonological knowledge reinforced in order for them to apply their spelling knowledge and be aware of exceptions to spelling rules. Children’s spelling list are structured to reinforce children’s phonological knowledge. Children may have a good visual memory for some words but may have gaps in their auditory memory. This explains why children can learn to spell a more complex word with apparent ease, but make mistakes in spelling an ‘easier’ word.
KS2 have a weekly spelling lessons each week, as well as daily practise, to consolidate their phonological awareness each week to explicitly teach spellings. This scheme, reinforced by the spelling lessons, are an effective way of teaching spellings and likely to have a positive impact on children’s spelling ability in independent writing.