The aim of the spelling curriculum at Sandbach Primary Academy is for children to develop effective spelling strategies that will enable each individual learner to access the curriculum. Learning spelling strategies is an individual process, and giving children different strategies by which to learn, will enable them to independently choose an appropriate method that works for them. The aim is that these strategies will become automatic and instinctive for learners. In order to do this, we ensure that a staff have a consistent approach to the teaching of spelling lessons, which are taught daily throughout the school. In EYFS, children follow the phonics progression of learning (see phonics intent). From Year 1, through to Year 6 teachers follow the structured whole-school Rising Stars scheme. Spelling sessions are delivered using a range of teaching techniques: written activities, oral activities, games, stories and rhymes. Lessons follow the process: introduce/review, teach, practise, apply, review. These sessions are planned to align with the objectives for the National Curriculum set out in English Appendix 1: Spelling. By the end of Key Stage 2, spelling should have developed to the point that it becomes automatic and children should be able to recall a large number of words from memory.
Our curriculum is designed to:
- Support children to understand that words are made up of individual sounds (or phonemes) and that these sounds can be manipulated to make blended sounds and words.
- Teach children to decode using phonemic knowledge together with a range of other strategies to deal with exception words.
- Teach the encoding individual phonemes, encouraging children to manipulate sounds, practising encoding strategies whilst using the spelling principles taught.
- Make links between known words or parts of words
- Utilise a number of spelling strategies: phonetic spelling strategies; visual spelling strategies; mnemonics; ruled-based strategies; and word-meaning strategies.
- Model good spelling practices (e.g. within a shared or modelled writing task) which is essential to encourage learners to apply the principles.
- Develop the children’s use of dictionaries, phoneme mats and alphabet code charts to check their spelling and to realise when there are word and spelling choices.