These are strategies that can help you support your child to learn their
spellings at home.
Ask your child to segment or ‘sound out’ the word they want to spell by
breaking it down into its phonemes and writing down the constituent
Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check
This is the format that spellings will be sent home in. Get your child to
look at the word and say it out loud, then cover it, write it and check to
see if it is correct. If not, highlight or underline the incorrect part and
repeat the process.
Break the word down into its syllables. Say or clap each syllable in the
word as they write the word down.
This is one of the most important strategies as children must be able to
spell words in context and apply what they have learnt. Read out a
sentence including the word your child is trying to learn, can they
remember and write down the whole sentence, spelling the word correctly.
This will also help with understanding word meaning as well as being able
to spell the word.
You can make families of words thinking about what they all have in
night – fright – sight – slight – tight
This is where you break the word into its base word and the prefixes of
suffixes that have been added to it, rather than trying to remember how
to spell the word as a whole.
dis-similar - dissimilar
Root words / Making links
This strategy is usually saved until Key Stage 2.
Here you make links between the meaning of words and their spelling or
sign, signal, signature
bicycle – bi (two) cycle (circle)
With your child, you can make up your own rhyme, song or story to help
remember the letters in the word in the correct order. A separate list has
been provided in your spelling pack of well-know mnemonics.
Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants - because
Words within words
Sometimes it helps to think about the small words that you can find
within a longer word.
There is a rat within separate
teacher: tea, each, ache, her
Spelling Rules / Patterns
As your child moves from phase 5 phonics into phase 6 in Year 2 they
start to get taught generalisations and spelling rules/patterns. Help them
to remember these as they are taught, remembering that there will always
be exceptions to the rule!
‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’: believe, ceiling
change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es’: penny – pennies
Encourage your child to have a go at spelling words they are unsure of.
This will give them the opportunity to try out spelling strategies and to
find those that they find useful.
Here are some games that can be used alongside the spelling strategies to
help your child learn their spellings.
Get your child to choose one of their spellings, make sure they don’t tell
you which word they have chosen. Get them to write the word out slowly
in the air using their index finger. See if you can tell them the first
letter, last letter etc and then guess the word. Ask them to then spell the
Organise the words from easiest to hardest. Write the easiest word at the
top of the page near the middle. Write the next easiest word twice
underneath. Write the third word three times underneath again until you
have built your pyramid.
Write a story using all the words on the spelling list. Check the words are
all spelt correctly.
Write the words from your child’s spelling list out using the numbers from
the telephone that correspond to the letters then get your child to
decipher the words.
Write out one of the spelling words loads of times on piece of paper, but
each time miss out a letter or two. Then ask your child to fill in the
missing letters. After you have checked them all try it again with another
See how many times your child can write the word correctly in one
minute. Repeat with the other words from the spelling list.
Find the letters your child needs to spell the words on their spelling list
and then mix them up in the bag. Time your child at unscrambling the
letters. For extra maths practice your child could find out the value of
each of the words. If you don’t have Scrabble you can still play this
game by writing all the letters out on card and cutting them out and
then mixing them up in a bag.
http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ Here you can play lots of free games to
practise phonics with your child. It has games from phase 1-6.
http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/ This is a series of games
you can play to help your child with their phonics. There are free
spelling games to help your child blend and segment.
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/phonics-made-easy This website
will help answer your FAQs about phonics and you can also hear
the 44 sounds spoken aloud.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ Deep Sea
Phonics - a fun activity to help children in KS1 with their phonics,
with a choice of difficulty.
http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html A selection of phonics games
that link with the Letters and Sounds programme we teach in KS1.
http://www.topmarks.co.uk/english-games/7-11-years/spelling-andgrammar Lots of games to help support learning of KS2 grammar
grammar and spelling in KS2.
http://www.kidsspell.com/ Create your own spelling lists or use the
lists on the website to practise spelling by playing the games.
http://www.spellingcity.com/ Vocabulary and spelling interactive
activities, printable worksheets and games for KS2 children.