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Spelling at Orchard Fields Community School

At Orchard Fields Community School, we firmly believe that good spelling is an essential skill, which allows the children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies we equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking for adult help.

We particularly want the children to develop a love of language and the confidence to spell more challenging and ambitious words. In allowing them opportunities to develop a rich and exciting vocabulary, we are enabling them to become effective communicators.

The purpose is to support our pupils to become confident spellers by teaching them a range of strategies, rules and conventions systematically and explicitly. By becoming confident spellers, pupils will be able to focus on the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice within their writing.


At Orchard Fields Community School, we believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. One of our priorities is helping children read and develop their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. At Orchard Fields Community School we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.

Aims and Objectives

By adopting a consistent approach to the teaching of spelling we aim for the children to develop confidence and accuracy when spelling across the curriculum. In doing so we aim to:

  • Develop and teach the children to use a range of effective spelling strategies
  • Encourage creativity and the use of more ambitious vocabulary in their writing
  • Enable children to write independently
  • Enhance proof reading and editing skills
  • Encourage children to identify patterns in words and spellings.
  • Promote a positive and confident attitude towards spelling
  • Help children to use a range of dictionaries and spell checks effectively.
  • Help children recognise that spelling is a lifelong skill
  • Provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in spelling

Approaches to Teaching and learning

Specific sessions following the Letters and Sounds programme are taught daily in the EYFS and Key Stage 1. In KS2 spelling is taught based upon the New 2014 National Curriculum framework. Throughout Key Stage 2 small groups of children may work with TAs continuing with the appropriate phase of Letters and Sounds, or interventions where phonic knowledge is not yet embedded. In KS1 and KS2 spellings are taught daily using the Read Write Inc Spelling programme. 

Spelling Strategies

The teaching and learning of phonics and the correspondence between letters and their sounds underpins all of the spelling strategies taught across the school.

Alongside the specific Letters and Sounds programme, we endeavour to teach the children a range of spelling strategies in order to appeal to a variety of learning styles. These include:

  • Daily lessons using the Spelling Shed Lessons from Years 1-6. Spelling Shed's approach to spelling involves the relationship between sounds and written symbols as well as using morphology to help spell through meaning. The carefully selected word lists and engaging activities provide opportunities to incorporate phonics and meaning to strengthen spelling skills and build vocabulary acquisition. (See spelling shed guidance for more information)
  • The S.A.C.A.W.A.C strategy (say and cover and write and check)
  • Identifying syllables in words in order to break words into smaller parts
  • Identifying base words e.g. smile- smiling- smiled
  • Analogy- Using words already known to help spell new words e.g. could, would, should.
  • Mnemonics - making up sentences to help remember the spelling of a word.
  • Finding words within words
  • Making links between the origin of words and their spelling (etymology)
  • Using word banks and dictionaries
  • Learning different spelling patterns and investigating new spelling rules.
  • Linking handwriting to spelling and phonics, in order to develop a visual memory to aid spelling

At Orchard Fields Community School, we understand that children have different learning needs, therefore throughout the school the children will be offered a wide range of spelling activities to provide a stimulus for all learning styles.

They may take the form of:

  • Paired, individual, small group or whole class teaching
  • Whiteboard work
  • Dictionary and thesaurus activities
  • Audio visual activities
  • Writing experiences through play.
  • Word games, word searches, crosswords, puzzles
  • Specific homework activities
  • Investigative work
  • Editing and re-drafting work
  • Creating word banks linked to topic work or high frequency words
  • Word play activities
  • Action rhymes and songs
  • Creative work

Use websites:

Oxford Owl

BBC bitesize spelling

Spelling shed

BBC Bitesize (spelling):

Topmarks spelling

Spelling games

Spellbound games




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