 To consider how our current spelling system has evolved
 To explain how we are teaching spelling at Fordingbridge Junior School
 To give some ideas of how you can help your child with spelling at home
Outline of session
1) The current state of spelling – has it changed?
2) A brief history of spelling
3) What makes a good speller and how can we can promote and develop
good spellers
4) Our new approaches to teaching spelling at Fordingbridge Junior School
5) Marking and Testing
6) How can you help your child become a better speller
7) Final thoughts
“My spelling is wobbly. It’s good
spelling, but it wobbles, and letters
get in the wrong place.”
Winnie the Pooh
Good spelling instruction must give you the power
to spell words you have never seen before
Was Spelling Better In the Old
 “Pupils
are turned loose on society to
shock it with their bad spelling, and
disgrace the schools which they attended
and in which they should have been
 Spelling Textbook 1881
A Brief History of Spelling
What makes a good speller?
Forget the idea that spelling is about memorizing words – there are
too many!
Good reader doesn’t necessarily mean good speller
Good spelling is about word construction/ how words work
Children should not be afraid of making spelling errors – kiss of
death to writing
A spelling test is not a learning experience
Children need lots of opportunities to write for real audiences
Children need to know words are interesting
Children need to know about spelling’s place in the writing process
The learning should be based on the pattern not the list of words
Children need to understand word parts e.g. prefixes, root words,
suffixes and how to build up words – teach chunking
Good spelling instruction must give you the power to spell words you
have never seen before
The 3 part lesson
Collect lots of words which contain a
certain spelling pattern
Sort the words into groups
What have you discovered
Ideas for Creating Better Spellers
Play the odds – the Las Vegas Rules
Put words with the same patterns together
Good spellers can generalise a pattern, poor
spellers cannot spot or generalise a pattern –
therefore raise awareness of the patterns, teach
them to spot/describe patterns
Teach proof-reading
Teach dictionary use
Let children play with, construct, sort,
deconstruct words
Marking Spelling
 Ask
them to learn the pattern not the list of
words (except for exceptions)
 Get them to teach the rule to someone
else for homework
 Mark for the rule/pattern in tests
How you can help your child at
Believe that your child can become a good speller
Read regularly at home
Take notice of environmental print at every opportunity
Have fun with spelling e.g. playing games, making up limericks and
Give children real audiences for writing
Do homework together
Praise adventurous misspelt words
Have a dictionary at home to use where appropriate
Make sure children proof-read their written work
Talk about words as much as possible
Final Thoughts
Once you brain has been stretched by a
new idea it will never go back to the same
shape – memorising doesn’t do this.
Once you have forgotten everything you
memorised in school what stays with you
is your education
Where next?
 How
will this workshop change what you
do at home with your child?

SPELLING INSET - Fordingbridge Junior School