At New Close we recognise the importance of children learning and understanding the spelling rules and patterns rather than just learning how to spell increasingly difficult words.
Each class has at least one spelling session a week where a spelling rule is looked at in detail. On Friday the spelling words for the week linking to the phonics and spelling rules that the class are looking at are tested as a cold test to show teachers the understanding that children have of the rule. The spelling words are then sent home for the children to practise. On Wednesday the spellings are tested again in the hot test. The children can earn house points if they have improved from the cold test to the hot test. We aim to instil in the children that they are trying to improve on their own score rather than competing against other members of the class. The expectation is that once a spelling rule has been taught it is then applied in the children's writing.
Support is given to children who find spelling challenging either through small group teaching, interventions, or recapping spelling rules. Children in the same class may be working on a different spelling or phonics rule depending on their level.
We expect children to practise their spellings at home each day, at least five times throughout the week. It is vital that the children are given support in practising their spellings at home as it is this that will cement the spelling rule in their understanding.
Children in Year 1 through to Year 6 are also expected to know how to spell the common exception words for their year group. These are incorporated into the spelling sessions that take place during the week.