BerkswichCE Primary School

Achieve, Believe and Care

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Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Grammar and Spelling is timetabled to be taught discreetly each week and, of course, these skills are also embedded within English lessons, where children learn how to use their grammatical skills purposefully and effectively.

To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s creativity. We aim to use explicit, interactive teaching which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words through investigations and discussions. We aim to teach spelling in a way that ensures children take ownership of their own learning, believing that they are able to tackle and learn new spellings for life. In addition to the spellings covered through the spelling book system (please see below), the children have opportunities in school to learn how to apply spelling patterns through an investigative approach. This is threefold: 

-children investigate to discover a spelling rule or how to apply a rule

-at the appropriate level, children later have an opportunity to practise and rehearse applying the pattern

-once a spelling pattern has been learnt and reinforced, it is expected that this will become part of their everyday writing. Where mistakes are made, pupils have the opportunity in next step time, to check and self-correct

This approach is proven to lead to the learning of spelling being sustained over time and equips the children with the skills to continue to learn and apply spelling rules and patterns beyond their time at Berkswich.


Our school spelling books are used from Reception to Year Six to encourage further home practice. These books are designed to coincide with the government listed spellings and work hand in hand with the rules explored through the discrete teaching of spelling. Children complete a spelling assessment at the beginning of each academic year to ensure that spellings are embedded. Children are tested on their spellings every fortnight, running alongside any intervention sessions that may be required. In Reception and Key Stage One, children are first tested to ensure that they can read the word successfully before learning the spelling itself. In upper Key Stage Two, spelling books get progressively harder, challenging children on their understandings of the words and their ability to use them in different ways as well as their ability to articulate the word's meaning. After learning a number of sets, children complete a ‘Big Check-up’ to, again, ensure that these words have been committed to their long-term memory.


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