In 2021-22 we introduced the Read Write Inc Spelling programme at Kingsway from Year 2 to 6, for the following reasons:
- To enable us to meet the spelling expectations of the National curriculum 2014
- To raise standards in spelling
- To provide consistency and progression in the teaching of spelling
- To help support children to enable them to be more confident at spelling.
Overview: What is Read Write Inc. Spelling?
Read Write Inc. Spelling is a robust, fast-paced, systematic spelling programme for children in years 2 – 6. The programme supports the aims of the National Curriculum to ensure that children:
...spell new words correctly and have plenty of practise in spelling them…including common exception words and homophones....
...spell words as accurately as possible using their phonic knowledge and other knowledge of spelling, such as morphology (the study of the form of words) and etymology (the study of the origins of and development of words)...
...are supported in understanding and applying the concepts of word structure...
...spell words that they have not yet been taught by using what they have learnt about how spelling works in English...
Why is it important to have a systematic spelling programme?
The English language has one of the richest vocabularies in the world. Over the last 1000 years the English language has inherited and assimilated many words from other languages: Latin, French, Greek and German. We have also kept aspects of the spellings of these words, which has created the most complex alphabetic language in the world.
English has many ways of writing each sound because we have more speech sounds than letters. For example, we wrote the sound ay at least eight ways: play, rain, make, eight, straight, reign, rein, break. This means that the alphabetic code is very complex and takes a long time to learn. Read Write Inc believe one of the keys to good spelling is to remember how to spell these sounds in different words – and this does not happen overnight! (Janey Pursglove and Jenny Roberts, 2014).
The process of learning to spell is cumulative for most children. Only a few lucky children can learn to spell effortlessly without structured teaching. Most need explicit systematic teaching that is continually reinforced and practised, until spelling knowledge is committed to the child’s long term memory. The Read Write Inc Spelling programme provides this structured, systematic teaching.
How does RWI help your child in learning to spell?
RWInc Spelling is an interactive programme which teaches spellings in a fun and engaging way. Each unit is introduced with a short video. It helps children to learn spellings with common patterns and uses rules in order to help them recall spellings as well as teaching exceptions to these words using ‘weird word warnings’.
During the week children will log the spellings they find tricky in their log books. This ensures each child is learning the spellings they need to practise.
When your child is writing for their homework remind them to use their dots, dashes and smiles and ‘Fred fingers’ to spell. The sound chart should be used to support your child to make the correct sound choice when spelling.
Giving children weekly spellings to be tested (even when they do score 10/10!) does not mean that they will apply these in their own written work. With this new approach to the teaching of spellings we hope to support and encourage your child to become both more confident and independent spellers which will in turn help them become better writers. Regularly revisiting spelling patterns and rules is key to them becoming successful spellers.
The Spelling Programme is there to help them become better at spelling through positive praise and encouragement and, like everything, this will take practice.
Supporting Your Child with Spelling at Home
To help you to support your child with their spellings at home every Friday, the children will be given 6-8 spellings from the unit they are currently learning which will follow a set pattern to practise at home. They will be tested on these the following Monday. In addition your child will also be given 4-8 red (Y2) or orange (Y3-6) words to learn from the National Curriculum word lists. The word lists can be access from the following link . These are words which children are expected to know for their age range.
Handy tips for supporting your child with spelling:
- Watch the following video which explain "Fred fingers"
- Make sure that the spellings your child brings home each week are practised.
- Support with pronouncing and learning set 2 and set 3 sounds can be accessed here
- Ask your child to explain the rule for the week. Can they give you some example words?
- When your child is writing and is unsure of a spelling remind them to use dots, dashes, smiles and Fred Fingers.
- Encourage your child to edit their own spelling when writing using their spelling sound chart
- When practising red words, remember that quite often ‘you can’t Fred a red!’ these words are often not phonetically decodable and so we use other strategies to learn them
- Remember to also revisit previous week’s spellings. Overlearning is the key to embedding the rules to our long term memory.
What Is My Child Learning This Term?
After careful assessment of each child’s spelling abilities we made the decision to re-teach the previous year groups spelling rules first. This will enable us to fill any gaps in knowledge from the lockdowns and provide us with a firm foundation to accelerate learning as the year progresses. The medium term plans will be uploaded here half termly.