Spelling is taught in a few different ways at Bure Valley. In class, children have weekly spelling lessons led by their class teacher. These involve games and activities designed to expose children to the many rules and idiosyncrasies of the written English language. Our spelling curriculum has been developed by staff at Bure Valley to cover not only the National Curriculum requirements, but include wider spelling needs as well – such as identifying consonants and vowels, long and short vowel sounds, and root words. In lessons we discuss etymological roots of root patterns, as well as giving common exceptions. We believe that it is key for children to understand the wider ‘how and whys’ of English spelling – not just the rule or word itself in isolation.
Running alongside this is Big Spell – a carefully structured spelling practice scheme that enables children to learn either ten or fifteen words each week, followed by a weekly test. This can be done on paper using look-say-cover-write-check in a child’s yellow Big Spell book, or online using their Readiwriter login where they have access to a wide range of games and activities. Readiwriter completion is a not a requirement of weekly homework, but it is a tool to be used in supporting children to rehearse their spelling list at home.