We use Jane Considine’s ‘The Spelling Book’ approach in school to teach spelling to pupils from Years 2 -6. Children in Reception and Year 1 continue to be taught spelling through their daily phonics lessons.
The 'Spelling Book' programme is focused around an inquiring and investigative approach that is rooted in phonics. Our aim is for all children to be excited about words!
The Three Zones of Spelling
This approach centres on three zones of spelling which combine to make the three tiers on the Spelling Rainbow – the ‘Groupings’, the ‘Improvings’ and the ‘Acquirings’. The first zone is focused upon the children becoming ‘spelling detectives’ and seeking out patterns, links and connections. The second tier focuses on the importance of children drawing on their knowledge and applying it quickly, in the moment. The emphasis is on developing automaticity when spelling. Finally, the third tier is all about helping children to remember their spellings, increasing stickability and preventing forgetting.
How is Spelling Timetabled?
The same, two-week cycle will be timetabled in each class. During week one, emphasis will be placed on spelling investigations. Children will test out hypotheses and decide if they are true, false or sometimes true. ‘Spell it Out!’ activities will be focused on 15 given spellings. These spellings are displayed in classes and children and parents can also access these via Showbie.
During the second week, short-burst, ‘chunked’ activities will enable children to revisit and revise a wide range of strategies, patterns and rules.
Children also complete a short, low-stakes quiz which will be part and parcel of a spelling lesson during the fortnight.
My Focus Five
Children will also have 5 personal spellings to work on in school that have been identified from their work – ‘My Focus Five’. These will sit on children’s desks and they will try to apply these spellings correctly in different areas of the curriculum.