Saturday, 12 January 2013


Yes, We Do Them In Reception!

Not all schools have a cohort that are ready for spellings in Reception. Some children are just not at the stage where they can sit and do sustained work. This could be due to life style, home background or personal development.

We do assess the children individually before giving out spellings, which is important. While you want to give the children all the same opportunities, pushing children who are not ready for writing will only be detrimental to their learning attitude.

When the children have reached a good level of fine motor skills and have learnt many of their phase 2 phonemes, we will start giving spellings to take home.

sp1 We use the Letters and Sounds High Frequency Words, and base our high frequency words on those.

The spellings follow the order of the words as they appear in letters and sounds, making use of the phonemes children have learnt.

There are only 3 or 4 words per week as we don’t want to overload the children. Those adults learning languages will know how difficult it is to learn a lot of new words in one go, so we drip feed the words to the children throughout the year.

writing 3 box We have been printing these sheets out A5 size, double sided so that the writing page is on the back, parents literally have to look, cover, write, check to complete the spellings.

The document you can download has the pages all set up to be printed double sided.

We assess the children’s reading and writing skills for their spellings in summative phonics assessment.

If you would like to download the spellings document, please click on the links.

icon Spelling pages 1
icon Spelling pages 2
icon Spelling pages 3
icon Spelling pages 4
icon Spelling pages 5 - 10
icon Spelling pages 11 – end

We have noticed a distinct difference between the children who complete their spellings and those who don’t. Homework, in Reception, is encouraged but is not compulsory. We noticed an increased improvement in both the reading and writing skills of the children doing their spellings.

There is a lot of controversy in the Early Years community about children learning through rote.

The Early Years is about creativity, expression, development and individuality. Outstanding Early Years practitioners develop children’s learning through fun and inventive activities. I would suggest that spellings don’t fit into that fun and inventive mission statement, however it is an effective way to teach children reading and writing.

I would be interested to hear any outstanding suggestions for replacing spellings with activities that are more fun, easy and cheap to resource for parents at home and as effective as giving spellings.

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