Is it the norm not to correct spelling in Reception?

(48 Posts)
Ilelo Tue 26-Feb-13 14:37:58

My DD1 enjoys writing and reading.

Her spelling is not great however, it is usually phonetically correct though e.g. writing watched as wochd. She isn't corrected by her teacher as they don't correct spelling in reception.

I do correct her at home and she tends not to forget as I would then do spelling work with her based on what she has written.

Is it the norm not to correct spelling in Reception and why not?

wakarimasen Tue 26-Feb-13 14:46:29

In the early years it's really important for children to develop skills for sounding out words. Letting them spell words phonetically helps confidence grow so that they are not afraid to have a go a writing words in the future. So many English words are not spelled phonetically at all and children can become bogged down with remembering complex spelling rules.
Spelling will be picked up on as your child's writing develops in the coming years....

learnandsay Tue 26-Feb-13 16:57:06

I don't know how everybody else does it but with my daughter I give her lots of praise for whatever she has written regardless of how she has written it, but I take a note of what mistakes she has made. And then when I see an opportunity, perhaps some weeks later, I point out the word in a notable context so that she can associate it with its correct spelling.

simpson Tue 26-Feb-13 17:08:34

DD 's spellings get corrected if the teacher thinks she already knows how to spell the word. Otherwise it is left.

She does have weekly spelling tests though.

Ilelo Thu 28-Feb-13 20:42:47

Thanks for the replies.

I do praise and encourage her effort but afterwards we go through what she hasn't spelt correctly. She's never been discouraged by being corrected, if anything, she's happy to learn the spelling and will write the word correctly next time she uses it.

As they don't do spelling tests in Reception in our school, I am inclined to continue but leave it if she seems discouraged.

Sommink Sun 03-Mar-13 23:48:42

my dds school don't correct in reception either (well not yet anyway) she had to draw a picture of something big, she drew a giraffe and decided she wanted to write it down as well, she wrote jaraf and the teachers were pleased that she had tried to write the word as well as draw the picture.

StanleyLambchop Wed 06-Mar-13 10:47:45

My DD's spelling was never corrected in reception & 1, they wanted to encourage the children to try and write, and so the content was more important than the spelling. They introduced spelling in Yr2 & in juniors she was tested on spellings every week. She is now a top spellar in Yr6, so I can't say that it has done her any harm really.

alsoaperson Wed 06-Mar-13 11:13:14

It's totally normal and it FREAKS ME OUT!!!
Apparently it's good for them. Also, they need to be able to read pretty well before you want to worry about spelling (i.e. Level 6 Biff,Chip books).
I have a blog on how to help your kids with spelling (and similar).
englishtutorhome2.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Spelling

I got hold of this FAB book and my daughter (6-7) loves copying words out of it - she's obsessed with practising her handwriting and pink fineliners, so these interests combine really well! Bless her x
www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=100&productId=362659&searchTerm=spelling

Oo - I also have stuff on how to help them with handwriting (free resources) if you want to take a peep:
englishtutorhome2.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Handwriting

alsoaperson Wed 06-Mar-13 11:13:55

Good luck!

beanandspud Wed 06-Mar-13 11:36:14

DS is in reception and his school is the same - I completely understand the reasoning but it just feels a bit uncomfortable for an old codger like myself

They do have a weekly spelling test so the words that they should know are corrected but the rest is left so that they get the flow of writing, sounding out words and gaining confidence.

On the wall at the moment is a piece of DS's writing which describes a "feeers dragon" and a "cassul" made out of "candeefloss". It makes me smile when I see it.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Wed 06-Mar-13 13:06:15

DS1 is in Y1 and the teacher does not correct spelling in his homework diary. I am completely fine with it and have seen loads of improvement since reception. Like bean, I completely love reading through his diaries nd laughing at the spelling! I would rather he had the confidence to just go for it, rather than constantly worrying about spelling and interrupting his flow. They have spelling tests now though too and this has helped him learn loads of words.

My dd is in yr one. Her teacher said that if she went thru and corrected every mistake it would really discourage the children. As long as they can see that the phonics are being applied and you can understand what they have written then that's what's important right now. It does feel weird seeing work full of spelling mistakes but I do see what they mean. Imagine a child working hard on writing all about her dog or holiday only for it to come back covered in green pen. You can't encourage them to write if they r worried about spelling mistakes

learnandsay Wed 06-Mar-13 13:40:42

Surely it's a balance, though. Yes, you don't want to demoralise them and put them of writing, or make them afraid to try. But I've also heard of ten year olds who still write phonetic-spelling-gibberish. So somehow the children have got to be motivated to spell well and I'm guessing that the younger they're motivated the better. My 4yo thinks spelling well is a big deal and I'm glad she does. (She doesn't always spell well, but at least she tries.)

I always work on the basis that if my dd asks I will tell her. It's alot to Remenber though when for example ay/ai/a-e all make the same sound and they have to remember the right one, and that there are two words that sound the same (stair/stare) etc that they need to remember that too, it's alot for kids that were in nappies possibly a few months before and napping. They will by there with spelling and if by age ten it's not being corrected that is a problem. But a love of writing reading and imagining is more important for the first year or two I think .

learnandsay Wed 06-Mar-13 14:06:59

I think they need to learn the right spelling from the beginning otherwise they have to unlearn it and relearn it. The question is how do you teach them without putting them off?

No idea on that one smile I'm trusting my dds teacher who so far has been fab!

beanandspud Wed 06-Mar-13 14:28:24

I'm guessing that the balance is there in most cases and that it depends on the objectives of that particular lesson.

DS's reception class do writing in the morning, linked to phonics, and it is important that these have the correct spellings or it would be pretty pointless doing it. Equally, when the children are using some of those words in their creative writing sessions you would expect them to begin to get the right spelling.

In the afternoons they often do creative writing around their topic work - I would rather see a child trying find exciting, descriptive words to use even if they are written as "ferroshus", "feeers" and "huje" than sticking to 'It is big' just because they know how to spell it.

I'm quite shocked that they are doing spelling tests in some reception classes!

DD2 is in reception and is doing very well with reading, but all her spelling is phonetic and is never corrected by me or at school. DD1 is nearly 8, learnt the same way (with the same teacher) and now spells and writes beautifully. It just seems to happen naturally over the course of a couple of years.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 14:40:28

Can any of you remember what you were taught at four? Were all our spellings corrected? Or did it happen just like now and we are remembering what happened later re spelling correctly?

learnandsay Wed 06-Mar-13 14:41:26

I can remember learning to spell.

I was in reception 33 years ago. All I can remember is play. It was year 1 when we started getting word tins/easy books and definitely no spelling tests until year 2.

Jojay Wed 06-Mar-13 14:45:22

I think they don't want to put them off attempting words that they may not know how to spell - for example using 'nice' when 'beautiful' may be more appropriate, but they may get the spelling wrong initially.

At this stage, I let them get on with it, unless it's a high frequency word that they should know by now, or they specifically ask.

Ladyemem Wed 06-Mar-13 14:47:30

yes normal in our reception not to corredt.

Yes, phonetically plausible spellings aren't interfered with in Reception. They are trying to teach them phonics and phonetically speaking those are perfectly good ways to spell the words... just not the ones that the English language has standardised on. As their reading improves they will naturally spell more and more of the words correctly without anyone having to "correct" their early attempts, and then in KS1 the school can work on more deliberately improving their spelling.

DS is in Y3 at the same school, having gone through the same system, and his spelling is excellent.

Perhaps they do need to "learn the right spelling from the beginning", but I think by and large they only "learn" a spelling by decoding and reading a word multiple times. At the level they are at this stage in Reception they are exploring the fantastic idea that any word they have in their heads (many of which they'd never be able to read) can be encoded by them into symbols and written down so that it can be read by other people. If they start thinking that they have to "learn" a word before they can try to use it in written communication it's going to hamper their language use considerably.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 14:52:20

I can remember learning to spell. I can't remember when it started.

My ILs insist that every child was doing long division by the time they were six and it is just rubbish teaching that means all children are not doing the same now. I am a teacher and do not bother to correct them, it is pointless. I don't think that memories are to be totally relied up tbh. The amount of adults I meet who could read before they started school hmm

The phonic work my DS had in Reception taught him how to spell words. Cat, pin, etc. It is taught today, just not corrected in red pen in their writing.

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