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?

mrz Sun 10-Mar-13 18:11:03

Well perhaps it's just the one who gave you advice Ellie

EllieNW3 Sun 10-Mar-13 18:00:44

mrz - oh no, do you think the teachers are that bad?

I am kind of relying on the teachers to get it right as I am a non-native speaker so would probably just take the teacher's word for it and correct my own spelling too accordingly. Now I am screwed! I have noticed that loads of people can't spell (for a long time I doubted if I was actually spelling 'receive' correctly) - but I was hoping that at least teachers would be able to spell...

mrz Sun 10-Mar-13 17:43:48

I wish someone would train teachers how to teach reading and spelling

EllieNW3 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:34:48

I recently went to a workshop on teaching to read/spell/write and I really liked what the teacher told us. He said that he would always praise the child along the lines of 'well done, mummy can totally understand what you want to say' and then write the correct way of spelling underneath and say that 'this is one of these tricky words so mummy just writes it correctly beneath'. The teacher said to leave it to that first so the child would be aware that the word is actually spelled differently. Then when the child is ready/ a bit older start pointing out how the correct spelling is (start with the high frequency words etc).

I think he said that he would start this a year later though but I guess there is no harm if you felt your child was ready now?

simpson Sat 09-Mar-13 22:56:40

DD has written a book report this eve (her homework - she is in reception).

"Jess ran away wen Pat got the baby barth owt for Jess. Jess hid behind the sofa."

<<bless>>

TheBuskersDog Sat 09-Mar-13 19:48:34

Your child is probably not learning an incorrect spelling which then needs to be unlearnt, that will just be her attempt at that time, she may well spell it differently the next time she attempts it, possibly also incorrect.

Ilelo Fri 08-Mar-13 22:09:01

Thanks, I'll do that.

Sounds better to leave the correction till later, makes it less obvious it's about what she's written before.

learnandsay Fri 08-Mar-13 12:47:33

Can you correct her spelling without spoiling her work or her enjoyment of the task? If you can then great, go for it. If it's going to put a downer on her whole effort then why not do what I do which is to leave the spelling as it is, temporarily, and then find an opportunity at some other time to discuss one or two of the words that she couldn't spell. Maybe talk about the word, what it looks like, what other words look and sound the way it does, why it looks as sounds the way it does, (if you know) and maybe point out a prominent example of the proper use and spelling of that word.

My daughter's school had some personality in the other day whose name and surname both had several tricky elements. She started writing the name out phonetically with fridge magnets and made a reasonable stab at it but it looked nothing like the person's real name. She actually knows some of the tricky elements and how they work so I told her which ones she needed and she added them, (with a bit of re-jigging) and there was one she couldn't have done by herself (a silent letter) so I just told her where to put it and then when she'd finished I showed her the person on the Internet with their name written underneath. She was made up.

Ilelo Fri 08-Mar-13 10:25:03

Thanks for the comments. I'm inclined to agree with learnandsay re why learn and unlearn but I understand the points about being able to write freely without worrying about spelling.

However, in my DD's case, she is on ORT 8. She's already learnt the different types of phonics (don't remember what they are called but e.g. up to 3/4 letters making 1 sound etc) but obviously doesn't know every word.

The teacher says her reading is above expected levels and I do appreciate she has other children who are at earlier stages of phonics hence easier to standardise and not correct anyone.

Given the above, should I be correcting her at home?

mrz Wed 06-Mar-13 20:05:07

I was just 4 when I started reception many decades ago and we did lots of reading and writing. My mum kept some of my first "news" books, which have a space for drawing and writing under.

I didn't mean "reading makes you good at spelling". I meant "good spellers are avid readers". And by "good" I don't mean "competent" but "talented, effortless".

learnandsay Wed 06-Mar-13 19:41:35

It doesn't matter when people say they learned to read. But if people are talking about it at dinner parties you either need to go to different dinner parties or stop going to them altogether.

mrz Wed 06-Mar-13 19:35:50

IMHO good spelling comes mainly from reading, not drills. Unfortunately IMHE lots of very good readers are poor spellers.

leroymerlin Wed 06-Mar-13 19:35:47

It's really interesting that spellings aren't corrected. As a secondary English teacher, (who has just returned, having been out of the classroom for a few years), I've really noticed large numbers of bright children who have spelling as an issue. Whilst this is nothing new, all the spellings are phonetically correct, so somewhere along the line 'relearning' spellings isn't happening.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 19:24:37

Yes indeed, I think you must be right about that.

DH's reading got WORSE after he started school apparently grin

Yes, I got that... but I had been about to say something about being able to read before I started and then read your post with the hmm face so felt I had to acknowledge it... grin

I'm sure my teacher's own hmm face was down to hundreds of parents over the years telling her that Little Johnny could read and then her finding out that he couldn't, not really. But those same parents have probably raised Little Johnny in the belief that he could read before he started school and now he tells you all about it at dinner parties.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 19:17:22

Sorry - I am not DENYING that some children can read

There are something like 200 graphemes in English. Reception learn a few at a time. I think it is unreasonable to correct them before they've learned the full set (presumably Y1).

We tend to say "that isn't how grown-ups spell it" if asked, but praise the process in the meantime.

IMHO good spelling comes mainly from reading, not drills.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 19:15:11

I am not arguing that some children can read Tolliver (there were normally two or three in every intake), just that every single adult I know claims to have been able to read before they went to school. Hence my hmm face.

(I could read before I started school, by the way. My parents told my infant teacher that and she pulled the same hmm face as HumphreyCobbler. Then I read all the way through the Peter and Jane word grid that she used to assess reading level, and she took me up to Infant 3 to choose a reading book)

5-6 years is current Y1. Legally children born in April-August still don't have to start school until the start of Y1, just that now most of them in practice start at the beginning of Reception. I have a July birthday and started in Infant 1 in September when I'd just turned 5.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 06-Mar-13 17:37:55

That is interesting CecilyP - thanks. You have a good memory! I do remember copying from the blackboard but all my memories are from junior school rather than infant.

6 years is current Y1!

CecilyP Wed 06-Mar-13 17:27:23

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?

I wasn't taught anything literacy related when I was 4 because I, as with most people my age, did not start school till I was 5! Over 30% of children didn't start school until what is now Y1. In my one term in reception, I remember we used to 'write' our news, which meant drawing a picture then the teacher would lightly write a caption which we would trace over. In Y1 we did vast amounts of copying off the blackboard - nursery rhymes and short poems, that kind of thing. I have no recollection of the transition to independent writing, but we did have little dictionaries (like an address book)and could ask the teacher for the spelling of words we were unsure of. Classes were large, so I think many children spent a lot more time queuing than writing. I guess we must have done some basic phonics, but I don't really remember being taught spelling, although spelling was corrected in work. We never had spelling tests so did not learn 'spellings'.

Guessing I might be a similar age to your ILs, we were taught long division in what is now Y4, but this was in an A stream class in a high achieving primary school.

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.

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.

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