Do you think schools will be offering more help with children's spelling difficulties now that they'll be tested on them in Year 6?

(37 Posts)
bryte Tue 23-Jul-13 07:35:43

Despite DD1's (age 10, Y5) teachers assuring us that spelling would eventually improve as she is an avid reader, that has not been the case. Having read lots of past posts on here about spelling, I know what DD needs is a crash course in phonics. She became a free reader late in Year 2, aged 7 and a half, and it's always been obvious to me that she does not 'hear' separate sounds, but learnt to read by eventually recognising whole words. She spells inconsistently, often mispelling simple words, muddling up letters. When she encounters a new word to read in a book, her first guess could be that it starts with a letter she sees in the middle of the word.

At her last parents' evening, her Year 5 teacher said she thought she had some spelling issues but still insisted they would sort themselves out. I had it in my mind that I would work on spelling and phonics with her this summer. I know there are lots of suggestions for programmes in the archives here. I, of course, would rather not spend our summer doing this. I wonder if schools are now going to be giving support to the children who enter Year 6 as poor spellers, now that they will be measured on spelling. Wills chools even know the best way to teach spelling after X amount of years of it being deemed les simportant than writing content? Do any teachers or parents know? Our school has already broken up and I have had this thought too late in the day to be able to ask at her school!

englishteacher78 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:50:57

It may be because I'm a secondary teacher but I don't get this phonics as cure all thing. English isn't a phonetic language so how does breaking words into sounds which may change in different words help? This is a genuine question by the way, not being horrible.

PandaNot Thu 25-Jul-13 16:59:44

English is a 'phonetic' language but as you've said there are many different ways to write the sounds. Phonics works beautifully for reading because its relatively easy to remember the code to read an unfamiliar word. For spelling there still has to be some element of remembering what the word looks like so that you can choose the correct grapheme. My ds 9 is phonically a good speller but rubbish at actually choosing the correct grapheme. My dd 5 is much better because she can mentally imagine what the word looks like when she is reading and then can write it down.

Feenie Thu 25-Jul-13 17:42:09

There isn't going to be an English test level at all this year (probably because they did definitely make it up as they went along last year grin)

1. Each teacher only cares about your child for 12 months. They always say 'don't worry, it'll resolve itself next year' - because they have no interest at all in next year.

I resent that, actually - quite aside from the fact that it isn't true for most teachers simply because they do care, some teachers are managers/coordinators who are responsible for each and every child in the school.

mrz Thu 25-Jul-13 18:24:36

I'm a bit worried that an "englishteacher" should think that a language isn't phonetic shock it's complex because we have 44 sounds (depending on accent) but only 26 letters

Feenie Thu 25-Jul-13 18:43:35

Yes - kind of confirms the previous post about teachers not having a clue how to teach spelling confused

PhoenixUprising Thu 25-Jul-13 19:13:16

1. Each teacher only cares about your child for 12 months. They always say 'don't worry, it'll resolve itself next year' - because they have no interest at all in next year.

On reflection maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they don't say 'don't worry' because they don't care - maybe teachers say it through sheer ignorance.

Maybe they really believe that if children learn a weekly spelling list and read every night and grow up their spelling will be OK.

Feenie Thu 25-Jul-13 19:20:33

But that isn't 'each teacher', is it?

GetStuffezd Thu 25-Jul-13 19:27:55

Phoenix, many teachers still give out weekly spelling lists and call that "teaching spelling" because if they didn't, parents would complain. I don't give out lists and I don't do tests, but I do a good job teaching spelling.

Also resent the not caring about future years comment.

mrz Thu 25-Jul-13 19:38:32

the problem is many parents think the weekly spelling lists is teaching spelling

PhoenixUprising Thu 25-Jul-13 20:12:46

OK, not each teacher. I have no idea how many. Somewhere between 'some' and 'many'.

And certainly many, many, parents are ignorant about how spelling should be taught - but there is no reason why they should know how to teach spelling.

I have no sympathy for teachers who do things they don't believe in 'because parent's demand it'. Why can't they educate the parents? What would happen if the parents disagreed with them?

If you know you're doing the right thing you should stick to it.

I do however know that the individual teacher doesn't generally decide how to teach spelling or whether or not to send home spelling lists - that's the decision of the literacy co-ordinator or someone like that.

And I do have sympathy for teachers who know they are doing the wrong thing but know that their SLT won't back them up if they do the right thing.

PhoenixUprising Thu 25-Jul-13 20:21:17

GetSutffezd - how do you teach spelling?

How do you get spellings from children's short term memory to their long term memory?

What % of children will leave your class 'good spellers'?

And if it's not 100% - what happens to those children who don't leave your class as good spellers?

Do you ever expect them to become good spellers?

mrz Thu 25-Jul-13 20:36:59

Teaching children to spell is a whole school task that begins in reception but is a continual process that doesn't end with any particular teacher. As an adult I don't confess toknow how to spell every single word so you could say I'm still learning

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