Does your child bring home spellings to learn ? (primary schooll)

(92 Posts)
Ladyemem Tue 30-Apr-13 14:39:35

wondered what other schools do.

Our school dont and i think they should be.

DeafLeopard Tue 30-Apr-13 14:41:01

Yes and have done since YR (in Y4 now)

OldBeanbagz Tue 30-Apr-13 14:42:37

Y3 - brings home 15 speeling a week.
Y6 - generally 10-20 spelling a week

really wish they didn't bring them home though sad

OldBeanbagz Tue 30-Apr-13 14:43:27


need to go back to school myself!

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 30-Apr-13 15:26:04

No from everything I've read it doesn't help them to learn long term. If it's of any relevance it's a fairly academic private school.

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 15:44:02

DD (reception) has 10 a week

DS (yr3) very rarely has any.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 30-Apr-13 15:53:22

Yes, all the way through. DS now in Y6 and currently has two sides of A4 of the most common spellings to occur in SATs with the ones that have come up regularly in the last three years highlighted in bold.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 16:06:01

We were promised spellings at the end of Reception. I'm not sure how endy the end had to be because there's no sign of them yet. I'll be interested to see what they are.

Ladyemem Tue 30-Apr-13 16:06:14

really mimble. would love to see a copy of that. going to try and find them on the internet.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 30-Apr-13 16:32:11

It's rather a good sheet, lady, broken down in to various groups. It's definitely been printed off from somewhere, I'll try and see if it says where on it when I get home this evening.

LyonsDemesne Tue 30-Apr-13 16:48:49

In yr6 10 spellings in English and Irish arghhh!

wheresthebeach Tue 30-Apr-13 17:27:15

12 a week since reception and will continue through y6.

DD1 (yr 4) has groups of (same phonic sound) words and a wordsearch containing the same words.

DD2 (reception) has 5 words on a sheet which she has to write each day.

flakjacket Tue 30-Apr-13 17:33:30

Y5 - List of 20, of which they pick 10 to use in a sentence. Randomly tested on 10 of the twenty.

Y1 - List of 10 which they have to 'look, say, cover, write, check' 5 times. According to DS they aren't tested but "Mr X reads them out and we have to write them down" each week. Bless!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 30-Apr-13 17:37:12

DS1 is in reception and just started having spellings before Easter. We have 15 words per week.

So far he can do them with his hands tied behind his back so I'm wondering whether he will just plod through a list or whether his teacher will jump him through the 'levels' so to speak as they do with reading.

I don't really mind either way, it is good handwriting practise for him if nothing else and he enjoys doing it.

turkeyboots Tue 30-Apr-13 17:39:49

Y1 has 5 words a week with spelling test weekly. Odd words though, some on whatever the terms theme is, some v easy and some hard for the age (i think anyway).

Hulababy Tue 30-Apr-13 17:51:39

DD used to in Y1-3 but they have stopped since. She's in Y6 and never has spellings to learn, though they do have large spelling assessments every so often, based on their general learning.

I work in an infant school and we used to send home spellings with Y2. Stopped earlier this academic year and decided they were a waste of time and not actually teaching children to spell.

TBH I agree with my school. They don't really have much academic benefit ime. Children, DD included, learn spellings short term and get full marks in tests - then promptly forget them and still spell them wrong in independent writing.

Far better to just include spelling (sounding out and checking, etc) in your normal phonics and literacy work, day in day out.

fuzzpig Tue 30-Apr-13 17:58:25

DD in yr1 and hasn't had any. The school hasn't mentioned any particular reason for not doing them (and I remember having spellings right from the start in 1990s, and DSDs' school did them too) but I have read that spellings aren't actually helpful in real writing (ie you learn them for the test but then forget them) so I guess that is why they don't do it?

KindleMum Tue 30-Apr-13 19:23:22

DS is in Reception and has never had spellings sent home - so I was a bit surprised when we got a paper sent home this week on how to make spelling practice at home fun. There's been no prior mention of doing spelling at home and we've not been doing any.

noramum Tue 30-Apr-13 19:41:33

No, DD is in Y1 and we never had any. Strangely enough she spells very good.

I don't believe in random spelling, I think learning the words in contest while reading brings a lot more.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Tue 30-Apr-13 19:45:13

Mine did, but we didn't do them after discussion with teachers.

Spellings are pointless.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 19:46:18

I don't send spellings home, as frankly, I don't have time to test them. We have a weekly spelling lesson (and mini top-up activities) focussing on a particular rule, for example "shun" words, past tense verbs, etc. When I mark their work if I see an error that relates to our current focus, I underline it and write Sp! They then re-write this five times on the left hand page, which we use exclusively for corrections.
Works for us and I've been pleased with parents' reactions, as I thought they might be unhappy at lack of spellings.

WeAreEternal Tue 30-Apr-13 19:48:18

Yes. DS is 6, he brings home 10 spellings a week to learn.
They have a test in a Friday.

WildlingPrincess Tue 30-Apr-13 19:48:49

My daughter is 6 and has 6 or 7 to learn a week.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 30-Apr-13 19:50:12

Yes lists and lists and lists ad infinitum of ever more bizarre and crazy words in unusable tenses. And they have to out the words into sentences.

My dc have the knack of spelling, but ask them what any one of those words are in two weeks time and they wouldn't know. It's work for works sake. Dull uninspiring homework.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Tue 30-Apr-13 19:50:55

'Put' not 'out'.

meglet Tue 30-Apr-13 19:56:56

Yes, 6 spellings a week from Y1, then 12 a week in Y2. They have a test on Friday.

I'm happy helping DS do it. I 'test' him once a day. He sits at the table and I call them out from the kitchen.

It's interesting seeing how much he's learning. He can spell far harder words than I would expect.

Shakey1500 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:12:02

DS YR1 (aged 5) has 10 spellings a week

olivo Tue 30-Apr-13 20:27:12

Can I ask why they are pointless? Dd had 8 a week in year R, and 10 since year 1. They are all based on a particular sound, or theme, eg, days of the week. They are tested at the end of the week.

learnandsay Tue 30-Apr-13 20:39:39

I think some people say they're pointless because the kids get them all correct and then spell the words incorrectly for the rest of the year.

simpson Tue 30-Apr-13 20:55:32

DS (yr3) had spelling tests every week in yr1 and 2 and always got 10/10 but never remembered them when writing stories etc...

DD (reception) has had spelling tests weekly since December (ish) and has pretty tough words but amazingly so far does seem to remember them when writing stories etc so I guess it can go either way grin

suebfg Tue 30-Apr-13 21:01:20

Yes, he gets 10 per week and is at an independent prep. They are quite difficult spellings too.

suebfg Tue 30-Apr-13 21:01:58

Sorry should have added that he is in Year 1.

beanandspud Tue 30-Apr-13 21:22:35

DS is in YR and gets about 5 spellings a week (has had them since January). They tend to be groups of words with the same sounds so this week was coat, goat, soap, loaf, road etc.

conorsrockers Tue 30-Apr-13 21:26:08

Yr1-4 10-15 a week. Yr 5+ - apparently they do get them, never seen the book as my son is a smart arse and gets them right without learning them wink, and he only comes home 2 nights so it's the last thing I'm interested in!!

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 03-May-13 10:04:40

Ours don't get spellings but work to support spelling rules they're learning.Seems to work well

vjg13 Fri 03-May-13 10:18:00

Year 5 and 30 spellings a week. Just normal average primary, can be quite difficult at times, eg definitely was one from last week. You do see that often mis-spelt.

I make her learn them over the weekend for a test on Monday.

CheesyPoofs Fri 03-May-13 10:38:22

DD is in year 1 and has never had spellings.

She spells things phonetically - which means she can attempt most words on her own, but doesn't always get them right.

I used to get 10 out of 10 on my spelling test every week throughout junior school and my spelling is atrocious. I also struggle to read unfamiliar words. I never learnt phonics.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 10:40:17

My DC both do, Y3 and Y5.

I wish they did not, as I see it as a waste of their time. Children tend to learn weekly spellings for the test and do not transfer those words to their longer term memories, so they are not used in more general written work.

I support my DC in learning them because they want to and I think it is good that they want to do well at school, but I feel that the research is clear that there is no real benefit for them.

Interestingly, I am aware of several local schools who tried to drop weekly spellings because of the research but this had to be abandoned because of parental outrage!

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 10:41:09

Oh, and I have worked in education for 20 years.......

VenusRising Fri 03-May-13 10:53:35

25 spellings in English and ten in second language every week, also times tables.
Sentences to write every day: maths homework; workbooks and tables; and Irish language homework: vocabulary, grammar and games like word search.
We are in Ireland.
Tests every Friday: including dictation and comprehension tests, both languages.
Dc is in year 2. (7-8 year olds)

Curriculum in Ireland is heavy on rote learning at this stage.

Apologies for staccato posting style- I am short of breath today (allergies)

CheesyPoofs Fri 03-May-13 11:04:49

Blimey venus that's a lot of homework.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 11:12:01

How ridiculous. What's that saying, something about weighing the pig doesn't make it put on weight??

Not that I'm saying your DC is a pig, Venus!!

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 03-May-13 11:44:18

Notwilliam I agree.

It's pretty pointless learning spellings by rote,they really need to learn the context and rules so they can spell every word not just those learnt off by heart.

I thought every school was doing this and spelling lists had been discounted as having value.confused

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 12:28:26

But the words are not even 'learnt off by heart' anyway, they are so often learnt just for the test. Sometimes pupils can only spell them in the test if the words are given in the same order as they worked on them at home, which is a bit of a giveaway that it's a waste of time.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 12:29:35

I would be interested to know why the OP thinks that her DC should be bringing home weekly spellings?

thegreylady Fri 03-May-13 13:39:27

Yes from YR they have lists to learn every week.They have 10 in YR.15 in Y1 and 20 thereafter.I'm torn really as dgs usually gets them all right when tested but misspells the same words in creative writing. confused

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 13:42:29

Well exactly, that is the usual pattern.

learnandsay Fri 03-May-13 14:12:13

I don't think we were allowed to misspell words at primary school. I think if we did that it would have a red line drawn through it. Maybe a reason why children misspell words in their creative writing is because (a) they can't spell, (b) they're used to misspelling/spelling phonetically (c) possibly their attention isn't drawn to misspellings and corrections in creative work.

My daughter doesn't often misspell words at home but she does constantly ask how she should spell things. I've seen her school work with a fair degree of creative spelling in it. But I'm guessing that she had no one she could ask.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:21:07

Learnandsay, ok, sounds interesting if you were simply not allowed to misspell - what about in the early stages of building your spelling skills then?? You wrote nothing unless you knew it was correct? I may have missed something but I am not aware that having a red line drawn through a word makes the pupils suddenly able to spell any better.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 03-May-13 14:23:04

Plus if a young child is working hard at the creative process of producing a piece of writing, how sad that that that creative process is 'constantly'interrupted by her need to ask how to spell a word.

Elibean Fri 03-May-13 15:03:51

Y2 starts bringing home spellings, I think.

When dd1 (now Y4) was in Y2, they didn't. She started in Y3.

She has always known her spellings beautifully for every test, understands the words, can put them in context, and continues to spell fairly badly in spite of all that grin

Elibean Fri 03-May-13 15:05:13

Should add - she's actually started to spell much better recently (half way through Y4).

Personally, I think it's down to the fact that she's started reading a lot more - spellings to learn, and tests, never made any difference at all. Reading does.

pointythings Fri 03-May-13 18:29:48

DD2 gets about 25 spellings a week. We do not so much as look at them, for all the reasons given by the antis above. She is a very good speller in her independent writing and that will do me nicely. I think reading widely is a far better way of learning to spell, alongside proper correction of independent written work (which DD2 does get).

BabyGiraffes Fri 03-May-13 21:25:04

12 per week, year 1. Totally pointless in my opinion. I would prefer dd to learn spelling in context within sentences.

cakebake Fri 03-May-13 22:18:07

My DD in year 2 gets 12 a week, which she and DD2 (y1) go through when she brings them home on a friday, she's supposed to learn them and be tested on a friday, but from what she is telling me they are not being tested on them anyway, we check through and practice at home when we need to

cakebake Fri 03-May-13 22:21:41

I would add though that they do letters and sounds daily and go through a lot of spellings and abbreviations etc then, I agree with the comments above that spelling tends to get better with a lot of reading, as well as discussion and understanding about what they have read

LightAFire Fri 03-May-13 23:11:10

My DD's school used to but have now stopped.

As a teacher though I'd say they really don't actually seem to help much. The majority of children can learn spellings purely for a test, and then never apply those words in their own work. Other strategies (like: reading, phonics, common spelling patterns, using them in sentences, simple investigations) seem to be more effective than single word tests. (Someone once told me they don't transfer it from short term memory.) If you think about it, as an adult it's your ability to apply spelling which will matter more too.

Regarding correcting words in work, which another poster mentioned earlier, I think it needs to be a balance. You want the creativity, but also you want them ultimately to be able to spell! With that in mind, nowadays teachers tend to focus on the use of phonics in Reception and Yr 1, allowing children to write far more expressive stories and develop their ideas and structuring skills. Stopping to correct every word would be slow and arduous! In Y2 and 3 they move more towards looking at correct spellings (in a variety of ways) and editing their own work etc.

However, of course there are now people arguing that memorising by rote is helpful, and that phonetic spelling is causing problems (see furore over the Year 1 phonics test in particular), so it may all change again in a couple of years!

maizieD Sat 04-May-13 01:04:43

However, of course there are now people arguing that memorising by rote is helpful, and that phonetic spelling is causing problems

I'm intrigued as to where you are getting the idea from that 'phonetic spelling is causing a problem'. Having worked for a number of years with Y7 pupils who are poor readers and spellers I'd say that one of the few cheering indicators of moves towards decent, phonics based spelling instruction in KS 1 & 2 is that children are now attempting to spell phonetically instead of writing a random string of letters which they dimly remember to be in the target word, but can't quite remember what order they were in.... 'Phonetic' spelling is an improvement and is to be applauded, not deprecated.

Attempting to learn the unique letter sequences of 250,000 words'by rote' is precisely the sort of 'rote learning' which should be condemned; learning some 180 letter/sound correspondences (and 'times tables') by rote is useful and productive.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 09:00:42

I actually wonder if simply learning by rote could have a neg impact.

Wonder if it leads to kids not bothering to attempt to use rules,strings,phonics etc but an overuse of memory which obviously considering the vast number of words in the Eng Lang will result in mistakes.

Surely rote learning should be left for exceptional words.

LightAFire Sat 04-May-13 16:30:36

I'm intrigued as to where you are getting the idea from that 'phonetic spelling is causing a problem'

Googled it, read the discussions on the Dept of Education site, looked at articles on literacy, Masters degree in education with the IOE. Also from teaching for more than ten years myself - in KS2 each year progressively the children's spelling has got worse even though the emphasis on phonics has increased. And also I've spoken to a great many parents who are very concerned by how poor their children's spelling is (both professionally and personally). The children tend to spell phonetically but not correctly, which concerns them - although I do totally take your point re weaker spellers at least having a "stab" via phonics.

Generally, education methods and theories are frequently investigated, challenged, and also deprecated. I actually consider this a good thing since it means people are constantly thinking and questioning to find what is best for learners. Pretty much any education theory that you can mention has its supporters and its opponents - I just thought it was a good idea to acknowledge that, although if you re-read my posting you will see that I was actually explaining why phonics is considered more effective than pure memory.

I went on a very good phonics course, and I do believe that phonics absolutely has its benefits, as I explained in my first post. But some people definitely do seem to feel that there is currently a swing too far the other way, in that there is at times not enough emphasis on any correct spelling at all. And although around 70% of English words are phonetic, the vast majority of the most common ones are not, so inevitably there does need to be some memorising. My personal opinion is that you need a balance of both - as I said.

LightAFire Sat 04-May-13 16:33:27

And yes, Blueskies, agreed.

LightAFire Sat 04-May-13 16:40:11

MAizied this article might interest you - especially the bits lower down re writing:

I still think phonics has some major advantages though, and taught my own DD to read using Ruth Miskin's scheme as I loved it!

I wonder though if it's the difference between primary and secondary you and I are experiencing - perhaps by secondary the positive results are more noticeable? Or perhaps it is more helpful as a support for weaker spellers? It's an interesting question!

Portofino Sat 04-May-13 16:40:38

My dd (9) and year 3 in a Belgian school gets 10 a DAY. And she has to remember them too - as in teacher does not actually read out the words.

maizieD Sat 04-May-13 17:08:18

Sorry, LightaFire, the article you linked me to does nothing for me at all. it is just a load of unevidenced assertions put forward by people who are desparately trying to maintain their reputations in view of the fact systematic, structured phonics instruction goes against all the beliefs about teaching reading that they have made their reputations on over the past few decades.

Perhaps you might find this interesting:

First of all the spurious 'debate' (in which at least one participant didn't know that their article was to be used as part of a 'debate'):

Then Debbie H's response to David Reedy's contribution:

Googled it, read the discussions on the Dept of Education site, looked at articles on literacy, Masters degree in education with the IOE.

What you need to be looking at is the research, not opinion pieces.

You might also find this interesting; longitudinal data on spelling compiled by the developers of one particular programme:

As you will see, this phonics teaching doesn't seem to be adversely affecting these children's spelling.

maizieD Sat 04-May-13 17:11:16

OMG! 'desperately'. And this in a thread on spelling blush

mrz Sat 04-May-13 17:16:13

LightAFire I have never read such a load old rubbish as the Jennifer Jackson article I hope you you don't consider that evidence for your assertions.

RodEverson Sat 04-May-13 17:56:04

There seem to be two conflicting interpretations of "phonetic spelling" here. One is that a child spells phonetically, without regard to whether the result is actually correct, e.g., cote for coat, or wen for when, etc., and writes without corrections that would hinder creativity.

The other is that, when spelling any word, the child should use the phonetic content of the word as a guide to spelling it. That is, since "coat" is composed of the sounds /k/+/oe/+/t/, you are best served picking spellings that represent those sounds, and in that order.

Perhaps it would be clearer if people who hold the latter position, like me, would instead advocate "corrected phonetic spelling." Practicing a mistake, like "cote," or "wen," over an over has no chance of improving one's spelling, but practicing a corrected phonetic spelling most certainly does.

And I'd wager that most of those kids who learn their spelling words one week and forget them thereafter are not practicing a corrected phonetic spelling, but are attempting rote learning instead, a virtually impossible task when it comes to spelling English words. There are just too many to memorize by rote. Their phonetic content has to serve as a guide, and wrong attempts must be corrected before too many further attempts are made.

To my mind, one of the best reading methods ever devised is The Spalding Method, and in it a child's first formal encounter with words is learning their correct spelling, with consistent correction of errors thereafter. They then progress to reading those words and using them in their writing. After introduction to the code, the rest of the program consists of a progressive spelling course integrated with the reading of fine literature and composition writing. According to researchers, Spalding-educated children read and write at levels well above their peers taught by other methods.

I do agree, by the way, with those who claim that spelling is best learned in conjunction with reading, although I would add writing as well.

mrz Sat 04-May-13 19:04:40

I think part of the problem is that many teachers don't teach decoding for reading and encoding for spelling as reversible skills and many still teach whole words.

My class (yr4) get a mixture of spellings. Part of their list will be related to a particular spelling 'rule' or grapheme (eg /ea/ words) and some will be related to our currect work. Last week they had decimal, tenth and hundredth, while this week they've got measure, thermometer and Celcius!

iloverainbows Sun 05-May-13 11:50:17

My DS, year 2, does not bring any spellings home and it does worry me how he is going to learn to spell. He started his education in the UK and learnt phonics for 1 term, he picked it up really well and I have continued to encourage him to use this knowledge in his reading ever since.

However we are no longer in the UK and they do not do formal phonics at his school. The teacher has told me that if she notices a child is weak on a sound she will cover it with them. This is in a class of 28 children with no TA or additional support so essentially there is no teaching of sounds. I would appreciate some advice from teachers especially as to how I can help him with spelling because I don't understand how he will learn to spell if he doesn't have formal phonic sessions or spellings home to learn. Can a child really learn to spell from reading alone?

mrz Sun 05-May-13 12:19:09
LightAFire Sun 05-May-13 16:43:04

maizied amd mrz no, that article was just an example of the existing debate of which maizied appeared to be unaware.

What you need to be looking at is the research, not opinion pieces.

Maizied Yes, funnily enough with my educational background I am well aware of how to research - are you trying to have an intelligent discussion here, or to play a rather patronising game of one-upmanship?

I will say it again, since you seem to have misunderstood me: I did not personally dispute the use of phonics. And I fail to see why you are trying so hard to convince me it is effective. I already know that. I believe you! Since I am a primary teacher, obviously I have taught phonics myself and had numerous staff meetings, INSET etc on the subject, plus an intensive and excellent external course, and - again - I taught my own DD to read phonetically. My personal view of phonics is that it has some major advantages, particularly in the teaching of common letter strings and sounds, but - due to the awkward nature of the English language - to be most effective it must inevitably be taught in conjunction with some memorising. I think it is particularly beneficial to children with SN relating to spelling as it provides alternative strategies and allows them to communicate ideas in written form, which is wonderful.

However there is some debate over it (which I dared to briefly acknowledge in one sentence and thus evoked your wrath, apparently) and to pretend that it doesn't even exist is both naive and closed-minded. I suspect I am wasting my time here as you seem to be determined to misinterpret whatever I say, but still it seems a shame that you are not willing to even consider the other side of the debate. Surely education should be about weighing up all the evidence in an open-minded manner and deciding on a rationale accordingly? Selectively ignoring some evidence in favour of that which supports your argument only serves to weaken your case. (And Mr Gove’s proposed curriculum would have been so much better if he had done this himself.)

I would like to point out too that in the personal example you gave, you did not say that your Y7s can spell perfectly thanks to phonics. You said - essentially - that they make a better stab at the words. My concern here would be that sadly in the world of employment a lot of people will still not care whether it is closer to right than before if it is still wrong, and are employees (especially graduates) of the future likely to be told by their bosses “well done that’s nearly right” regarding spellings? I very much hope that as people become more aware of dyslexia and similar that employers will indeed become more supportive, but what if they don't? (Maybe we could just throw out all the undeniably illogical spellings in our language and go completely phonetic - it would be nice!!!)

I still 100% believe that phonics gives children more chance of being able to spell words than pure memorising. I’m very glad that you are finding phonics successful too. But as I said before, pretty much any theory in education will eventually be contested, especially over time – e.g. here is a brief history of the child centred vs teacher centred debate (NOT a research piece...):

So in ten-twenty years, when we’re all back to rote learning or whatever new system they've found, and then when phonics is back again ten-twenty years later, perhaps you will eventually see what I mean. I was not criticising phonics personally, I merely commented - after two paragraphs explaining why pure memorising is not as effective - that criticism existed. I really don't understand quite why that seems to have riled you so much, since it's true.

Anyway I feel as though all we are achieving here is to hijack this thread and turn it into a pointless circular argument over phonics, which wasn’t my intention (as I like phonics!), so I shall bow out now.

And to all the mums reading this, I do hope I haven't inadvertently worried/angered you either: phonics is a good system of learning how to spell the vast majority of words. Many primary schools now do talks on how they teach phonics and if you get the chance to go along, do - it will reassure you I think. Please don't worry that you are not being given lists of spellings to memorise (if that's what your school are doing). But yes, your children will need to memorise some non-phonetic common words like: the, said, there, their, were, etc. In the majority of cases they will pick this up from reading (I particularly recommend Ruth Miskins' synthetic phonics series as she highlights non-phonetic/"tricky" words) but in some cases they won't. In which case, their teachers will do some extra work with them, which may involve some memorising activities. Good luck one and all!

mrz Sun 05-May-13 17:12:19

I wouldn't call it an example of debate LightAFire more an example of very shoddy journalism of the worst kind no wonder Jennifer Jackson used a pseudonym

mrz Sun 05-May-13 17:13:25

your children will need to memorise some non-phonetic common words like: the, said, there, their, were,

you do know all those words are phonetic don't you hmm

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 20:26:23

LightAFire, I am very well aware of the 'debate' about the use of phonics for the initial teaching of reading and if someone were to present me with a research evidence based piece which challenged the research evidence I rely on I would be very pleased. But over the years nobody who I have suggested this to has ever done so.

The point about spelling is that whatever 'Jennifer Jackson' based her statements on it certainly wasn't empirical evidence as, as far as I am aware, there has been no longitudinal national testing of spelling for years; if ever. So any judgement on the decline or, otherwise, of spelling nationally is purely subjective. I have worked with struggling readers/spellers for tha last 13 years and my subjective impression is that, since there has been slightly more emphasis on phonics teaching in the past few years, their spelling errors have become more a question of wrong grapheme choices than of incorrect letter strings.

I am glad that you like phonics teaching so much, but, as msz has noted, your insistence that some words are 'non-phonetic' is a bit worrying.

Portofino Sun 05-May-13 22:22:51

Many English words/spellings are NOT phonetic though. My dd was taught to read in French, through learning individual letter sounds and whole word recognition. French is much more phonetic than English and the rules are more rigid. She transferred her knowledge extremely well to reading in English. So I have to correct her according to context, read, read for example. That is not phonics.

Portofino Sun 05-May-13 22:26:22

I mean - I read a book. Present. I read a book. Simple past. Phonics cannot explain or decipher this.

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 23:28:09

If they weren't phonetic you wouldn't be able to read them. They all contain discrete sounds; the sounds are represented by a letter or group of letters. Agreed that with our very complex alphabetic code you might not always know quite which 'sound' is indicated by a letter (or group of letters), as in your read/read example, but the discrete sounds in both words are encoded.

'Phonics' should tell you that there are alternative pronunciations and to try them, using context where necessary to confirm the intended meaning.

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 23:31:22

P.S. I think what you really mean is that English words do not contain consistent letter/sound correspondences. The key word being 'consistent'. Neither, for that matter, does French, though it is less opaque than English.

kimmills222 Tue 14-May-13 19:35:36

I agree, kids must be given spellings to learn from their schools and daycare centers though my kid has not had any till now. I think he will be getting it in the next year. It helps the kid but problematic for the moms.

mrz Tue 14-May-13 19:47:22

why must they kimmills ... when all the evidence is those children who score 10/10 week after week in spelling tests are unable to spell the same words in their independent writing

mrz Tue 14-May-13 19:47:55

far better the school actually teaches them to spell

learnandsay Tue 14-May-13 20:40:53

I'm still waiting for ours. There's not a lot of Reception left.

simpson Tue 14-May-13 20:59:57

DD used to bring spellings home to learn weekly and have a test on Friday (reception) but she hasn't had any for weeks then told me last night that they are learning them at school instead grin (result for me as I hate doing spellings).

DS (yr3) has had maybe 5 lots of spellings since Sept.

learnandsay Tue 14-May-13 21:13:46

I wonder about mine. Recently she's started asking things like is y-o-u how you spell you? And then saying it's one of the tricky sounds that you can't sound out, like he and she. I added one and once and she replied we don't have those. But when I asked her have they been spelling words at school she said no. I've never gotten a single meaningful sentence out of her about what they do at school. So on this subject, like all the others, I've simply given up.

everlong Tue 14-May-13 21:14:22

Mrz you know the results from the spelling test that they have each week do they go towards their sats result ( spelling bit ) in year 2? I know it's unlikely.

freetrait Tue 14-May-13 21:26:56

I correct DS's spelling all the time now when he writes at home. I think he's ready for it (Y1). He often asks anyway if he's unsure. He's pretty good, and I think it would be a disservice to him not to correct it now. His spelling is very good for his age, so I think they are teaching encoding as mrz says as well as decoding. Today as an example he wrote vegtables, which isn't hard to correct to vegetables.

I then told him how spelling wasn't standardized for ages and that people used to use all sorts of spellings, which he found very amusing and then wrote "vejterbuls", found that even more amusing, already forgetting that that was his normal sort of spelling in YR grin.

simpson Tue 14-May-13 21:38:10

DD came home with a sheet of writing that she hand done in sound time with words like: window, snow, grow, show etc etc...

So I can deduce they have been covering ow as o iyswim!

simpson Tue 14-May-13 21:38:35

had blush

mrz Wed 15-May-13 06:50:57

No the results from weekly spelling tests aren't used for SAT results.

everlong Wed 15-May-13 07:34:49

Thanks , didn't think so.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now