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KS1 key words/spelling and homework

(15 Posts)
kittytom Tue 14-Mar-17 18:14:55

Just wanted other people's experiences of how infant classes send home key words/spellings as homework and how well you feel it works. I am a parent, our school sends them as a list to learn.

Thanks smile

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 14-Mar-17 19:25:04

YR1 and we don't have key words (I can't imagine what would be the point) and have never had spellings, although DD once said she had to practice dangerous as she'd spelt it wrong.

WigglyWooWorm Tue 14-Mar-17 19:26:44

We have spellings from now in reception and I hate it. With older child spellings started in year 2.

All a bit pointless and something extra to stress about and kids feel they're judged on.

kittytom Tue 14-Mar-17 20:01:43

Thanks - interesting to read, our school has just sent them home weekly and we have done /not done them but I have never really questioned how useful it is (til I was asked for my views today).

The school calls the key words 'tricky words', and is a list of words the previous curriculum said kids should be able to spell, apparently.

Ginmummy1 Wed 15-Mar-17 08:36:45

No weekly spellings sent home here. The school used to do these, and also ask the children to write a sentence using each of the words, but they recently changed policy on this as they felt it was not really working for the children (who would learn the spellings for the test and then forget them).

Most of my DD's friends in other schools have weekly spellings, normally (but not always) linked to the phonics sounds covered that week.

At the start of Y1 DD was sent home with the first 100 High Frequency Words, with a general request for parents to work on these with children at home, a few words per day, and to ask for the next list when they felt their children were ready. They don't have spelling tests in class at the moment, but children are paired for spelling practice (a more able child with a less able child).

kittytom Wed 15-Mar-17 14:20:14

That is interesting Ginmummy, a lot of threads I have read suggest schools have decided it isn't really helpful.

I like the idea of paired spelling practice in school with kids helping each other.

The school basically feels it is wasting TA resources testing all kids on tricky words in schools. Plus they are all at different stages because some parents do them every day, some not at all, some in the middle like me.

I quite like the idea of some sort of self assessment on the kids part and maybe they could spend the TA time doing spelling practice with more disadvantaged kids.

But it is difficult to think of an approach that would suit all kids.

Ginmummy1 Wed 15-Mar-17 14:25:23

I dare say DD’s school’s approach is less than perfect. I don’t know how many parents work on spellings with their children at home – probably not the ones that need it most!

The teacher has commented to us that DD doesn’t get much benefit from the paired spelling, as the child she’s paired with is at such a different level that he doesn’t quite have the skills to check whether DD has got hers correct. The teacher claims to spend 10 minutes now and then 1:1 with DD on her spellings, but DD can’t remember this ever happening (she’s pretty reliable).

Donnalouise76 Thu 16-Mar-17 18:25:16

It really amazes me how different schools are and that some children in Year 1 don't get much to do at home.
My DD started Reception in September she currently has in her book bag to learn at home:
Reading Book
Story Book
Library Book
Key Words ( They keep getting added now up to 60)
Numbers 0-20
44 Phonic sounds
Spellings 6 per week.

She goes to bed at 6pm and is never awake past 6:30, There are just not enough hours in the day.

kittytom Sun 19-Mar-17 22:25:17

That is a lot! Friends at different schools have quite a lot of proper homework but DD's school doesn't believe in it beyond optional reading books and (until now) spellings. It is an infant school though.

CountryCaterpillar Sun 19-Mar-17 22:36:40

Can we swap schools? I so don't believe in it but my childs infant is obsessed with it, and targets, and certificates.

kittytom Wed 22-Mar-17 11:55:43

They used to do endless certificates for gaining 'praise points' in class (for maths, English etc). These were cumulative so some kids were always racing ahead of others. I never displayed the certificates because I didn't want it to become a thing. The new head did away with them thankfully.

Bug28 Wed 22-Mar-17 12:03:13

In year R, my daughter brought home sheets with about 10 bubbles on it with different letter to learn the sounds and names of. Each week they got tested and when they had them all right they got the next sheet with some more letters on. When they had done all the letters, they moved onto short words.

In year 1, she had list of about 5 words to learn a week based on the phonics sounds they were working on.

Now in year 2, she used to have 5 sentences to learn, but they have recently changed and now she has a list of 5 words to learn, and has to write them in a sentence herself.

We also have to record at least 3 reads a week in her reading record.

The reading is more useful than learning spellings to be honest, but I think the weekly spelling tests mean the emphasis of the effort made at home goes on learning the spellings, which are probably not so useful.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 22-Mar-17 12:36:48

What happens if you don't do it? A couple of our fellow parents were truly astonished that we don't enforce the homework that is "set" after they were complaining at the difficulties it was causing in getting done - and were then surprised by the fact it not being done is not bothered by any one.

This is in a school where the homework isn't spellings or worksheets or stuff, but are simply some suggestions in a "homework book" that you could do.

shirleycartersaidso Wed 22-Mar-17 13:57:48

We have spellings, 12 a week, test on a Friday.

Reading - two books a week now they are a bit longer.

If the spellings don't get done, they do badly in the test and get upset. If they don't read the books a note comes back in the bloody journal "please read / comment".

They were getting maths 4 times a week but the teach has gone on mat leave and the new teacher doesn't seem to be sending any.

Zoflorabore Wed 29-Mar-17 04:05:51

Late to thread but just adding our experience.

Dd is 6 and in year one in a RI school in quite a deprived area and when my ds was there and it was a GOOD school ( he's now 14 ) the amount of work is crazily different.

Dd has each week- 6 reading books, 12 spellings which are a mixture of "tricky words" and general words but not easy, recent examples are wrestle, housework, circus, school friend. Dd loves spelling and does very well as we practice a lot but given that half of her class are still 5 I think it's quite hard.

She also gets a comprehension piece, a maths piece and a topic piece of homework each week that the children have a week to complete. To clarify, the reading books are given out two at a time and changed 3 times a week.

Dd is lucky that we help with her learning and that she herself loves to learn but I know for sure there are dc in her class with parents who have little or no interest.

MN tends to swing wildly from one extreme to the other.

Our recent OFSTED inspection gave 1 day notice, we drove past her school at 9pm the night before and the car park was still full, the school have a lot to prove, the building feels small and classrooms are tight, I applaud the staff I really do but can't help but feeling my dd is being failed for various reasons and am constantly thinking about moving her.

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