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Spellings, Y2 – are they allowed to get ‘ahead’?

(13 Posts)
Ginmummy1 Fri 06-Oct-17 11:25:20

So… DD’s school dropped the weekly spelling tests in Y1. Instead all the children were sent home with the first 100 High Frequency Words and a note to parents, asking us to work through this with our child and then ask for more when they’re ready. Meanwhile, in class they did paired spelling work with a child of different ability level.

DD is an advanced reader and naturally good at spelling so, in Y1, she raced through the 300 HFW and a Y3-4 spelling list the teacher provided (from twinkl) and a series of harder words (such as submergible, interruption, supersede, suburban, irreparable) and it all drifted along in a fluid way – we did some when we felt like it at home. This seemed somewhat haphazard but did give her some challenge, at her own pace.

In Y2 they are doing weekly spellings (and sentences). I’ve just realised (from this other thread) that they are working through the (non-statutory) spellings list for Y2 that can be found in this document at a rate of 10 spellings per week – and my heart has sunk a bit. This is going to take a while at this rate, and is not going to challenge DD at all.

Should I just accept that the weekly test will only take a few minutes and it doesn’t really matter, or should I be expecting the teacher to provide some additional challenges?

It’s parents’ evening in a couple of weeks. What can I reasonably expect, ask for?

RedSkyAtNight Fri 06-Oct-17 11:30:29

Accept it's a few minutes weekly test and it doesn't matter.

IME there is limited benefit to learning lists of spellings - DC learn for the test and might forget straight away.

More important that she uses a range of vocabulary (and spells it correctly!) in her every day writing.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 06-Oct-17 13:00:08

What is your actual aim? Do you want your DD to be a competent speller in her normal writing, or do you want your daughter to compete in spelling bee's?

If it's the first, then you do nothing as it's already done and invest the time in something else.
If it's the second, explain to the teacher and ask for help doing that with more complicated spellings.

Enb76 Fri 06-Oct-17 13:07:56

My daughter (9) can spell too - she just enjoys getting all of the answers right, the same for grammar tests. Some children are just good at this stuff and the test is short and she invests her time with things she finds harder.

As a parent it's quite irritating when the 40 minute homework is so banal that it actually takes 10 minutes but it does leave her extra time to practice her music instead so small mercies.

I'm trying to instil in her that it doesn't matter how good you are at something you still have to practice if you want to get better, that just being bright is not enough.

Ginmummy1 Fri 06-Oct-17 13:27:24

I guess I'm happy enough for her to do the normal weekly spellings. It just seems a shame that some of the children are learning through this process, and DD isn’t really.

I don’t want her to enter spelling competitions. It’s true that the take-home spelling and sentences work takes very little time and she can therefore spend more time on piano practice, but she can’t pick and choose what she does in the classroom.

“I'm trying to instil in her that it doesn't matter how good you are at something you still have to practice if you want to get better, that just being bright is not enough.”

This is exactly what I’m worried about: that’s she’ll start to feel that being bright IS enough, because she is not challenged in English lessons.

SaturnUranus Fri 06-Oct-17 14:08:48

My DD is good at spelling.

Once it had been established that she could spell the expected words for her year, her teacher set her words based on different spelling rules. It included things like turning a word ending in a 'y' into a plural, or when to double the end consonant before adding "ed" to a word.

The words themselves were still easy but the rules that she learned from them were useful.

G1raffe Fri 06-Oct-17 14:11:59

I'd rather they didn't do spelling tests at all!!

Just leave it, there's plenty if other things that are actually meaningful to do, like reading or as you say music practice. If her spellings fine then that's great! One less school related task to do.

irvineoneohone Fri 06-Oct-17 14:51:23

My ds was in similar situation, in KS1, he finished spelling for ks2.
Then started working on ks2 spelling again in yr3.
I didn't really think anything of it.
He never practice for spelling test.
I see the weekly spelling, chance to practice writing sentences using those words. That is better than ask school to give him more challenging words beyond ks2.

irvineoneohone Fri 06-Oct-17 15:11:35

Tbh, I do agree with pp that practicing for spelling test is actually pointless.
If you'd like your dd to increase her vocabulary, there are better ways.

BarbarianMum Fri 06-Oct-17 15:21:19

There is a lot more to English lessons than spelling OP and its a wonderful subject for stretching yourself. Nothing to stop your dd writing more, using a more advanced vocabulary or sentance structure than the norm or expressing more complex ideas to stretch herself. Equally, little to be gained from learning to spell words that she doesn't understand and won't currently use but certainly she should be encouraged to spell words in her vocabulary.

Enb76 Fri 06-Oct-17 16:29:36

This is exactly what I’m worried about: that’s she’ll start to feel that being bright IS enough, because she is not challenged in English lessons.

I set challenges. As an example my daughter's handwriting is beautiful but in class she still has to do handwriting practice. I set her the challenge of getting really fast without sacrificing how nice it looks. She can already do what's being asked of her so she has to learn to challenge herself to keep it interesting. She can't do that for herself yet so I help her find small ways. She does it for herself in maths but the more uninteresting lessons need more thought.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 08-Oct-17 21:37:20

My dd who is grown now flew through spellings when that age. She did the test evrry week but she never got bored with school as spent all evening writing stories and poems. She was obsessed and filled up piles of notebooks.
So make sure she has lots of fancy notebooks and pens and let her off writing stories herself. When she doesn't know how to spell a word she can use her dictionary. She will be fine. My dd ended up getting a first in English and University and still fills up notebooks.

LootTheRoom Tue 10-Oct-17 22:05:04

I would accept that the weekly spelling test is a couple of minutes writing words she can spell. If she enjoys reading and writing she will naturally come across new words and learn how to spell them.

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