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Those now finishing Yr1

(26 Posts)
spellicious Sun 05-Jul-09 22:22:16

Hello Everyone,

Please could you just tell me what form of spelling learning /tests you have had this year.

Friends in 3 other boroughs have had various methods:

Where they have had to learn topic words and sound based word groups they have test on these plus two more surprise words

Word boxes which parents are encouraged to go through each week but no test

Words to learn and include in a sentence

We have no words or sounds sent home and no tests. There is sentence writing but this is very difficult with PFB as he has no means of spelling anything so how on earth is he supposed to write stuff without me spelling it out

So much for the NC if within a few miles it is all so different.

What have yours done as we have been warned that in YR 2 it will all take off.

I used to be a teacher so apart from PFB anxiety am generally bemused by these huge disparities.

I realise that it is important to trust the school but it is very demoralising watching him try when every word is wrong apart from the key words off their word wall from reception.

Thanks all

Clary Sun 05-Jul-09 23:55:26

My DS2 is 6 and has had spelling tests most of this year with 10 words. Idea was so many words they could work out, so many tricky ones etc.

Also sometimes on a theme eg squ or ph (that set included sphinx and Philippa shock)

I am not convinced that spelling tests help spelling. What does help is writing practice.

If yr DS is wanting to write, let him write the words phonically - then praise him but let him know about a few of the tricky ones - eg DS2 always writes "bort" for "bought" and I have told him, but tbh I think it's a good go. I would rather he was writing something down.

mussyhillmum Mon 06-Jul-09 10:40:22


My son is just finishing year 2 and he has never been given any spellings to learn. I believe they have had a few "give it a go" spelling quizzes within the classes. I understand from parents further up the school that children start having spelling homework from year 3. Other schools in our area start having spelling homework and tests from Reception. Not sure why there is such an inconsistency.

weegiemum Mon 06-Jul-09 10:42:57

My ds (7, just finished Primary 2 in Scotland) has had words to learn this year, based around a specific phonic rule.

I think it has helped as he now sees where that "sound" fits into the overall picture of the word.

Now if they would only do something about his handwriting .....

MagNacarta Mon 06-Jul-09 10:45:57

DS in year 1 hasn't had any kind of spelling tests, I have been given words he needs to learn during parents evening, but up to us to do anything about them. DD in year 2 gets weekly spellings to learn and then tested on them in school.

Tbh I'm happy about this, I think year one is too early for spelling tests.

LucyMinter Mon 06-Jul-09 10:46:54

No tests afaik here. Thank feck.

McDreamy Mon 06-Jul-09 11:00:04

No spelling tests for DD either but how's this for disparity - there are 2 other Y1 classes in DD's school and I know that at least one of them has had regular spelling tests throughout the year! How can the approach be so different within the same year!!??

fatzak Mon 06-Jul-09 11:01:43

No tests here either. In fact, homework for KS1 has been abolished as the Head said he'd rather parents spent time playing with their children than stressing over getting homework done smile

mrz Mon 06-Jul-09 11:02:29

Spelling tests / learning topic words / word boxes etc aren't part of the NC so I wouldn't worry the differences are down to individual schools/teaching styles.
Your son should be taught phonics (Rose Review) and he should be using this to help him spell ... you shouldn't need to spell anything out for him.

Blackduck Mon 06-Jul-09 11:07:04

10 words to learn a week and tested on them. First five are generally easy and high frequency. Remaining 5 have a 'theme' its aw this week...... I strongly believe there is no corrolation between spelling tests and being a good speller (says she who always got 10 out of 10 for tests - good memory - but is an atrocious speller!) I have noticed, however, that ds finds the spellings easier and think that is happening because his reading has improved...

Lizipads Mon 06-Jul-09 11:51:46

Up to 15 words a week, linked to the phonic they've been doing, tested every Friday. The first 5 words are compulsory, the rest they do what they feel able to.

I have to say I don't understand the theory espoused on here that practicing spellings doesn't do anything to help - must be the only thing in life where practice doesn't make perfect.

OrmIrian Mon 06-Jul-09 11:56:31

No spellings. DS#2 is quite way behind re writing. Spelling is a bit irrelevant atm. On target for reading though.

hippipotamiHasLost44lbs Mon 06-Jul-09 11:57:14

Dd has had 16 words per week to learn and be tested on. These have included words such as 'something' and 'another'. But she is in the top set in literacy so the number of words (and difficulty level of words) would vary with each group.

She can spell most words after only practising them once and in her writing (she writes stories for fun, odd child) she will use phonetic spelling if she uses a word she does not know how to spell.

hippipotamiHasLost44lbs Mon 06-Jul-09 11:58:57

For instance, she was writing a story about gymnastics over the weekend and she wrote 'jimnasticks' as to her that is how it sounds smile

yappybluedog Mon 06-Jul-09 12:03:58

my dd is Yr1 and has had weekly spelling tests and putting words in sentences, she is doing Yr2 work though

mrz Mon 06-Jul-09 12:11:46

As a teacher I'd like to say that IME children rarely remember spellings much past the test and it is extremely rare for them to use the spelling test words in their own writing... so a waste of time.

MrsSpringsteen Mon 06-Jul-09 12:13:39

ds has brought home a printed list of 10-15 words every week this year

i have ignored it

throckenholt Mon 06-Jul-09 12:16:31


They get words in a pot to learn to read - but no spellings yet.

DS1 is yr3 - and only started getting spellings this year (not in year 2).

TwoHot Mon 06-Jul-09 13:03:47

DD had words in a box to learn to read the first half of YR then spellings afterwards.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 06-Jul-09 14:28:24

DS1 has 10 words a week to learn which he is tested on.

He also mentioned a couple of weeks ago that they had to do a 60 word spelling test. Him and some others in his group also did the Y2 test, another 60 words.

Obviously I only have DS1's word for this because I thought 60 words sounded a hell of a lot but DS1 said he enjoyed ithmm

GooseyLoosey Mon 06-Jul-09 14:33:24

weekly spelling tests here, but they mark their own so there is no pressure on them if they have not got them all right.

For what it is worth, I can see a huge disparity in what different children can do at this age. Some can spell really well and some have not got a clue. I am imagining that for the most part it will even out over time as their reading skills improve and they are exposed to written language more and more.

Madsometimes Mon 06-Jul-09 14:55:38

dd2 in year 1 gets spelling tests, dd1 in year 4 has never been given regular spelling tests. It is up to individual class teachers how spelling is taught. However, dd1 could have done with spelling tests. She struggles with the year 1 words.

edam Mon 06-Jul-09 14:58:38

ds gets sheets of words sent home to learn but tbh he's never interested and I haven't forced it - he seems to be doing very well anyway (is keen to do his other homework). As far as I know there's no spelling tests.

spellicious Mon 06-Jul-09 23:25:28

thanks all
that's the point I suppose that if the method helps your child it may alienate/discourage the other 29.
Mine I think would not have minded learning as takes things v.literally (in the way that 5-6 yr old boys do) so is word perfect on key words as they 'had to' learn these in reception but because they have not 'had to'learn any words this year he is very limited, as the osmosis mehtod just isn't working for him and I have watched him fall further and further 'behind'the PFB girls we know
But do know that they will plateau (sorry if this is not a verb but after two glasses of wine I think it looks ok and I was never in charge of Key Stage 2 literacy anyway)
Am doing all the praise thing for say and write and not correcting every word so am sure we will get there in the end
Thanks again

spellicious Mon 06-Jul-09 23:27:31

sorry an overabundance of '...' there! A veritable cornucopia of overflowing tautology too

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