At Doveridge Primary School we place great importance of the clear and structured teaching of phonics.
Phonics is a proven method of teaching children the early skills of reading. In the English Language there are 44 sounds. As we read, we put these sounds together to form words. We use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ approach to teach phonics.
Some sounds are represented by one letter, like ‘t’, and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck and ‘air’ in chair. There are 6 phases in phonics and the children systematically work through each phase.
In June in Year 1 children take a phonics test. This is a national test and assesses the children on the sounds that they can read.
Useful websites to help your child;
We continually review the way we teach and give out spellings.
At Doveridge Primary School we teach spellings initially thorough phonics and then as discrete spelling and grammar lessons.
We progressively teach spellings using the specific spelling rules and the specific Spelling word lists for Years 1 and 2 and Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
The word lists are statutory and they are a mixture of words which children use in their writing and which they often misspell.
Practising Spellings at Home
It is crucial that parents and carers are involved in helping children to learn their spellings.
Confidence in spelling allows children to write more freely and imaginatively. You should practise your spellings for 10 to 20 minutes EVERY day.
Here are some games or ideas you could use. Why not try a different one each night to keep it fun and interesting? Remember everyone learns by; Doing it, seeing it, saying it, writing it, drawing it, listening to it; so make sure you have a variety of games and tasks is a great way to ensure that the learning sticks!
1. Word search: create your own word searches using your spelling words. Or use this link to get your computer to do it for you.
2. Draw your words on Lite-Brite.
3. Air Spelling: Choose a spelling word. With your index finger write the word in the air slowly, say each letter. Your parent should remind you that you need to be able to ‘see’ the letters you have written in the air. When you have finished writing the word underline it and say the word again. Now get your parents to ask questions about the word. For example ‘What is the first letter?’ ‘What is the last letter?’ ‘How many letters are there?’ etc…
4. Media Search: Using a newspaper of magazine you have 15 minutes to look for spelling words. Circle them in different coloured crayon. Which of your spelling words did you find?
5. Shaving cream Practise: an easy way to clean those dirty tables is to finger paint on them with shaving cream. Squirt some on the table and then practice spelling your words by writing them with your finger in the shaving cream- warning though this can get messy!
6. Salt box spelling: ask your parents to pour salt into a shallow box or tray and then practice writing your spellings in it with your finger.
7. Scrabble Spelling: find the letters you need to spell your words and then mix them up in the bag. Get your parents to time you unscrambling your letters. For extra maths practice you could even find out the value of each of your words.
8. Pyramid Power: Sort your words into a list from easiest to hardest. Write the easiest word at the top of the page near the middle. Write the next easiest word twice underneath. Write the easiest word at the top of the page near the middle. Write the next easiest word twice underneath. Write the third words three times underneath again until you have built your pyramid.
9. Ransom Note: cut the letters needed for your words from a newspaper or magazine and glue them down to spell the words.
10. Spell it with Beans: use any dried beans or lentils to spell out your words. If you glue them onto separate pieces of card then you made a great set of flash cards to practice with for the rest of the week.
11. Tasty Words: spell things with raisins and tasty treats….
12. Design a Word: Pick one word and write it in bubble letters. Colour in each letter in a different pattern.
13. Sign your Word: Practice spelling your words by signing each letter. (See the sign language alphabet.)
14. Water Wash: Use a paint brush and water to write your words outside on concrete pavements.
15. ABC Order: Write your words in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical.
16. Story Time: write a short story using all your words. Remember each sentence must start with a capital letter and end with a full stop.
16. Colourful words: Use two different coloured pens to write your words. One to write the consonants and one to write the vowels. Do this a couple of times then write the whole word in one colour.
17. Memory game: Make pairs of word cards. Turn them all over and mix them up. Flip over two cards, if they match you get to keep them, if not you have to turn them over again. Try and match all the pairs.
18. Finger Tracing: Use your finger to spell out each of your words on your mum or dad’s back. Then it is their turn to write the words on your back for you to feel and spell.
19. Spelling Steps: Write your words as if they were steps, adding one letter each time (it’s much easier doing this on squared paper).
20. Scrambled Words: write your words then write them again with all the letters mixed up.
21. X-Words: Find two of your spelling words with the same letter in and write them so they criss-cross.
22. Telephone Words: translate your words into numbers form the telephone key pad.
23. Secret Agent: write out the alphabet, then give each letter a different number from 1-26 (a=1, b=2, c=3, etc) Now you can spell out your words in a secret code.
24. Missing letters: Ask your Mum or Dad to write out one of your words lots of times on a piece of paper, but each time they have to miss out a letter or two. Then you have to fill in the missing letters. After you have checked them all try it again with another word.
25. Listen carefully: ask your parents to spell out one of your words then you have to say what the word is they’ve spelt out.
26. Acrostic: Use words that start with each letter in your spelling word. You’re more likely to remember it if it makes sense!