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Spelling Policy


Cerne Abbas CE VC First School Spelling Policy 


Date of policy                November 2022

Date reviewed by the Governing


FGB committee - 22/11/2022

Member of staff responsible in

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School

Catherine Cresswell
Review dateNovember 2025


Our aims include creating a community based on trust, peace, friendship, joy, courage and forgiveness supporting children to be motivated and believe in themselves, celebrating everyone’s uniqueness and achievements, and to enable every child to be the best they can be.

Spelling is an integral part of this because children’s reading and writing is an important part of their development. As children develop spelling competency, their confidence and independence in writing will increase. Children who are confident at spelling are more likely to use more adventurous vocabulary in their work.


The aims of spelling at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School are for our pupils to:


  • use their phonic skills effectively when blending phonemes for reading and when segmenting phonemes for spelling
  • have an interest in words, their meanings and their origins, developing a growing vocabulary both for speaking and writing
  • write with confidence and creativity, while developing the skills to self-edit, correct and improve
  • be imaginative, creative and challenge themselves
  • use spelling skills across areas of the curriculum



To teach children to:


  • Spell confidently the words that they are using frequently in their writing.
  • Spell new words with an increasing range of phonetic knowledge.
  • Learn to check and correct spellings using strategies they have developed through Read, Write, Inc.
  • Learn strategies to spell unknown words correctly.
  • Transfer their knowledge of spellings into their written work.


Teaching and Learning Strategies.


Spelling is taught on a daily basis with the school using Read, Write, Inc. Years R, 1 learn phonemes, spell words phonetically and use these skills to read reading books on a daily basis and Years 2 (when ready), 3 and 4 adopt the following timetable:


Monday Rule introduction/verbal practice and speed spell.


Tuesday Spelling zone and dots and dashes.


Wednesday Word changers and dictation.


Thursday Choose the right word and log spellings.


Friday Consolidation quiz or game based on the spelling rule for the week.


Please note the order may differ depending on current Key Stage timetables.


Strategies and approaches to spelling used in lessons:


Spell phoneticallyChildren sound out words and spell the words the way they sound. Classrooms have phonetic charts which staff refer to in order to highlight phonetic sounds. Each letter is assigned a sound for children to use, these sounds change when the letter is paired with another letter e.g. s for snake changes when it is paired with h in ship.
Word booksChildren put tricky words in their word books so that they can refer back to them and see how they should be spelt correctly. Words are also displayed in the classroom so children can see them during their lessons.
Word WallsWord walls are displayed in classrooms for children to refer to in order to see the words that they have been working on during the course of the term.
Sound mats


Children have sound mats (linked to RWI phonic scheme) which have letters on them with a visual so that they can see objects that begin with the letter.


Sound mats then develop to show graphemes which children use to help support their spelling.

Fred fingers

Children use their fingers to break down words into their individual sounds to assist spelling. Children look at their own fingers, it allows them to visualise each sound of the word on a single finger.


Topic word matTopic word mats are created so that children are able to see some of the tricky words they will encounter when learning about a specific topic.
Personalised book marksChildren will have a personalised bookmark which they use in lessons, this bookmark contains words that children have had difficulty spelling.
Spelling rule for the weekTeachers cover specific words in the lessons and outline to children what the specific rule is for spelling specific words. Common exception words are also covered in lessons so that children get used to words that do not follow traditional patterns of spelling.


EYFSChildren are taught to spell words phonetically, using known single letter sounds and diagraphs to spell words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They are taught to use Fred fingers, segmenting the sounds they can hear onto each finger and using as a prompt to support their phonetic spelling. Children are also taught to recognise and spell non-decodable high frequency words. Over the course of the year sounds and words are added to classroom displays so that children can refer back as a prompt and use them when they encounter new words.


Key Stage 1Depending on ability and progression through the Read, Write Inc spelling programme children will be taught a spelling rule for the week. This can feature common exception words, allowing pupils to develop increasing awareness of words which do not follow spelling conventions. Pupils also have to use spelling focus words in a sentence to check they can transfer spelling skills when writing prose. There are purple pen opportunities for pupils to double check where they may have made a spelling mistake so they can self correct.


In addition to this, when children are ready, they are given two spellings a week to practise at home. They are not tested specially on these but there is an expectation that children will be spelling these words correctly in writing and dictation activities.

Children will be expected to apply spelling rules and key words across the curriculum.


Children assessed at working below age-related expectation will receive targeted phonics teaching.


Key Stage 2 -

In Key Stage Two, children will continue to build on the spelling strategies they have developed in previous years. Spelling sessions take place throughout the school week. Pupils are supported through individual word mats which help them focus on any particular spelling difficulty they may have. Common errors in spelling become a target for individual pupils and form the basis of spelling book marks.


Pupils will be expected to apply spelling rules and key words across the curriculum. Pupils will have a spelling log where they will record spelling starters and the practise tasks pupils carry out in guided reading sessions. Pupils' spelling will be tested once per week.


Pupils who are working below age-related expectation will be assessed and work will be targeted to their specific needs.


Marking Spelling


It has long been accepted that to highlight every spelling in a child’s writing can be especially damaging for the very child we support most.  A marking focus will be based upon individual/group need. Pink and green marking will be used to highlight where children have spelt common exception words correctly (pink). Where children have made a spelling error then this will be highlighted (green) so that children can investigate the word and use strategies to make corrections and spell the word properly. Pupils will also have the opportunity to correct spelling mistakes through purple pen marking.


It is important when marking spellings to focus on the part of the word that the pupils have misspelt rather than the whole word. This will help to further develop spelling competency.




Where a specific need in spelling is identified, it is good practice for teachers to use a group overview sheet. The aim is to identify patterns in children’s spelling mistakes in order to establish teaching priorities or create groups where children have similar spelling characteristics or needs.




EYFS - Assessment is ongoing and will take place weekly and half termly based on phonics.


Key Stage 1Assessment is ongoing and will take place weekly and half termly based on phonics. Year 2 will also be tested against the optional QCA spelling tests.


Key Stage 2Assessment is ongoing and will take place weekly and half termly based on phonics.



Letters and Sounds

Read, Write, Inc

Word mats

Spelling bookmarks

Word books



Phonics play


A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

Useful Information