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At St Edward's C of E  Primary we teach every child the importance of good spelling. We want every child to be a good speller and to take a keen interest in the spelling and meaning of words. Being a good speller boosts a child's confidence; relying on spell checkers and other gadgets is no substitute for learning the art of spelling.

For younger children, the teaching of spelling is linked to the teaching of phonics e.g. as they learn to 'sound out' words, for the purpose of reading, they learn to apply the same skills when spelling words. Children will typically begin by learning to spell simple VC (vowel / consonant) words e.g. at / it / in / on. They will then progress to CVC (consonant / vowel / consonant) words e.g. cat / hit / not / sad. As they learn each of the vowel digraphs (where a pair of letters represents one sound e.g. the sound 'a' is represented by 'ai' in 'rain', children will learn to apply these when spelling words e.g. hay / night / out. From here, children will progress to spelling phonetically regular words of more than one syllable.

As children move into Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6), they are taught to spell increasingly complex words; many of which do not conform to regular rules or patterns. The national curriculum sets out the type of words children should typically be able to spell by the end of Year 4 and Year 6. These lists are included alongside other resources below.

Being a good speller requires regular practice and attention to detail. Parents can support the work of the school by practising the spellings your child brings home each week. We have produced a number of resources to support parents and children with spelling - these are available to download below. If you would like any additional information or support, please speak with your child's class teacher.

Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words

The 2014 national curriculum lists the following 'common exception words' for children to learn. It is important that children can read and spell these words with confidence, by the end of the year in which they are being taught.

Year 1 Common Exception Words

Year 2 Common Exception Words

Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words (on one page)

These words are also highlighted on our word card which can be downloaded opposite.


Does your child own a dictionary? To use a dictionary successfully you need to be a fairly fluent reader. Dictionaries become useful in supporting spelling from around Year 2 onwards.

If you are buying your child a dictionary, please make sure it is age appropriate. You will probably find your child needs a new edition every couple of years as their reading stamina and vocabulary increases. Oxford Publishers produce a good selection of dictionaries which range from first picture dictionaries through to primary and secondary editions.

For younger children, a word card can provide more support for spelling than a dictionary (as locating words in a dictionary can be very time consuming when your reading skills are still developing). The version we use at school can be downloaded below:


Download our word card here (June 16)


This is appropriate to use with both early writers (Reception) and children entering Key Stage 2 (Year 3) who are struggling with spelling.

Year 3/4 Word List

The 2014 national curriculum provides a list of words which children should be able to spell by the end of Year 4.

Download the Year 3/4 word list here

Year 5/6 Word List

The 2014 national curriculum also provides a list of words which children should be able to spell by the end of Year 6.

Download the Year 5/6 word list here

Year 6 SAT Spellings

At the end of Year 6 every child sits a spelling test as part of their SATs. The children are asked to spell twenty words which are read out in sentences. Obviously the words change from year to year but the general level of complexity is similar. Below is a list of every word that has occurred in SATs from 2003 - 2016. This could be used as a revision challenge for Y6 pupils.

SAT Spelling Words 2003 - 2016

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check


Look, say, cover, write, check (LSCWC) is one strategy we use to help children when they are learning to spell new words. The resources below explain the strategy and there is also a blank LSCWC sheet which your child could use to practise their weekly spellings.


 Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check - Explanation

 Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check - Poster

 Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check - blank sheet

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