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Spelling and Grammar

Parents' Guide to vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling


Reading should be taught alongside spelling, so that pupils understand that they can read back words they have spelt.  Pupils should be shown how to segment spoken words into individual phonemes (sounds) and then how to represent the phonemes by the appropriate grapheme(s) (letters). It is important to recognise that phoneme-grapheme correspondences (which underpin spelling) are more variable than grapheme-phoneme correspondences (which underpin reading). (This why children need support for writing, e.g. alphabet mats, word mats.) For this reason, pupils need to do much more word specific rehearsal for spelling than for reading. At this stage pupils will be spelling some words in a phonically plausible way, even if sometimes incorrectly.  Mis-spellings of words that pupils have been taught to spell should be corrected; other  misspelt words should be used to teach pupils about alternative ways of representing those sounds. Writing simple dictated sentences that include words taught so far gives pupils opportunities to apply and practice their spelling.