Spelling strategies for Key Stage 2
In your child’s early years and during key stage 1 (KS1), your child would have learnt to read using phonics. By key stage 2 (KS2), children should be confident with the sounds of letters helping them to spell new words correctly. These skills will help children to develop spelling strategies in KS2, allowing them to build and write new and more complex words. However, children should also know the common words that break these spelling rules.
Sound of vowels
In year 3 and 4, your child should be able to identify that vowels are pronounced differently depending on their position in a word. Children should learn that words with short vowel sounds and more than one syllable tend to be followed by a double consonant, such as “letter” or “apple”. Your child should also learn spelling strategies that show them how to turn a short vowel sound into a long vowel sound by adding an “e”. For example “hop” has a short vowel sound whilst “hope” has a long vowel sound. However, your child should also learn the common exceptions to this rule such as the word “love”. Children should also know the sound that to vowels together make, allowing them to spell words such as “sound”, “guess” and “bead”. In their written work, they should be following the “i before e, except after c” rule. Again, your child should learn the common words that have an exception to this rule such as “neighbour” and “weird”.
Sound of consonants
As well as the sounds that pairs of vowels make, your child should be confident with the sounds that different sounds that the same consonant can make. Children should be able to tell the difference between a hard “c” (such as in “camel” and a soft “c” (such as in “circuit”). Your child will be taught that it is the position of the vowels “i” and “e” as well as “y” which changes a “c” from being hard to soft. The same rule should also be followed to change a hard “g” (such as in “gate”) to a soft “g” (such as in “gym”).
Singular and plural
In KS1, your child should have learnt how to add –s and –es onto words to make them plural. As your child enters KS2, they will be taught different forms of plurals. Words that end in “f” should be changed to a “v” and then have an –es added. For example, “half” becomes “halves”. Words that end in “y” should be changed to an “i” than have –es added. For example, “baby” becomes “babies”. Words ending in “ey” however should simply have an –s added. For example “monkey” becomes “monkeys”. It is also important that children learn words that are the same when they are singular and plural (such as “sheep) and words that completely change in the plural (such as “mouse” to “mice).
Prefixes and suffixes
As your children’s language develops, they should be able to build more words. They should be using prefixes and suffixes in their writing to make their work more complex, diverse and interesting. Children may start off using simple prefixes such as –un and suffixes such as –er in KS1 but by the end of year 6, children should be familiar with a wider range of prefixes including –dis, -pre, -sub and –de and suffixes such as –ly, -ful, -able and –ness.
Spelling Strategies: Resources
It is important for children to practice spelling using the spelling strategies they have learnt at school. This could be through online games, workbooks or worksheets such as the one’s provided below.
This sheet has spelling strategies, rules and norms, which will be good for children in KS2 to begin to learn. This will help them to avoid spelling errors.
These sheets provide a list of words that children in years 3&4 and years 5&6 should practice how to spell. You could use these words to devise a spelling test at home or select 6 or 7 words which your children have to include in a written piece of work.