Mount Pleasant Primary School

Grammar, punctuation and spelling


To be a successful writer we believe that children need to be able to spell accurately and quickly, knowing the relationship between sounds and letters. Spelling skills are introduced through direct teaching and linked to the phonics programme. In both key stages children are taught the key sight vocabulary. In addition, the spelling rules from the National Curriculum appendices are used to teach spelling across school.

Children are taught strategies to help them to spell during the teaching of English and across the curriculum and in lessons focus upon particular spelling skills. When writing, word banks are provided to aid pupils’ writing fluency across all areas of the curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to use these independently.

In order to ensure that children do not lose confidence in spelling, when staff mark writing, not every error is corrected.

All pupils are encouraged to:

  • Develop dictionary skills to support their spelling.
  • Learn their spelling challenge words as an integral part of their home learning
  • Attempt words for themselves using a range of strategies – using phonics knowledge first.
  • Use a variety of resources to help with spelling e.g. dictionaries, word banks, classroom environment, learning partners etc. and then apply these spellings accurately.
  • Use Spelling Shed to build familiarity and automaticity with high frequency words and key spelling patterns.

Spelling Challenges

Spelling Challenge refers to the 20 words that children in Years 1 – 6 are expected to learn every fortnight. Year 1 focus on 10 words every week and during the Autumn Term, Year 2 continue with this.

The spelling challenges are made up of 10 words from the statutory spelling lists, along with words that relate to a specific pattern.

Each phase has a list of statutory words that the children are expected to learn as part of their spelling challenge. The words are introduced in the first year of the phase and contextualised so that the children understand them. Within the second year of the phase, the words are revisited and the spelling of these words is consolidated further.

In addition, the spelling challenge will also feature words that link into a particular pattern. These words are based upon the key word lists and the spelling patterns found in the National Curriculum appendices and guidelines. The challenges are assessed in a variety of ways throughout the year alongside spelling patterns taught.

SEND pupils and pupils with a specific spelling difficulty may have words to learn which are appropriate to their needs and which will help them to make more rapid progress in reading and writing.

The statutory words are on target whenever the pupils write and are on focus when marking to show application in context. 

Home Learning

To support spelling fluency, children are expected to practise their spellings as part of our home learning policy. Children are given a copy of their current challenge to practise regularly.