At Stead Lane Primary School we follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) spelling programme. This programme is for children in Year 2 and above who have completed Read Write Inc. phonics. The spelling programme was chosen as it follows the schools systematic phonics scheme and it matches the expectations of the National Curriculum in England that that spelling concepts will be taught in a particular sequence from year 2 onwards.

Pre-programmed activities assess children’s knowledge of phonics and year 1 spelling knowledge; this is to ensure children are ready to start the programme. There are 5 pre-programmed activities at the start of practice book 2A, activities 1-4 assess and refresh children’s phonics knowledge and activity 5 is a quick check of key concepts from the year 1 curriculum content. If children are lacking some year 1 key concepts there are eight pre-programme special focus pages which introduce and consolidate key concepts from the year 1 curriculum.

As a school we have decided from year 2 to year 5 to teach the children in progress groups using a flexible timetable. Children receive four 20 minutes sessions a week. In each session children complete a range of different activities focused on a particular spelling pattern and they review previous spellings from prior units. The activities can be independent or team based and can be tailored to the needs of the children. Each spelling group works through a practise booklet that is catered to the child’s spelling ability, the children work through the booklet with the help and support of the online resource and the teachers modelling of spelling patterns. The booklets contain the following spelling activities speed spell, dots and dashes, rapid recap, word changers, words to log and learn, dictation, four-in-a-row, choose the right word, team teach and jumping red/orange words for each spelling pattern.

Children are assessed throughout the RWI spelling programme, this is through a series of practise tests (6 per year for years 2, 3, 4 and 5; 2 for year 1; 6 plus an extra 6 challenge tests for year 6) and assessment is built into the activities for every unit. Speed spell tests the children’s knowledge of words from previous units; Team teach and Four-in-a-row help children assess their own progress; Jumping red/orange words test children’s knowledge of red and orange words (words from the word lists in the National Curriculum in England). There is a booklet for each year group (2 booklets for year 2 due to the requirements of the National Curriculum), each booklet should take up to 16 weeks to teach, with around two to six weeks of extra core consolidation and practise, with the exception of year 2. Therefore you may be able to teach more than one year’s spelling work in a teaching year if this is required.

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