Common exception words are everyday words that break the phonic rules taught at school.
Whilst these words will always be part of each child’s common vocabulary, they will eventually cease to be ‘exception words’ when the child understands the rules behind their pronunciation and spelling.
Helping your child learn as many of the common exception words for their year group or phase as possible will help their return to school be as strong as possible and support their learning in school from Day 1.
Please revise and secure the spellings from the year your child has just completed before learning the words for the year ahead.
Use Sir Linkalot to help you learn the words and then carry out a quick quiz to check your knowledge. Remember to use your school login details.
Squeebles lets you set up completely customised spelling tests for your children with the words they need to learn, or download pre-recorded tests. Full in-app reporting is available so that you can keep in touch with your children's learning. Share tests between your devices. Available on the App Store, Android app on Google & Kindle Fire for a one off payment of £4.49.
Pupils learn spellings using a strategy that suits them and each word best. Some of these strategies below may help your child learn their spellings more easily.
Look, Cover, Write, Check
Look: first look at the whole word carefully and if there is one part of the word that is difficult, look at that part in more detail.
Say: say the word as you look at it, using different ways of pronouncing it if that will make it more memorable.
Cover: cover the word.
Write: write the word from memory, saying the word as you do so.
Check: Have you got it right? If yes, try writing it again and again! If not, start again – look, say, cover, write, check.
Trace, copy and replicate
This is a similar learning process to ‘look, say, cover, write, check’ but is about developing automaticity and muscle memory.
Write the word out on a sheet of paper ensuring that it is spelt correctly and it is large enough to trace over. Trace over the word and say it at the same time. Move next to the word you have just written and write it out as you say it. Turn the page over and write the word as you say it, and then check that you have spelt it correctly.
If this is easy, do the same process for two different words at the same time. Once you have written all your words this way and feel confident, miss out the tracing and copying or the tracing alone and just write the words.
The aim is to write as many words as possible within a time constraint. This can be turned into a variety of competitive games including working in teams and developing relay race approaches.
Draw around the words making a clear distinction in size where there are ascenders and descenders. Look carefully at the shape of the word and the letters in each box. Now try to write the word making sure that you get the same shape.
This strategy is all about making a word memorable. It links to meaning in order to try to make the spelling noticeable.
You can’t use this method as your main method of learning spellings, but it might work on those that are just a little more difficult to remember.
This method of learning words forces you to think of each letter separately.
You can then reverse the process so that you end up with a diamond.
Other Spelling Strategies
Rainbow writing. Using coloured pencils in different ways can help to make parts of words memorable. You could highlight the tricky part s of the word or write the tricky part in a different colour. You could also write each letter in a different colour, or write the word in red, then overlay in orange, yellow and so on.
Making up memorable ‘silly sentences’ containing the word
Saying the word in a funny way – for example, pronouncing the ‘silent’ letters in a word
Clapping and counting to identify the syllables in a word.