At Cherry Garden Primary School, we teach every child the importance of good spelling. We want every child to be a good speller, while also developing a good understanding of etymology and word meaning. Being a confident speller boosts children’s confidence, and enjoyment of writing.

For younger children, the teaching of spelling is linked to the teaching of phonics, as they learn to segment and blend words for the purpose of reading and spelling. As they progress through their learning, children move from spelling words with single sounds to words containing groups of 2 and 3 letters that make sounds (digraphs and trigraphs). In addition, children are taught to spell ‘tricky words’ (words that early readers commonly struggle with), and ‘common exception words’ (are words that cannot be decoded using phonic rules). You can read more about our phonics programme on the phonics section of our website here.

As children move into Year 2, and on into Key Stage 2, they are taught to spell increasingly complex words, some of which can be associated with particular rules or spelling patterns. The National Curriculum sets out the type of words that children should typically be able to spell by the end of Years 4 and 6. These lists are included alongside the other resources below.

Being a confident speller requires regular practise and attention to detail. Parents and carers can support their children by practising their homework spellings each week.


Does your child own a dictionary? To use a dictionary successfully you need to be a fairly fluent reader. Dictionaries become useful in supporting spelling from around Year 2 onwards.

If you are buying your child a dictionary, please make sure it is age appropriate. You will probably find your child needs a new edition every couple of years as their reading stamina and vocabulary increases. Oxford Publishers produce a good selection of dictionaries which range from first picture dictionaries through to primary and secondary editions.

For younger children, a word card can provide more support for spelling than a dictionary (as locating words in a dictionary can be very time consuming when your reading skills are still developing). The version we use at school can be downloaded below:

Download our word card here

This is appropriate to use with both early writers (Reception) and children entering Key Stage 2 (Year 3) who are struggling with spelling.

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check

Look, say, cover, write, check (LSCWC) is one strategy we use to help children when they are learning to spell new words. The resources below explain the strategy and there is also a blank LSCWC sheet which your child could use to practise their weekly spellings.


Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words

The 2014 national curriculum lists the following 'common exception words' for children to learn. It is important that children can read and spell these words with confidence, by the end of the year in which they are being taught.

Year 1 Common Exception Words

Year 2 Common Exception Words

Year 1 & 2 Common Exception Words (on one page)

These words are also highlighted on our word card which can be downloaded opposite.

Year 3/4 Word Lists

The 2014 national curriculum provides a list of words which children should be able to spell by the end of Year 4.

Download the Year 3/4 word list here

Year 5/6 Word Lists

The 2014 national curriculum also provides a list of words which children should be able to spell by the end of Year 6.

Download the Year 5/6 word list here