Spell to Excel – Guidance and Resources

Thank you for those who were able to come in earlier this week to collect the summer term Spell to Excel booklets for your children in Key Stage 2.

I have added some supportive resources in the English section of the website (under curriculum). There are lots of them, but PLEASE DON’T PANIC. The resources are simply there should you choose to use them, and please remember that the book is designed for a 12 week term.

For Year 6 there are significantly less additional resources. The final term in Year 6 is used very much as a revision of ‘key words’ and the introduction of some units on ‘etymology’ (a requirement of the national curriculum). The Year 6 summer term book is largely full of word puzzles and revision exercises (and the children should be fairly self-sufficient).

Children may choose to do some of the units, or just a few select activities. There is quite a bit of guidance in the teacher’s books but for the benefit of parents I will try to summarise how the scheme works.

For most weeks (not all though)… the children start out by generating their own words for the spelling pattern/unit of the week. They might do this independently, with a partner, or in a small group. This is a sharp, 5 minute activity. At home, children could either time themselves and have a go at brainstorming/generating words in a notebook or on a scrap of paper. Alternatively, if there is a word bank linked to the unit (as there often is) then they could just select their words for the week from the word bank. (The children are used to how the scheme works).

Ideally, in school, children complete the activities over the course of the week and just have a few minutes each day to practice the spellings that they’ve selected in their personal word bank.

At the end of the week, the children have a short dictation to accompany most of the units (this is of course optional if you’re using the scheme at home). The dictation assesses the pattern that they’ve been learning (so there may be different words in the dictation but they are obviously linked). For example, if the children are looking at the ‘ight’ pattern, they may learn words such as sight, night, light etc… but the whole idea is that their learning of patterns is transferable (so if words such as bright, might, alight come up, they should be able to have a good go at them!)

The word banks that accompany units are used across both levels of workbook (pink & purple) in the summer term, but the ‘purple’ dictations are slightly more challenging.

There are various power points, quizzes etc that also accompany the scheme, and the children usually love the picture quizzes (such as those that go with units on homophones or silent letters).

If your child is confident on the computer they could access the word banks or answers (via the teacher’s booklets) themselves (although they may need a little help locating them first time round).

The resources are organised with Year 3 resources following on from the Year 3 Teacher’s Book, and Year 4 following the Year 4 Teacher’s Book etc…

If you do choose to use the scheme regularly during this period of school closure, I would certainly recommend only tackling ONE UNIT as a maximum in any week.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me on head@skyswood.herts.sch.uk if there is anything that you’d like further clarification on.