Effective date: 14-Aug-07



Writing is a form of communication.  Spelling is a means through which writing is understood, making this form of communication successful.


To give our students the skills they need in order to be able to spell correctly in their writing, and therefore become more effective visual and written communicators.


Regular testing based on words from a range of sources, including students’ “words I can almost spell”, topic lists, and essential list words.

Every term, students will be tested on the Peter’s Spelling list and the results of these will be used in data collection, including reports.  These can be used to determine whether, over time, a student is having difficulties with particular word patterns.


Success in spelling can be fundamental to success in reading, writing, viewing, and presenting.  It assists students in receiving, processing, and presenting ideas or information successfully.



Curriculum Support:  Spelling

July 2007


-   for each student to build up a core-spelling vocabulary that they will be expected to know.  (Refer to school-wide tests);

-   to develop in each student, independence in locating words for him/herself;

-   to develop in each student independence in trying to spell words;

-   for the student to learn specific skills or rules and apply it to their spelling;

-   for the student to learn to use various references available in the school or home;

-   for the student to develop a spelling conscience incorporating care and accuracy;

-   for the student to develop an enriched vocabulary at his/her appropriate level.

Level One

Learning words from their own writing

Learn basic words from essential lists

Getting to know letters of alphabet and sounds

Recognising small and capital letters

Learning alphabet sequence

Initial consonants

Initial blends

Final blends

Consonant blends


Root words

Compound words

Silent letters

Dictionary skills


Sorting words into alphabetical order


Build up high-frequency word list

Level Two

Learning words from their own writing

Learn basic words from essential lists

Opening a dictionary near to correct place

Using a thesaurus


Suffixes – ed, ing, es

Alphabetical orders including 2nd and 3rd letters

Word building, eg word families

Root words and changing tenses

Consonant blends

New words from consonant blends – ‘…ate, crate, plate’

Adding prefixes to make new words



Level Three

Learning words from their own writing

Learning basic words from essential lists



Guide words

Pronunciation Guide

Inhabitant/Country eg Greek, Greece





Acronyms – NASA, ANZUS

Word origins


The Teacher’s Role in the Teaching of Spelling

-   ongoing teaching of spelling skills and attitudes during class teaching programme and in particular writing

-   to encourage risk-taking by students with spelling unfamiliar words;

-   to teach specific spelling rules and generalisations;

-   to build up a core vocabulary in each student based on Essential Lists 1, 2, 3 & 4;

-   to encourage students to use an ever increasing vocabulary, and to explore/study words;

-   to develop in each student, a spelling conscience by making students aware of errors  when appropriate, and encouraging each student to take an appropriate level of responsibility for their own spelling;

-   to provide a class wall dictionary, which gives the spelling of basic words at an appropriate level, eg Junior School – Essential Lists 1 & 2, Days of Week, Months of Year, frequently used words, names, colours.  Middle School – Essential Lists 2 & 3, Days of Week, Months of Year, frequently used words, names, colours, words instead of nice, said and went.  Senior School – Essential Lists 3 & 4, Days of Week, Months of Year, frequently used words, names, colours, words instead of nice, said and went;

-   teach students how to learn to spell a word based on the Spell Write system; ie written down rather than orally tested;

-   to provide a range of resources for students to locate words and to teach students specific skills in finding words;

-   for each student to build up a list of words they can nearly spell in the back of their draft writing book;

-   students should always try a word at least twice before coming up to the teacher.

Monitoring and Assessment

Ongoing assessment and monitoring throughout the year will be based on the 11 bullet points above and results put in the pupil profile books.

Spelling Lists

Level One – Junior and Middle

Level Two – Junior, Middle and Senior

Level Three – Middle, Senior and Advanced

School Achievement Goals

Level 1 – Can spell 90% of words from Essential List 1/ or Plateau School Spelling List and uses these words accurately in their writing.

Level 2 – Can spell 90% of words from Essential Lists 1 and 2 or Plateau School Spelling List and uses these words accurately in their writing.

Level 3 – Can spell 90% of words from Essential Lists 1, 2 and 3 or Plateau School Spelling List and uses these words accurately in their writing.

Links to Curriculum Statement

Students will achieve a progression of knowledge, skills, and understandings of language features that enhance text.

Links to NEGS & NAGS

National Administration Guideline 1

Each Board, through the principal and staff is required to:

(i)    develop and implement teaching and learning programmes:

(a)   to provide all students in years 1-10 with opportunities to achieve for success in all the essential learning and skill areas of the New Zealand curriculum.

(b)   giving priority to student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-4

(ii)   through a range of assessment practices, gather information that is sufficiently comprehensive to enable the progress and achievement of students to be evaluated:  Giving priority first to:

        (a)   a student achievement in literacy and numeracy, especially in years 1-4

        And then to

        (b)  breadth and depth of learning related to the needs, abilities and interests of students, the nature of the school’s curriculum and the scope of the New Zealand curriculum (as expressed in the National Curriculum Statements):

(iii)  on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students;

(a)   who are not achieving

      (b)   who are at risk of not achieving

(c)    who have special needs


(a)     aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention

(iv)   develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum  identified in iii above.

 Essential Learning Areas

-   Shows willing involvement in the learning situation

-   Communicates ideas clearly

-   Sets, evaluates and achieves realistic personal goals

-   Develops self-appraisal skills

-   Takes responsibility for own learning

-   Has sound work habits 


Spelling is ongoing through the language programme.

Specific spelling objectives will be covered as required with the whole class.

Testing and learning of words, working on skills cards, editing, individual conferences, will occur during the week. 


Whole class, individual and group conferences. 

Integration into Other Areas of the Curriculum

Spelling words correctly goes across all areas where writing occurs.  In areas other than the specific writing programme (where students are encouraged to have a go) teachers will provide more support, eg words on the blackboard. 

Barriers to Learning

-   Students not learning words at home – lack of parent support

-   Students having difficulty remembering consistent spelling of basic words

-   Students continuing to write only those words they can spell correctly

-   Not taking risks

-   Students not taking responsibility for proof-reading

-   Limited writing output

-   Poor articulation (speech) 

Students Needing Extension

More interesting vocabulary development

Skills cards 


Teach basic Maori words. 

Thinking Skills

Students to reflect on their own abilities. 

To take responsibility for improving.

Use of Thesaurus 


Spell check.  Write words on computer. 


Once students know a range of basic words they may take from 3-10 home each week to learn.

They are tested on these once a week. 


“Spell Write”

“Spelling - Approaches to teaching and assessment”

“Spelling Under Scrutiny” by Joy Allcock 

Classroom Environment

All spelling used in displays or captions must be correct.  Classrooms should have a wall dictionary for words used frequently at that level.  Class dictionaries and charts showing frequently used words.  

Rationale Sheet

Each teacher will complete a rationale sheet for teaching spelling. 


How can we give students more ‘power’ in this area?

Use of skills cards for self-directed learning.

Students can increase vocabulary at their own pace.


How can we keep parents up to date with what’s happening and involve them more in their child’s learning?

In share trips, reports and homework.


What can we improve about the way we deliver this curriculum?

Extending students more.


Future ideas/directions?

Keep an eye on phonetic spelling.