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Phonics and Spelling

Today, children are taught to read using phonics which is about the sounds that make up the words.  Children start by learning the letters and the sounds they make, and how to put them together to make and read simple words.  They then learn how letters combine to make new sounds and move on to longer words and new reading skills.  This is called synthetic phonics.  We use the LCP scheme to teach phonics and adapt it to meet the needs of the children in each class.

If you would like to find out more about how you can best support your child in learning phonics then please speak to your child’s class teacher who will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

There is also a link to ‘Mr Thorne Does Phonics’ where you will find video clips for each sound we teach a Burscough Village Primary School.

From Year 2 to Year 6 we use the No Nonsense Spelling Programme.  The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.

Exception words are words in which the English spelling rules works in an unusual or uncommon way.  

Below are Year 1 and Year 2 Common Exception Words that your child will be learning at school.


There are also Year 3 & 4 and Year 5 & 6 word lists that are statutory from the National Curriculum.

Year 1 and Year 2 Common Exception Word Lists

Year 3 and 4 Word List

Year 5 and 6 Word List

Fun Ways to Learn Spellings


  • Spelling Word Memory: Create a double set of word cards and play a game of Spelling Word Memory by spreading out the cards face down and then taking turns flipping two cards at a time to find a pair!
  • Flip 4 Steps: In just 4 steps, your child can practice reading, spelling, and writing his words.Have him flip over a word card, look at the word, say it out loud, say the letters, then flip it back over, and write the word on paper.
  • Trace, copy and hide: Fold three columns on a piece of paper, and label one column ‘trace’, the next ‘copy’ and the last ‘recall’. Write the word in the first column, and have your child trace the letters.Next have her copy the word by looking at what she’s just written.Finally, have her fold (and hide) the first two columns and recall the spelling on her own as she writes the word independently.
  • Spelling Word Race: Create two teams, with a player from each team taking the ‘pen’ at a time.Teacher (or parent) calls out a word from the list and players race to write the word.
  • Spelling Puzzle: Make a home-made puzzle by writing each word in large letters on card and then having the child cut each card apart.The fun is in putting the puzzle back together!
  • Stairsteps: Write the words as if they are stairs, adding one letter at a time.










  • Noughts and Crosses: There are a ton of cool ways to play with this old game! Create a larger-sized board and play tic-tac-toe where each player uses a spelling word OR have each player use an ‘X’ or ‘O’ but in order to place a markon the board, she has to spell a word correctly.

  • Window Write: All you need is special window-safe crayons to use and Window-Writing makes learning spelling words totally crazy and so much fun!
  • Spelling Bingo: Kind of like Bingo but with letters, words or numbers!
  • Flip and Rainbow Write: Flip a word card and have your child go through the rainbow, painting or writing each word flipped in rainbow colours.  Make the first word red, second orange, third yellow etc OR write each letter in a colour of the rainbow.
  • Paint with Water: Use water and a paintbrush to water paint the spelling words on a hot, sunny day.  The words disappear quickly—so spellers have to move fast!
  • Type it Out: Open up a Word document and have your child type the spelling words on the screen as you call them out.  Enlarge the font or make it a cool colour.
  • Spell on Tape: Have your child spell the words into a tape recorder or using the voice recorder on your phone or computer.
  • Video Record: Take a video of your child spelling the words. Have him put on a funny hat, dress-up or use a silly prop to add to the fun.