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Irk Valley Community School


The importance of valuing others, listening to different viewpoints, taking care of belongings, manners, appreciating the diversity which exists in our community and beyond


The determination to reach the highest standards, every day.


The desire to grow and develop, achieving the best for ourselves and each other.


The knowledge that working with others, asking for help when needed and supporting others to develop are the foundations of growth.


The importance of joy in what we do, discovering our strengths and using them.


Common Exception Words:

The words in the documents below are usually the words the children have difficulty spelling as they are not phonetical.

What is the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme?

The focus of the scheme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; the use of spelling journals can support pupils in many ways.  Spelling journals can take many forms and are much more than just a word book.

We use our spelling journals can be used for:

  • practicing strategies
  • learning words

Look, say, cover, write, check: 

This is probably the most common strategy used to learn spelling.

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 (and then check):

This is a similar learning process to the technique above but is about developing automatically and muscle memory.

Write the word out on a sheet of paper ensuring that it is spelt correctly and is large enough to trace over.  Trace over the word and say it aloud 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.



Writing the words linked to the teaching focus with speed and fluency. The aim is to write as many words as possible within a time constraint.

Pupils can write words provided by the teacher or generate their own examples. For example, in two minutes write as many words as possible with the /i/ phoneme.

This can be turned into a variety of competitive games including working in teams and developing relay race approaches.

Spelling Strategy: Quickwrite

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Segmentation Strategy:

The splitting of a word into its constituent phonemes in the correct order to support spelling.

Words without vowels:

This strategy is useful where the vowel choices are the challenge in the words. Write the words without the vowels and pupils have to choose the correct grapheme to put in the space.

For example, for the word field:

 f    ld


This strategy involves making up memorable 'silly sentence' of which the first letter of each word spells the common exception word. 


said - Sally Ann IDancing

Rainbow Writing:

Using coloured pencils/ pens in different ways can help to make parts of the words memorable.  You could highlight or write the tricky part in a different colour.

Spelling Strategy: Rainbow Writing

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