Spelling Shed advice for SEN or pupils working towards ARE

Spelling Shed advice for SEN or pupils working towards ARE

Generally, our advice is to teach the appropriate year group objectives and use intervention and additional practice (e.g. setting Spelling Shed assignments) to fill in the gaps. The reason for this being, that the gap will only widen if they are going at a slower pace and not being taught their year groups objectives, and that it can demotivate children if they are stuck endlessly repeating the same content.

Sometimes children appreciate the context of what comes later to help them understand. We also cannot only rely on HFW or CEW to understand a text. Even though they are the most common words, it is usually the less common words that actually contribute more meaning to the sentence. Ensure that spelling is taught through drawing on all the spelling skills in a repertoire, rather than waiting until children have “mastered” phonics, before trying to use morphology for example. If you want a bit more detail and CPD on the spelling skills, have a look at our webinars: https://www.edshed.com/en-gb/Webinars.

One strategy to support this is to use the slides to pre-teach up to the objective. As the PPTs are editable, you can look at the other year groups objectives and see if any match, or build up to the objective from the year group you are trying to teach, then copy and paste some slides in from that for the main lesson.

Another would be to make sure the focus is on the pattern you are trying to teach, not necessarily the words that are on the list (the exceptions to this would be the Y3/4 and Y5/6 challenge word lists because these are the statutory words for those years). For example, if you have the Y3 pattern ‘Words ending in al’ you can still teach the lesson as normal and use different word lists for independent activities or practice. The Y2 ‘Words ending in al’ list might be a good start for those slightly behind, or even if you needed to strip it back to words like pal, real, deal, goal.

Linking to children’s interests where possible also helps on the motivation, for example a child who likes football may be more interested in spelling the word goal than one from the list. You can also just use this to build up to the original list if you wish. Also, because we are teaching the pattern, not the words, it doesn’t have to be 10 words, or any specific number of words. The aim is for the child to understand the pattern, so sometimes exposure to more words will help cement the pattern.

If you have children that are on EHCPs or IEPs, the advice for these children might be different based on the documents. Because when discussing SEND it can cover such a broad range, sometimes the above advice isn’t appropriate for a particular child.

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