Lifelong love of learning

Spelling Stages

At Dedham C of E Primary School, we set high expectations for our pupils.  We feel that it is especially important to set high expectations in writing and therefore have made handwriting and spelling key priorities throughout the whole school.


For homework, children will work their way through learning 25 spelling stages.  All the spellings in these stages are high frequency words which come up frequently in children’s writing.  Children will be tested by an adult, approximately once a fortnight and once children have shown in a test that they are secure at a spelling stage, they will be asked to begin to learn the next spelling stage.  Once a spelling stage is secure, those words will then become ‘non-negotiable’ spellings and must be spelled correctly in all written work.  When all 25 stages have been completed, a pin badge will be presented at a Friday assembly.  Each spelling stage can be practised online using the links below.


Progress through spelling stages will take the place of weekly class spelling tests.  The teaching of spelling patterns and topic words will still be covered in literacy lessons but there will not necessarily be a weekly test on these.  Once children are in key stage 2, the National Curriculum provides a list of additional words that children need to learn.  Your child’s teacher will notify you if and when these will be tested.


With regards handwriting, from Class R upwards, children will begin to write with a cursive handwriting script.  Letters will then be joined once their teacher is happy with individual letter formation.  Examples of letter formations and joins can be found below.  Please do encourage and help your child to practise these at home.  


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to come in to talk to your child’s class teacher.