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National Curriculum Primary Appendix English 1 spelling word list

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English Appendix 1: Spelling

Most people read words more accurately than they spell them. The younger pupils are, the truer this is.

By the end of year 1, pupils should be able to read a large number of different words containing the GPCs that they have learnt, whether or not they have seen these words before. Spelling, however, is a very different matter. Once pupils have learnt more than one way of spelling particular sounds, choosing the right letter or letters depends on their either having made a conscious effort to learn the words or having absorbed them less consciously through their reading. Younger pupils have not had enough time to learn or absorb the accurate spelling of all the words that they may want to write.

This appendix provides examples of words embodying each pattern which is taught. Many of the words listed as ‘example words’ for years 1 and 2, including almost all those listed as ‘exception words’, are used frequently in pupils’ writing, and therefore it is worth pupils learning the correct spelling. The ‘exception words’ contain GPCs which have not yet been taught as widely applicable, but this may be because they are applicable in very few age-appropriate words rather than because they are rare in English words in general.

The word-lists for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6 are statutory. The lists are a mixture of words pupils frequently use in their writing and those which they often misspell. Some of the listed words may be thought of as quite challenging, but the 100 words in each list can easily be taught within the four years of key stage 2 alongside other words that teachers consider appropriate.

The rules and guidance are intended to support the teaching of spelling. Phonic knowledge should continue to underpin spelling after key stage 1; teachers should still draw pupils’ attention to GPCs that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also need to understand the role of morphology and etymology. Although particular GPCs in root words simply have to be learnt, teachers can help pupils to understand relationships between meaning and spelling where these are relevant. For example, understanding the relationship betweenmedical andmedicine may help pupils to spell the /s/ sound inmedicine with the letter ‘c’. Pupils can also be helped to spell words with prefixes and suffixes correctly if they understand some general principles for adding them. Teachers should be familiar with what pupils have been taught about spelling in earlier years, such as which rules pupils have been taught for adding prefixes and suffixes.

In this spelling appendix, the left-hand column is statutory; the middle and right-hand columns are non-statutory guidance.

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used to represent sounds (phonemes). A table showing the IPA is provided in this document.

Spelling – work for year 1

Revision of reception work

Statutory requirements

The boundary between revision of work covered in Reception and the introduction of new work may vary according to the programme used, but basic revision should include:

  • all letters of the alphabet and the sounds which they most commonly represent
  • consonant digraphs which have been taught and the sounds which they represent
  • vowel digraphs which have been taught and the sounds which they represent
  • the process of segmenting spoken words into sounds before choosing graphemes to represent the sounds
  • words with adjacent consonants
  • guidance and rules which have been taught

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

The sounds /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ and /k/ spelt ff, ll, ss, zz and ck

The /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ and /k/ sounds are usually spelt asff, ll, ss, zzandck if they come straight after a single vowel letter in short words.Exceptions: if, pal, us, bus, yes.

off, well, miss, buzz, back

The /ŋ/ sound spelt n before k

bank, think, honk, sunk

Division of words into syllables

Each syllable is like a ‘beat’ in the spoken word. Words of more than one syllable often have an unstressed syllable in which the vowel sound is unclear.

pocket, rabbit, carrot, thunder, sunset

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

-tch

The /tʃ/ sound is usually spelt astch if it comes straight after a single vowel letter.Exceptions: rich, which, much, such.

catch, fetch, kitchen, notch, hutch

The /v/ sound at the end of words

English words hardly ever end with the letterv, so if a word ends with a /v/ sound, the lettere usually needs to be added after the ‘v’.

have, live, give

Adding s and es to words (plural of nouns and the third person singular of verbs)

If the ending sounds like /s/ or /z/, it is spelt as–s. If the ending sounds like /ɪz/ and forms an extra syllable or ‘beat’ in the word, it is spelt as–es.

cats, dogs, spends, rocks, thanks, catches

Adding the endings –ing, –ed and –er to verbs where no change is needed to the root word

–ing and–er always add an extra syllable to the word and–ed sometimes does.

The past tense of some verbs may sound as if it ends in /ɪd/ (extra syllable), /d/ or /t/ (no extra syllable), but all these endings are spelt–ed.

If the verb ends in two consonant letters (the same or different), the ending is simply added on.

hunting, hunted, hunter, buzzing, buzzed, buzzer, jumping, jumped, jumper

Adding –er and –est to adjectives where no change is needed to the root word

As with verbs (see above), if the adjective ends in two consonant letters (the same or different), the ending is simply added on.

grander, grandest, fresher, freshest, quicker, quickest


Vowel digraphs and trigraphs

Some may already be known, depending on the programmes used in Reception, but some will be new.

Vowel digraphs and trigraphs

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

ai, oi

The digraphs ai and oi are virtually never used at the end of English words.

rain, wait, train, paid, afraid
oil, join, coin, point, soil

ay, oy

ay andoy are used for those sounds at the end of words and at the end of syllables.

day, play, say, way, stay
boy, toy, enjoy, annoy

a–e

made, came, same, take, safe

e–e

these, theme, complete

i–e

five, ride, like, time, side

o–e

home, those, woke, hope, hole

u–e

Both the /u:/ and /ju:/ (‘oo’ and ‘yoo’) sounds can be spelt asu–e.

June, rule, rude, use, tube, tune

ar

car, start, park, arm, garden

ee

see, tree, green, meet, week

ea (/i:/)

sea, dream, meat, each, read (present tense)

ea (/ɛ/)

head, bread, meant, instead, read (past tense)

er (/ɜ:/)

(stressed sound): her, term, verb, person

er (/ə/)

(unstressedschwa sound): better, under, summer, winter, sister

ir

girl, bird, shirt, first, third

ur

turn, hurt, church, burst, Thursday

Vowel digraphs and trigraphs

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

oo (/u:/)

Very few words end with the lettersoo, although the few that do are often words that primary children in year 1 will encounter, for example,zoo

food, pool, moon, zoo, soon

oo (/ʊ/)

book, took, foot, wood, good

oa

The digraphoa is very rare at the end of an English word.

boat, coat, road, coach, goal

oe

toe, goes

ou

The only common English word ending inou isyou.

out, about, mouth, around, sound

ow (/aʊ/)

ow (/əʊ/)

ue

ew

Both the /u:/ and /ju:/ (‘oo’ and ‘yoo’) sounds can be spelt asu–e,ue andew. If words end in the /oo/ sound,ue andew are more common spellings thanoo.

now, how, brown, down, town
own, blow, snow, grow, show
blue, clue, true, rescue, Tuesday
new, few, grew, flew, drew, threw

ie (/aɪ/)

lie, tie, pie, cried, tried, dried

ie (/i:/)

chief, field, thief

igh

high, night, light, bright, right

or

for, short, born, horse, morning

ore

more, score, before, wore, shore

aw

saw, draw, yawn, crawl

au

author, August, dinosaur, astronaut

air

air, fair, pair, hair, chair

ear

dear, hear, beard, near, year

ear (/ɛə/)

bear, pear, wear

are (/ɛə/)

bare, dare, care, share, scared

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Words ending –y (/i:/ or /ɪ/)

very, happy, funny, party, family

New consonant spellings ph and wh

The /f/ sound is not usually spelt asph in short everyday words (e.g.fat, fill, fun).

dolphin, alphabet, phonics, elephant
when, where, which, wheel, while

Using k for the /k/ sound

The /k/ sound is spelt ask rather than asc beforee,i andy.

Kent, sketch, kit, skin, frisky

Adding the prefix –un

The prefixun– is added to the beginning of a word without any change to the spelling of the root word.

unhappy, undo, unload, unfair, unlock

Compound words

Compound words are two words joined together. Each part of the longer word is spelt as it would be if it were on its own.

football, playground, farmyard, bedroom, blackberry

Common exception words

Pupils’ attention should be drawn to the grapheme-phoneme correspondences that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far.

the, a, do, to, today, of, said, says, are, were, was, is, his, has, I, you, your, they, be, he, me, she, we, no, go, so, by, my, here, there, where, love, come, some, one, once, ask, friend, school, put, push, pull, full, house, our – and/or others, according to the programme used

Spelling – work for year 2

Revision of work from year 1

As words with new GPCs are introduced, many previously-taught GPCs can be revised at the same time as these words will usually contain them.

New work for year 2

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

The /dʒ/ sound spelt as ge and dge at the end of words, and sometimes spelt as g elsewhere in words before e, i and y

The letter j is never used for the /dʒ/ sound at the end of English words.

At the end of a word, the /dʒ/ sound is spelt –dge straight after the /æ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɒ/, /ʌ/ and /ʊ/ sounds (sometimes called ‘short’ vowels).

After all other sounds, whether vowels or consonants, the /dʒ/ sound is spelt as –ge at the end of a word.

In other positions in words, the /dʒ/ sound is often (but not always) spelt as g before e, i, and y. The /dʒ/ sound is always spelt as j before a, o and u.


badge, edge, bridge, dodge, fudge

age, huge, change, charge, bulge, village

gem, giant, magic, giraffe, energy
jacket, jar, jog, join, adjust

The /s/ sound spelt c before e, i and y

race, ice, cell, city, fancy

The /n/ sound spelt kn and (less often) gn at the beginning of words

The ‘k’ and ‘g’ at the beginning of these words was sounded hundreds of years ago.

knock, know, knee, gnat, gnaw

The /r/ sound spelt wr at the beginning of words

This spelling probably also reflects an old pronunciation.

write, written, wrote, wrong, wrap

The /l/ or /əl/ sound spelt –le at the end of words

The–le spelling is the most common spelling for this sound at the end of words.

table, apple, bottle, little, middle

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

The /l/ or /əl/ sound spelt –el at the end of words

The–el spelling is much less common than–le.

The–el spelling is used afterm,n,rs,v,w and more often than not afters.

camel, tunnel, squirrel, travel, towel, tinsel

The /l/ or /əl/ sound spelt –al at the end of words

Not many nouns end in –al, but many adjectives do.

metal, pedal, capital, hospital, animal

Words ending –il

There are not many of these words.

pencil, fossil, nostril

The /aɪ/ sound spelt –y at the end of words

This is by far the most common spelling for this sound at the end of words.

cry, fly, dry, try, reply, July

Adding –es to nouns and verbs ending in
–y

They is changed toi before–es is added.

flies, tries, replies, copies, babies, carries

Adding –ed, –ing, –er and –est to a root word ending in –y with a consonant before it

They is changed toi before–ed,–er and–est are added, but not before–ing as this would result inii. The only ordinary words withii areskiingandtaxiing.

copied, copier, happier, happiest, cried, replied

but copying, crying, replying

Adding the endings –ing, –ed, –er, –est and –y to words ending in –e with a consonant before it

The–e at the end of the root word is dropped before–ing,–ed,–er,
–est,–y or any other suffix beginning with a vowel letter is added.Exception:being.

hiking, hiked, hiker, nicer, nicest, shiny

Adding –ing, –ed,
–er, –est and –y to words of one syllable ending in a single consonant letter after a single vowel letter

The last consonant letter of the root word is doubled to keep the /æ/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /ɒ/ and /ʌ/ sound (i.e. to keep the vowel ‘short’).

Exception: The letter ‘x’ is never doubled:mixing, mixed, boxer, sixes.

patting, patted, humming, hummed, dropping, dropped, sadder, saddest, fatter, fattest, runner, runny

The /ɔ:/ sound spelt a before l and ll

The/ɔ:/ sound (‘or’) is usually spelt asa beforel andll.

all, ball, call, walk, talk, always

The /ʌ/ sound spelt o

other, mother, brother, nothing, Monday

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

The /i:/ sound spelt
–ey

The plural of these words is formed by the addition of–s (donkeys, monkeys, etc.).

key, donkey, monkey, chimney, valley

The /ɒ/ sound spelt a after w and qu

a is the most common spelling for the/ɒ/ (‘hot’) sound afterw andqu.

want, watch, wander, quantity, squash

The /ɜ:/ sound spelt or after w

There are not many of these words.

word, work, worm, world, worth

The /ɔ:/ sound spelt ar after w

There are not many of these words.

war, warm, towards

The /ʒ/ sound spelt s

television, treasure, usual

The suffixes –ment,
–ness, –ful , –less and –ly

If a suffix starts with a consonant letter, it is added straight on to most root words without any change to the last letter of those words.

Exceptions:

(1)argument

(2) root words ending in –y with a consonant before it but only if the root word has more than one syllable.

enjoyment, sadness, careful, playful, hopeless, plainness (plain + ness), badly

merriment, happiness, plentiful, penniless, happily

Contractions

In contractions, the apostrophe shows where a letter or letters would be if the words were written in full (e.g.can’t –cannot).

It’s meansit is (e.g.It’s raining) or sometimesit has (e.g. It’s been raining), butit’sis never used for the possessive.

can’t, didn’t, hasn’t, couldn’t, it’s, I’ll

The possessive apostrophe (singular nouns)

Megan’s, Ravi’s, the girl’s, the child’s, the man’s

Words ending in –tion

station, fiction, motion, national, section

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Homophones and near-homophones

It is important to know the difference in meaning between homophones.

there/their/they’re, here/hear, quite/quiet, see/sea, bare/bear, one/won, sun/son, to/too/two, be/bee, blue/blew, night/knight

Common exception words

Some words are exceptions in some accents but not in others – e.g.past, last,fast, path andbath are not exceptions in accents where thea in these words is pronounced /æ/, as incat.

Great, break andsteak are the only common words where the /eɪ/ sound is speltea.

door, floor, poor, because, find, kind, mind, behind, child, children*, wild, climb, most, only, both, old, cold, gold, hold, told, every, everybody, even, great, break, steak, pretty, beautiful, after, fast, last, past, father, class, grass, pass, plant, path, bath, hour, move, prove, improve, sure, sugar, eye, could, should, would, who, whole, any, many, clothes, busy, people, water, again, half, money, Mr, Mrs, parents, Christmas – and/or others according to programme used.

Note: ‘children’ is not an exception to what has been taught so far but is included because of its relationship with ‘child’.

Spelling – work for years 3 and 4

Revision of work from years 1 and 2

Pay special attention to the rules for adding suffixes.

New work for years 3 and 4

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words of more than one syllable

If the last syllable of a word is stressed and ends with one consonant letter which has just one vowel letter before it, the final consonant letter is doubled before any ending beginning with a vowel letter is added. The consonant letter is not doubled if the syllable is unstressed.

forgetting, forgotten, beginning, beginner, prefer, preferred



gardening, gardener, limiting, limited, limitation

The /ɪ/ sound spelt y elsewhere than at the end of words

These words should be learnt as needed.

myth, gym, Egypt, pyramid, mystery

The /ʌ/ sound spelt ou

These words should be learnt as needed.

young, touch, double, trouble, country

More prefixes

Most prefixes are added to the beginning of root words without any changes in spelling, but seein– below.

Likeun–, the prefixes dis– andmis– have negative meanings.

dis–: disappoint, disagree, disobey

mis–: misbehave, mislead, misspell (mis + spell)

The prefixin– can mean both ‘not’ and ‘in’/‘into’. In the words given here it means ‘not’.

in–: inactive, incorrect

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Before a root word starting withl,in– becomesil.

illegal, illegible

Before a root word starting with morp,in– becomesim–.

immature, immortal, impossible, impatient, imperfect

Before a root word starting withr,in– becomesir–.

irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible

re– means ‘again’ or ‘back’.

re–: redo, refresh, return, reappear, redecorate

sub– means ‘under’.

sub–: subdivide, subheading, submarine, submerge

inter– means ‘between’ or ‘among’.

inter–: interact, intercity, international, interrelated (inter + related)

super– means ‘above’.

super–: supermarket, superman, superstar

anti– means ‘against’.

anti–: antiseptic, anti-clockwise, antisocial

auto– means ‘self’ or ‘own’.

auto–: autobiography, autograph

The suffix –ation

The suffix–ation is added to verbs to form nouns. The rules already learnt still apply.

information, adoration, sensation, preparation, admiration

The suffix –ly

The suffix–ly is added to an adjective to form an adverb. The rules already learnt still apply.

The suffix–ly starts with a consonant letter, so it is added straight on to most root words.

sadly, completely, usually (usual + ly), finally (final + ly), comically (comical + ly)

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Exceptions:

(1) If the root word ends in –y with a consonant letter before it, they is changed toi, but only if the root word has more than one syllable.

happily, angrily

(2) If the root word ends with–le, the–le is changed to–ly.

gently, simply, humbly, nobly

(3) If the root word ends with–ic,
–ally is added rather than just–ly, except in the wordpublicly.

basically, frantically, dramatically

(4) The wordstruly, duly, wholly.

Words with endings sounding like /ʒə/ or /tʃə/

The ending sounding like/ʒə/ is always spelt –sure.

The ending sounding like/tʃə/ is often spelt–ture, but check that the word is not a root word ending in(t)ch with aner ending – e.g.teacher, catcher, richer, stretcher.

measure, treasure, pleasure, enclosure

creature, furniture, picture, nature, adventure

Endings which sound like /ʒən/

If the ending sounds like/ʒən/, it is spelt as–sion.

division, invasion, confusion, decision, collision, television

The suffix –ous

Sometimes the root word is obvious and the usual rules apply for adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters.

Sometimes there is no obvious root word.

–our is changed to–or before–ous is added.

A final ‘e’ of the root word must be kept if the /dʒ/ sound of ‘g’ is to be kept.

If there is an /i:/ sound before the
–ous ending, it is usually spelt asi, but a few words havee.

poisonous, dangerous, mountainous, famous, various

tremendous, enormous, jealous

humorous, glamorous, vigorous

courageous, outrageous

serious, obvious, curious
hideous, spontaneous, courteous

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Endings which sound like /ʃən/, spelt –tion, –sion, –ssion, –cian

Strictly speaking, the suffixes are–ion and–ian. Clues about whether to putt,s,ss orc before these suffixes often come from the last letter or letters of the root word.

–tion is the most common spelling. It is used if the root word ends int orte.

–ssion is used if the root word ends inss or –mit.

–sion is used if the root word ends ind orse.
Exceptions:attend – attention,intend – intention.

–cian is used if the root word ends inc orcs.





invention, injection, action, hesitation, completion

expression, discussion, confession, permission, admission

expansion, extension, comprehension, tension

musician, electrician, magician, politician, mathematician

Words with the /k/ sound spelt ch (Greek in origin)

scheme, chorus, chemist, echo, character

Words with the /ʃ/ sound spelt ch (mostly French in origin)

chef, chalet, machine, brochure

Words ending with the /g/ sound spelt –gue and the /k/ sound spelt –que (French in origin)

league, tongue, antique, unique

Words with the /s/ sound spelt sc (Latin in origin)

In the Latin words from which these words come, the Romans probably pronounced thec and thek as two sounds rather than one – /s/ /k/.

science, scene, discipline, fascinate, crescent

Words with the /eɪ/ sound spelt ei, eigh, or ey

vein, weigh, eight, neighbour, they, obey

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Possessive apostrophe with plural words

The apostrophe is placed after the plural form of the word;–s is not added if the plural already ends in
–s, butisadded if the plural does not end in–s (i.e. is an irregular plural – e.g.children’s).

girls’, boys’, babies’, children’s, men’s, mice’s

(Note: singular proper nouns ending in ans use the ’s suffix e.g. Cyprus’s population)

Homophones and near-homophones

accept/except, affect/effect, ball/bawl, berry/bury, brake/break, fair/fare, grate/great, groan/grown, here/hear, heel/heal/he’ll, knot/not, mail/male, main/mane, meat/meet, medal/meddle, missed/mist, peace/piece, plain/plane, rain/rein/reign, scene/seen, weather/whether, whose/who’s

Word list – years 3 and 4

accident(ally)

actual(ly)

address

answer

appear

arrive

believe

bicycle

breath

breathe

build

busy/business

calendar

caught

centre

century

certain

circle

complete

consider

continue

decide

describe

different

difficult

disappear

early

earth

eight/eighth

enough

exercise

experience

experiment

extreme

famous

favourite

February

forward(s)

fruit

grammar

group

guard

guide

heard

heart

height

history

imagine

increase

important

interest

island

knowledge

learn

length

library

material

medicine

mention

minute

natural

naughty

notice

occasion(ally)

often

opposite

ordinary

particular

peculiar

perhaps

popular

position

possess(ion)

possible

potatoes

pressure

probably

promise

purpose

quarter

question

recent

regular

reign

remember

sentence

separate

special

straight

strange

strength

suppose

surprise

therefore

though/although

thought

through

various

weight

woman/women

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Teachers should continue to emphasise to pupils the relationships between sounds and letters, even when the relationships are unusual. Once root words are learnt in this way, longer words can be spelt correctly, if the rules and guidance for adding prefixes and suffixes are also known.

Examples:

business: once busy is learnt, with due attention to the unusual spelling of the /i/ sound as ‘u’, business can then be spelt asbusy + ness, with they ofbusy changed toi according to the rule.

disappear: the root wordappearcontains sounds which can be spelt in more than one way so it needs to be learnt, but the prefixdis– is then simply added toappear.

Understanding the relationships between words can also help with spelling. Examples:

  • bicycle iscycle (from the Greek forwheel) withbi– (meaning ‘two’) before it.
  • medicine is related tomedical so the /s/ sound is spelt asc.
  • opposite is related tooppose, so the schwa sound inopposite is spelt aso.

Spelling – years 5 and 6

Revise work done in previous years

New work for years 5 and 6

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Endings which sound like /ʃəs/ spelt –cious or –tious

Not many common words end like this.

If the root word ends in–ce, the /ʃ/ sound is usually spelt asc – e.g.vice – vicious, grace – gracious, space – spacious, malice – malicious.

Exception:anxious.

vicious, precious, conscious, delicious, malicious, suspicious

ambitious, cautious, fictitious, infectious, nutritious

Endings which sound like /ʃəl/

–cial is common after a vowel letter and–tial after a consonant letter, but there are some exceptions.

Exceptions: initial, financial, commercial, provincial (the spelling of the last three is clearly related tofinance, commerce andprovince).

official, special, artificial, partial, confidential, essential

Words ending in –ant,
–ance/–ancy,
–ent,
–ence/–ency

Use–ant and–ance/–ancy if there is a related word with a /æ/ or /eɪ/ sound in the right position; –ation endings are often a clue.


Use–ent and–ence/–ency after softc (/s/ sound), softg (/dʒ/ sound) andqu, or if there is a related word with a clear /ɛ/ sound in the right position.

There are many words, however, where the above guidance does not help. These words just have to be learnt.

observant, observance, (observation), expectant (expectation), hesitant, hesitancy (hesitation), tolerant, tolerance (toleration), substance (substantial)

innocent, innocence, decent, decency, frequent, frequency, confident, confidence (confidential)

assistant, assistance, obedient, obedience, independent, independence

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Words ending in –able and
–ible

Words ending in –ably and
–ibly

The–able/–ably endings are far more common than the–ible/–ibly endings.

As with–ant and–ance/–ancy, the–able ending is used if there is a related word ending in–ation.


If the–able ending is added to a word ending in–ce or–ge, thee after thec org must be kept as those letters would otherwise have their ‘hard’ sounds (as incap andgap) before thea of the–able ending.

The–able ending is usually but not always used if a complete root word can be heard before it, even if there is no related word ending in–ation. The first five examples opposite are obvious; inreliable, the complete wordrely is heard, but they changes toi in accordance with the rule.

The–ible ending is common if a complete root word can’t be heard before it but it also sometimes occurs when a complete wordcan be heard (e.g.sensible).

adorable/adorably (adoration),

applicable/applicably (application), considerable/considerably (consideration), tolerable/tolerably (toleration)

changeable, noticeable, forcible, legible



dependable, comfortable, understandable, reasonable, enjoyable, reliable



possible/possibly, horrible/horribly, terrible/terribly, visible/visibly, incredible/incredibly, sensible/sensibly

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words ending in –fer

Ther is doubled if the–fer is still stressed when the ending is added.

Ther is not doubled if the–fer is no longer stressed.

referring, referred, referral, preferring, preferred, transferring, transferred

reference, referee, preference, transference

Use of the hyphen

Hyphens can be used to join a prefix to a root word, especially if the prefix ends in a vowel letter and the root word also begins with one.

co-ordinate, re-enter,
co-operate, co-own

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Words with the /i:/ sound spelt ei after c

The ‘i beforee except afterc’ rule applies to words where the sound spelt byei is /i:/.

Exceptions:protein, caffeine, seize(andeitherandneither if pronounced with an initial /i:/ sound).

deceive, conceive, receive, perceive, ceiling

Words containing the letter-string ough

ough is one of the trickiest spellings in English – it can be used to spell a number of different sounds.

ought, bought, thought, nought, brought, fought

rough, tough, enough

cough

though, although, dough

through

thorough, borough

plough, bough

Words with ‘silent’ letters (i.e. letters whose presence cannot be predicted from the pronunciation of the word)

Some letters which are no longer sounded used to be sounded hundreds of years ago: e.g. inknight, there was a /k/ sound before the /n/, and thegh used to represent the sound that ‘ch’ now represents in the Scottish wordloch.

doubt, island, lamb, solemn, thistle, knight

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Homophones and other words that are often confused

In the pairs of words opposite, nouns end–ce and verbs end–se.Adviceand advise provide a useful clue as the wordadvise (verb) is pronounced with a /z/ sound – which could not be speltc.

More examples:

aisle: a gangway between seats (in a church, train, plane).
isle: an island.

aloud: out loud.
allowed: permitted.

affect: usually a verb (e.g.The weather may affect our plans).
effect: usually a noun (e.g.
It may have an effect on our plans). If a verb, it means ‘bring about’ (e.g.He will effect changes in the running of the business).

altar: a table-like piece of furniture in a church.
alter: to change.

ascent: the act of ascending (going up).
assent: to agree/agreement (verb and noun).

bridal: to do with a bride at a wedding.
bridle: reins etc. for controlling a horse.

cereal: made from grain (e.g. breakfast cereal).
serial: adjective from the noun
series – a succession of things one after the other.

compliment: to make nice remarks about someone (verb) or the remark that is made (noun).
complement: related to the word
complete – to make something complete or more complete (e.g.her scarf complemented her outfit).

advice/advise

device/devise

licence/license

practice/practise

prophecy/prophesy

farther: further
father: a male parent

guessed: past tense of the verbguess
guest: visitor

heard: past tense of the verbhear
herd: a group of animals

led: past tense of the verblead
lead: present tense of that verb, or else the metal which is very heavy (
as heavy as lead)

morning: before noon
mourning: grieving for someone who has died

past: noun or adjective referring to a previous time (e.g.In the past) or preposition or adverb showing place (e.g.he walked past me)
passed: past tense of the verb ‘pass’ (e.g.
I passed him in the road)

precede: go in front of or before
proceed: go on

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (nonstatutory)

Example words (nonstatutory)

Homophones and other words that are often confused (continued)

descent: the act of descending (going down).
dissent: to disagree/disagreement (verb and noun).

desert: as a noun – a barren place (stress on first syllable); as a verb – to abandon (stress on second syllable)
dessert: (stress on second syllable) a sweet course after the main course of a meal.

draft: noun – a first attempt at writing something; verb – to make the first attempt; also, to draw in someone (e.g.to draft in extra help)
draught: a current of air.

principal: adjective – most important (e.g.principal ballerina) noun – important person (e.g.principal of a college)
principle: basic truth or belief

profit: money that is made in selling things
prophet: someone who foretells the future

stationary: not moving
stationery: paper, envelopes etc.

steal: take something that does not belong to you
steel: metal

wary: cautious
weary: tired

who’s: contraction ofwho is orwho has
whose: belonging to someone (e.g.Whose jacket is that?)

Word list – years 5 and 6

accommodate

accompany

according

achieve

aggressive

amateur

ancient

apparent

appreciate

attached

available

average

awkward

bargain

bruise

category

cemetery

committee

communicate

community

competition

conscience*

conscious*

controversy

convenience

correspond

criticise (critic + ise)

curiosity

definite

desperate

determined

develop

dictionary

disastrous

embarrass

environment

equip (–ped, –ment)

especially

exaggerate

excellent

existence

explanation

familiar

foreign

forty

frequently

government

guarantee

harass

hindrance

identity

immediate(ly)

individual

interfere

interrupt

language

leisure

lightning

marvellous

mischievous

muscle

necessary

neighbour

nuisance

occupy

occur

opportunity

parliament

persuade

physical

prejudice

privilege

profession

programme

pronunciation

queue

recognise

recommend

relevant

restaurant

rhyme

rhythm

sacrifice

secretary

shoulder

signature

sincere(ly)

soldier

stomach

sufficient

suggest

symbol

system

temperature

thorough

twelfth

variety

vegetable

vehicle

yacht

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Teachers should continue to emphasis to pupils the relationships between sounds and letters, even when the relationships are unusual. Once root words are learnt in this way, longer words can be spelt correctly if the rules and guidance for adding prefixes and suffixes are also known. Many of the words in the list above can be used for practice in adding suffixes.

Understanding the history of words and relationships between them can also help with spelling.

Examples:
  • Conscience andconscious are related toscience: conscience is simplyscience with the prefixcon-added. These words come from the Latin wordscio meaningI know.
  • The word desperate, meaning ‘without hope’, is often pronounced in English as desp’rate, but the –sper- part comes from the Latin spero, meaning ‘I hope’, in which the e was clearly sounded.
  • Familiar is related to family, so the /ə/ sound in the first syllable of familiar is spelt as a.

International Phonetic Alphabet (non-statutory)

The table below shows each symbol of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and provides examples of the associated grapheme(s).[6] The table is not a comprehensive alphabetic code chart; it is intended simply as guidance for teachers in understanding the IPA symbols used in the spelling appendix (English Appendix 1). The pronunciations in the table are, by convention, based on Received Pronunciation and could be significantly different in other accents.

Consonants

Vowels

/b/

bad

/ɑː/

father,arm

/d/

dog

/ɒ/

hot

/ð/

this

/æ/

cat

/dʒ/

gem,jug

/aɪ/

mind, fine, pie,high

/f/

if, puff,photo

/aʊ/

out, cow

/ɡ/

gum

/ɛ/

hen, head

/h/

how

/eɪ/

say, came, bait

/j/

yes

/ɛə/

air

/k/

cat, check,key, school

ʊ/

cold, boat, cone, blow

/l/

leg, hill

/ɪ/

hit

/m/

man

/ɪə/

beer

/n/

man

/iː/

she, bead, see, scheme, chief

/ŋ/

sing

/ɔː/

launch, raw, born

/θ/

both

/ɔɪ/

coin, boy

/p/

pet

/ʊ/

book

/r/

red

/ʊə/

tour

/s/

sit, miss,cell

/uː/

room, you, blue, brute

/ʃ/

she,chef

/ʌ/

cup

/t/

tea

/ɜː/

fern, turn, girl

/tʃ/

check

/ə/

farmer

/v/

vet

/w/

wet,when

/z/

zip, hens, buzz

/ʒ/

pleasure