Just been looking at some writing samples from 7yr old children. Of course there were the usual charming spelling mistakes children make-eg. CUMAGEN for COME AGAIN, After a while I realised the entire selection was totally phonetically spelled.

I don’t believe this is OK. We follow the JOLLY PHONICS program quite closely and the children certainly rely heavily on phonics to write when they are 4/5 and 5/6- but as they go from 6-7 we expect them to learn to spell conventionally. We do a lot of multisensory spelling activities and help the childrn to thoroughly learn the TRICKY WORDS. (Those sight words such as WERE WHERE SAID and DOES that cannot be accurately written by listening to sounds) Of course young children do often revert to phonetic spelling when faced with unknown, difficult words. We see this at ICE regularly and we gently teach them the correct spelling and insist they spell accurately whenever possible.

Repeating the same spelling mistake regularly, unfortunately leads to consolidation of the spelling mistake!

We need to make sure that teachers studying the synthetic phonics method ensure that children realise conventional spelling is needed and spend time teaching children to spell accurately and with facility.

We have an ADVANCED JOLLY LEARNING seminar coming up and we will be working hard to promote effective and practcal ways to ensure ALL students to be able to spell at appropriate levels.


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