Curriculum Vital

    There's no 'i' in 'grapheme-phoneme correspondence,' but there is in 'split digraph': Spelling in the new National Curriculum

    (Lisa is preparing for her Spelling Bee.)
    Marge: Remember, honey, 'i' before 'e', except after 'c'.
    Lisa: Except when pronounced 'eh', as in 'neighbour' and 'weigh.'
    Marge: Really? Well how about 'Jim Nabors is way cool'?
    Lisa: Well how often is that going to come up?
    Marge: It's on my apron. (Gestures to the apron she is wearing, which features a picture of a smiling Jim Nabors above the caption 'Jim Nabors Is Way Cool'.)

    The Simpsons, episode EABF07: 'I'm spelling as fast as I can!'

    Yes, spelling in English has long been fiendishly difficult. What with all those double consonants and bizarre phonemes, it's a wonder we don't all just revert to text speak. No wat i meen?

    In attempt to part the clouds of confusion, Michael Gove has, as it were, spelt out exactly what kids need to be able to spell and when. Beginning in the new Lower Key Stage 2 (years three and four), students will have to be able to spell a list of prescribed words. Below, we present the list and the best new resources to help you manage.

    Key Stage 1

    Lower Key Stage 2 (years three and four)

    Statutory word list

    accident(ally)

    actual(ly)

    address

    answer

    appear

    arrive

    believe

    bicycle

    breath

    breathe

    build

    busy/business

    calendar

    caught

    centre

    century

    certain

    circle

    continue

    complete

    consider

    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

     

    Related resources

    Upper Key Stage 2 (years five and six)

    Statutory word list

    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

     

    Related resources

    Related articles

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1-2 English grammar and punctuation

    The new National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1-2 English poetry