Over the past year I’ve had to face a major challenge in updating the very popular Spelling for Literacy series.
The original series was published in 2001 and consisted of five books: one for Years One and Two combined, then one for each year group in Key Stage Two. The five books contained over three thousand words altogether, grouped in sets according to phonic blends or specific spelling patterns. Selection of words for the forty sets in each book was based on lists that were available at the time – high frequency words and words contained in the National Literacy Strategy Spelling Bank and in the National Curriculum as it existed then.
The latest version of the National Curriculum again specifies lists of words but also shows clear statutory requirements regarding phonics and the spellings that represent particular sounds. As well as these it provides non-statutory example words together with spelling rules and guidance, including exceptions to the rules!
In looking at the original Spelling for Literacy books alongside the latest version of the National Curriculum I was pleased to find a reasonably good match. But it was only reasonably good rather than perfect and my task became clear: I had to ensure that Spelling for Literacy was updated so that teachers could have the confidence of knowing that it would cover the requirements completely.
To reflect the increased demands on pupils’ learning of spelling, there are now six titles in the new Spelling for Literacy series. Here is a quick look at the new editions: