KS1 - Lyndhurst Road, Landford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 2AE - KS2 - School Road, Nomansland, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 2BY


The New Forest C of E Primary School and Nursery

Spelling Strategies 

Throughout the year, we teach a range of strategies to support the learning of spelling rules and tricky words. Here are the strategies and a range of resources to support the learning and consolidation of spellings.

For parents of our younger children, a range of phonics support materials are provided by class teacher's and are promoted on our KS1 class pages.  Children learn best when they stick to one phonics scheme.  

A note about handwriting - our school uses a cursive handwriting style (joined) with a lead in entry stroke and flick exit.  Capitals do not join neither does the letter x have an exit stroke.    Here is a terminology sheet to help children learn to form letters:  COMING SOON

Pyramid words 


s h

s h o

s h o u

s h o u l

s h o u l d


Look, Cover, Write, Check 

(also known as Look - Say - Cover - Write - Check).  Photos to follow.  Videos are available on Youtube that help explain.


The spelling strategy Look Say Cover Write Check really improves your spelling if you use it a little bit every day - just a few minutes every day.

This strategy is very good because it’s about writing and using your spelling – visualizing it, saying it, writing it, checking it, correcting mistakes and doing it again. Remember the only way to improve your spelling is to use it and that means writing it.


1.Under the first flap of card the correct spelling is written in the school handwriting style -  e.g. Wednesday. 

2. Look at the word – really see the word, look at the shape, visualize it.

3. Say the word /wensday/– saying/pronouncing a word and spelling the word is sometimes very different – usually because of silent letters.

4. Cover it over by putting down the flap– no peeking, visualize the word – can you remember how it looks.  

5. Say it again as you write it in your home-learning journal under the next flap of card.

6. Now lift up the first flap and check it from the original.

7. Correct your practice version if you need to.   Try and figure out why you made the mistake.  Then only keep the correct spelling on your page so it sinks into our visual memory.


Oops! I forgot the silent ‘d’ – a classic mistake. It’s a good idea to break Wednesday into syllables which are small chunks of the word – with the vowel in it. Wed/nes/day. Or use whatever memory tricks that help you with spelling a word.  Wed/nes/day.

8.  Now next time you sit down to practice your spelling you repeat but write your efforts under the next flap of card.

Repeat over the following days - little and often!


Messy methods - very popular!

Try a tray of cheap shaving foam or play sand - write the word using the correct handwriting style.

Play dough can be made cheaply using flour, oil and water and can be rolled into a sausage to shape the words in the cursive/joined handwriting style.


Classic writing forms - that can be wiped clean 

An alternative for play dough is to try the Roman wax tablet method - squash your play dough flat and write in it with a sharp pencil/stylus.  

Another traditional way is practicing on a chalkboard (or whiteboard).  The ability to wipe clean mistakes can be reassuring for children.  


More kinesthetic (tactile) ideas 

Children who learn best by doing will appreciate the messy methods above, but could also learn spellings by typing.  This can help build both spelling and typing skills.  Choose either MS Word or Purple Mash 2Write.

If your child IS keen on learning to touch type we can recommend the Purple Mash 2 Type program or BBC Dance Mat Touch Typing.


Try Back-Board Writing (name invented by Miss M).  Use the back of the parent/sibling/carer who is supporting the learner - make their back your board.  Trace the spelling letter by letter on their back.  Make sure the back owner says each letter out and then the final word.  

Handwriting practice builds muscle memory.

In school we use the cursive handwriting style.  Practicing your spellings using this style helps to build muscle memory,  which helps your brain and hand write the next letter.  This is particularly good if children struggle with learning spellings.  

Sit straight at a desk/table where your feet can touch the floor.  Use a cushion to make you more upright/move forward in a bigger chair.  

Then use your non-writing hand to support your page as you write.  Use a pencil or a pen similar to those in school.  You can buy triangular grip pencils and pens in stationary shops.  

The following sheets can be printed and used to practice your spellings in the school's cursive handwriting style: COMING SOON



A classic way to learn tricky words is by the use of mnemonics (said  new-mon-ics).  You use a word beginning with the letter that you need to remember.  The phrase needs to make enough sense that you will remember it. 

because - big, elephants, can, always, understand, small, elephants

beautiful - beautiful, Ella, always, uses, turquoise, ink, for, unusual, letters

rhythm - rhythm, has, your, toes, hopping, madly 


It works for spelling rules as well - to remember the 'ould' spelling in the modal verbs should, should , could use 'Oh You Lucky Duck'