Spelling Successes

Spelling photo

“I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing.”
- Mark Twain
Mark Twain has a lot to say about spelling (or has certainly been accredited with it), and I like this sentiment a lot. Still, for the purposes of clear and elegant communication, I prefer it when my pupils are top spellers with the confidence to find variety in fashioning amazingly diverse and beautiful creations out of words instead.
Over the past week, I have noticed some fantastic successes in the spelling classes of Forms 5 to 8. The buzz started last Friday, when Form 5 were on very good form in their weekly spelling test, this week on the ending pattern ‘-sion’. I was especially proud of Adam B, Harry and Samuel, who have improved their spelling greatly, new arrival Adam A who slotted into our spelling programme with consummate ease, and Stephanie, who has worked hard to ensure she achieved full marks. Adam L, Lucy R and Lucy B continue in their quest to see whether merits are an exhaustible resource when it comes to spelling.
Form 6 were up against words with the prefix ‘mis-’ this week, having conducted useful research using an online dictionary last week to determine the meaning and derivation of some very interesting terms. This seemed to have paid off, as the average mark in our Monday test was an incredible 95%, and 11 out of the 19 pupils present were awarded full-marks merits – no mishaps, no misplaced letters, no misbehaviour, no misjudgements and no resulting misanthropy! (all words from our test). The letter patterns Form 6 are focusing on this term are those identified as problem areas by Mrs Hardie in a diagnostic test at the beginning of the year: a very useful set of data for me.
An evening cricket fixture, Dandy’s trials and matches and the general flurry of Common Entrance preparation have all taken up Form 8’s time this week, but they were the icing on the spelling cake this morning, with a fabulous stab at words ending ‘ical/icle/acle’. I was extra pleased to be awarding full-marks merits to Robert, Harry and Katie, all of whom have worked very hard on this week’s word set.
Form 7 will tackle the complexities of ei/ie words tomorrow (not as simple as you think!) so hopefully they will also have imbibed whatever it is that’s in the spelling water this week.
This might not seem like the most scintillating news story in the world, but I am very proud of how hard the pupils are working on their spelling. It’s good to know that some of the varied ways we try to absorb spelling rules and new vocabulary in class are working, but success is also testament to the work of Mrs Hardie, who has championed the Wordshark programme, which pupils have been using to great effect. I am aware that spelling success also often relies on significant input at home, so thank you very much for supporting your children with this key area of the curriculum, and please continue to encourage!

Miss E Simpson, 02/05/2013

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