Evidence suggests that the best way to support a child with spelling difficulties is to practice spelling for short periods of time on a regular basis. The very full curriculum that pupils enjoy at James Gillespie’s High School means it is difficult to extract pupils to work on their spelling without them missing out on their subjects. The Support for Learning department test all S1 pupils’ spelling around October. We will offer in-school support to those with the very weakest spelling skills, however, if your child’s spelling is moderately weak we may not intervene. If you wish to support your child with their spelling at home the following resources will prove useful.

www.doorwayonline.org.uk This excellent website has a series of spelling interventions which deal with the most common words. We would recommend spending 10-15 minutes every day working through the exercises.

Another useful strategy is to maintain a glossary of subject specific words at the back of your child’s jotter.  Revisit these lists on a regular basis using the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ method.

  1. Look at the work – visualize it, picture the shape of the letters and the word as a whole.
  2. Say the word aloud.
  3. Cover the word and visualize.
  4. Write the word out.
  5. Check the word and correct if necessary.

Spelling comes easier to some than others and there are no quick fixes. Some people may have to overlearn spellings, meaning this process will need to be repeated numerous times.

If, despite interventions like these, you child’s spelling fails to improve and teachers are concerned pupils may lose marks in exams due to poor spelling (English is the main subject where pupils can lose marks for poor spelling- it has to be very poor for pupils to lose marks in other subjects) the school can apply for the child to use a computer with spellcheck or to have their exam paper transcribed and corrected in the final exams. See more details on this process in the Assessment Arrangements section on the website.