Curriculum home > The national curriculum in England: English Appendix 1: Spelling

Work for year 1

Revision of reception work

Statutory requirements

The boundary between revision of work covered in Reception and the introduction of new work may vary according to the programme used, but basic revision should include:

  • all letters of the alphabet and the sounds which they most commonly represent
  • consonant digraphs which have been taught and the sounds which they represent
  • vowel digraphs which have been taught and the sounds which they represent
  • the process of segmenting spoken words into sounds before choosing graphemes to represent the sounds
  • words with adjacent consonants
  • guidance and rules which have been taught

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)

The sounds /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ and /k/ spelt ff, ll, ss, zz and ck
Spellzone Unit 2

The /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ and /k/ sounds are usually spelt as ff, ll, ss, zz and ck if they come straight after a single vowel letter in short words. Exceptions: if, pal, us, bus, yes.

off, well, miss, buzz, back
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list ff
Spellzone word list ss
Spellzone word list ll
Spellzone word list ck
Spellzone poster

The /ŋ/ sound spelt n before k

 

bank, think, honk, sunk
Curriculum word list

Division of words into syllables
Spellzone Unit 8

Each syllable is like a ‘beat’ in the spoken word. Words of more than one syllable often have an unstressed syllable in which the vowel sound is unclear.

pocket, rabbit, carrot, thunder, sunset
Curriculum word list

-tch
Spellzone Unit 4

The /tʃ/ sound is usually spelt as tch if it comes straight after a single vowel letter. Exceptions: rich, which, much, such.

catch, fetch, kitchen, notch, hutch
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

The /v/ sound at the end of words
Spellzone Unit 3

English words hardly ever end with the letter v, so if a word ends with a /v/ sound, the letter e usually needs to be added after the ‘v’.

have, live, give
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

Adding s and es to words (plural of nouns and the third person singular of verbs)
Spellzone Unit 9

If the ending sounds like /s/ or /z/, it is spelt as –s. If the ending sounds like /ɪz/ and forms an extra syllable or ‘beat’ in the word, it is spelt as –es.
Suffix -es referred to in Spellzone Unit 9
but not in detail.

cats, dogs, spends, rocks, thanks, catches
Curriculum word list

Adding the endings –ing, –ed and –er to verbs where no change is needed to the root word
Spellzone Unit 9

–ing and –er always add an extra syllable to the word and –ed sometimes does.
The past tense of some verbs may sound as if it ends in /ɪd/ (extra syllable), /d/ or /t/ (no extra syllable), but all these endings are spelt –ed.
If the verb ends in two consonant letters (the same or different), the ending is simply added on.

hunting, hunted, hunter, buzzing, buzzed, buzzer, jumping, jumped, jumper
Curriculum word list

Adding –er and –est to adjectives where no change is needed to the root word
Spellzone Unit 9

As with verbs (see above), if the adjective ends in two consonant letters (the same or different), the ending is simply added on.

grander, grandest, fresher, freshest, quicker, quickest
Curriculum word list



Vowel digraphs and trigraphs

Some may already be known, depending on the programmes used in Reception, but some will be new.

Vowel digraphs and trigraphs

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)

ai, oi
Spellzone Unit 16

The digraphs ai and oi are virtually never used at the end of English words.

rain, wait, train, paid, afraid
oil, join, coin, point, soil
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list
Spellzone poster

ay, oy
Spellzone Unit 7

ay and oy are used for those sounds at the end of words and at the end of syllables.

day, play, say, way, stay
boy, toy, enjoy, annoy
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list
Spellzone poster

a–e
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 2)

 

made, came, same, take, safe
Curriculum word list

e–e
Spellzone Unit 7

 

these, theme, complete
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

i–e
Spellzone Unit 7

 

five, ride, like, time, side
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list i-e 1
Spellzone word list i-e 2

o–e
Spellzone Unit 7

 

home, those, woke, hope, hole
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

u–e
Spellzone Unit 13

Both the /u:/ and /ju:/ (‘oo’ and ‘yoo’) sounds can be spelt as u–e.

June, rule, rude, use, tube, tune
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ar
Spellzone Unit 10

 

car, start, park, arm, garden
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list ar 1
Spellzone word list ar 2  

ee
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 8)

 

see, tree, green, meet, week
Curriculum word list

ea (/i:/)
Spellzone Unit 7

 

sea, dream, meat, each, read (present tense)
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ea (/ɛ/)
Spellzone  Unit 6

 

head, bread, meant, instead, read (past tense)
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

er (/ɜ:/)
Spellzone Unit 11

 

(stressed sound): her, term, verb, person
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

er (/ə/)
Spellzone Unit 11

 

(unstressed schwa sound): better, under, summer, winter,
sister
Curriculum word list

ir
Spellzone Unit 11

 

girl, bird, shirt, first, third
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ur
Spellzone Unit 11

 

turn, hurt, church, burst, Thursday
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

oo (/u:/)
Spellzone Unit 13

Very few words end with the letters oo, although the few that do are often words that primary children in year 1 will encounter, for example, zoo

food, pool, moon, zoo, soon
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

oo (/ʊ/)
Spellzone Unit 13

 

book, took, foot, wood, good
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

oa
Spellzone Unit 7

The digraph oa is very rare at the end of an English word.

boat, coat, road, coach, goal
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

oe
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 18)

 

toe, goes
Curriculum word list

ou
Spellzone Unit 15

The only common English word ending in ou is you.

out, about, mouth, around, sound
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ow (/aʊ/)
ow (/əʊ/)
ue
ew
Spellzone Unit 15

Both the /u:/ and /ju:/ (‘oo’ and ‘yoo’) sounds can be spelt as u–e, ue and ew. If words end in the /oo/ sound, ue and ew are more common spellings than oo.

now, how, brown, down, town
own, blow, snow, grow, show
blue, clue, true, rescue, Tuesday
new, few, grew, flew, drew, threw
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ie (/aɪ/)
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 13)

 

lie, tie, pie, cried, tried, dried
Curriculum word list

ie (/i:/)
Spellzone  Unit 21

 

chief, field, thief
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

Igh
Spellzone Unit 7

 

high, night, light, bright, right
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

or
Spellzone Unit 14

 

for, short, born, horse, morning
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ore
Spellzone Unit 14

 

more, score, before, wore, shore
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

aw
Spellzone Unit 14

 

saw, draw, yawn, crawl
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

au
Spellzone Unit 14

 

author, August, dinosaur, astronaut
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

air
Spellzone Unit 12

 

air, fair, pair, hair, chair
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ear
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 8)

 

dear, hear, beard, near, year
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

ear (/ɛə/)
Spellzone Unit 12

 

bear, pear, wear
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

are (/ɛə/)
Spellzone Unit 12

 

bare, dare, care, share, scared
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list

Words ending –y (/i:/ or /ɪ/)
Spellzone Unit 7 (page 8)

 

very, happy, funny, party, family
Curriculum word list

New consonant spellings ph and wh
Spellzone Unit 5

The /f/ sound is not usually spelt as ph in short everyday words (e.g. fat, fill, fun).

dolphin, alphabet, phonics, elephant
when, where, which, wheel, while
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list - ph 1
Spellzone word list - ph 2

Using k for the /k/ sound
Spellzone Unit 2

The /k/ sound is spelt as k rather than as c before e, i and y.

Kent, sketch, kit, skin, frisky
Curriculum word list
Spellzone word list
Spellzone poster

Adding the prefix –un
Spellzone Unit 1 (page 11)
Spellzone Unit 23 (pages 1-3)

The prefix un– is added to the beginning of a word without any change to the spelling of the root word.

unhappy, undo, unload, unfair, unlock
Curriculum word list

Compound words
No specific Spellzone unit - words listed by their sound.

Compound words are two words joined together. Each part of the longer word is spelt as it would be if it were on its own.

football, playground, farmyard, bedroom, blackberry
Curriculum word list

Common exception words
Spellzone Unit 18

Pupils’ attention should be drawn to the grapheme-phoneme correspondences that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far.

the, a, do, to, today, of, said, says, are, were, was, is, his, has, I, you, your, they, be, he, me, she, we, no, go, so, by, my, here, there, where, love, come, some, one, once, ask, friend, school, put, push, pull, full, house, our – and/or others, according to the programme used
Curriculum word list 1
Curriculum word list 2
Curriculum word list 3

Back to The national curriculum in England: English Appendix 1: Spelling

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