Spelling – words within words

Tips for learning to spell.

One way to learn words is to look for words within words. 
E.g. conscience – this has the word science in it.

You can make up ways to remember words. 
E.g. secretary – she will keep your secrets! (Word secret within it)

You can also take the tricky parts of words and make up ways to remember them. 
E.g. necessary – one collar and two sleeves. ( one ‘c’ and two ‘s’)

Keep it fun!

Role of the teacher

What is the teacher’s role during exploratory talk?

Should you correct misconceptions during exploratory talk?

Your role now has shifted slightly. You now need to take the time to carefully plan questions that build on and craft the discussion you want to take place. (More on this tomorrow!)

During this type of talk it is essential that the children do not get overshadowed by you. By this I mean that if a misconception is discussed and not sorted it would be easy add the teacher to step in and put this right. However in doing this you potentially invalidate the talk taking place between the children and are essentially saying that teacher talk is more important than child led talk.

Rather than chance this happening you could take note of the misconception and address this during a plenary asking what others think of the point that was made. Try to facilitate the talk so that the children reach the right conclusion without invalidating the talk that had occurred.



We have a puppy who is 5 months old. He is very sweet but does have his moments! I asked the trainer a couple of weeks back how to get him to stay off the sofa… her response – you don’t need to if you reward for him going to his bed. The dog will want to please you – he wants to be rewarded.

This is a similar scenario with children – reward and praise for the behaviours you do want rather than chastise the behaviours you don’t want all the time.

Easier said than done I know! However it really does work and you’ll all be much calmer! When did you last praise your child for something done well? When did you last scold them for negative bahaviour? I’ll bet I know which one we all remember!

Now I must go back to engaging this with my pup…

Exploratory talk

Douglass Barnes says “exploratory talk is hesitant and incomplete because it enables the speaker to try out ideas, hear how they sound, see what others make of them.”

In this type of talk there is a sense of collaboration and shared purpose. You could be trying to reach a shared agreement or solve a problem.

Contributions are treated with respect.

Pupils offer reasons for their opinions.

Pupils are not afraid to challenge one another’s ideas politely.

In exploratory talk you might hear:

• To challenge what you said…
• Do you mean…
• How about…
• Linking to what X said…
• Is it like when…

Exploratory talk is messy talk, where pupils grapple with the meaning to make it their own. It is the most educationally productive talk, helping to develop understanding and move learning forward.

• To challenge what you said…
• Do you mean…
• How about…
• Linking to what X said…
• Is it like when…

Exploratory talk is messy talk, where pupils grapple with the meaning to make it their own. It is the most educationally productive talk, helping to develop understanding and move learning forward.

Acts of kindness

Actions speak louder than words.

We all have those moments when life just seems too difficult… things aren’t going our way… nothing seems to go right…

Even children have days like these and feelings like these. How we respond to those cries for help is really important.

Little acts of kindness can really make someones day a whole lot brighter. We encourage our boys to carry out a small act of kindness each day and then share these in the evening.

What acts of kindness have you done today? Share these with your child and encourage them to do the same.
Try some of these…

Talking is fun!

What are you talking about today?

Talking topics are great and can provide good discussions with your children. They can give you insight as to what they think and believe, they can be used as a tool to develop your relationship and find common ground.

You can search ‘thunk’ on google and find a whole host of talking ideas or ‘thunks’. 
Here’s one to try..

If I ruled the world…

Here’s another game linking to the final strand of the framework – cognitive:

If I ruled the world…
Play in groups of 4 – 6. One player begins by saying, “If I ruled the world, I would… because…” They need to describe what they would do and why.

The next person must say, “I couldn’t disagree more because…” They must explain why they would disagree(even if they don’t).

To be successful you must use logic and reason, providing explanations for why they disagree and proposing new ideas.

Spelling struggles

Spelling…. arrgghh!!

My son was writing at home and I noticed he had spelt some words incorrectly that I knew he knew how to spell. I asked him why he had spelt these incorrectly and he replied, ‘I don’t have to spell them right all the time!’

I threw the question back at him, ‘Why would you choose to spell incorrectly when you know the correct way?’

With longer words that are multisyllabic it is always a good idea to say each syllable to yourself to break the word down. This means that you have a better chance of spelling the word correctly and also you will spot any prefixes or suffixes within the word. Noticing how the word is made up will help when spelling.

A great idea for a spelling bank would be to group the words by topic e.g if you are writing a description about a character have a word bank for this. In doing this new vocabulary can be introduced which means you can tackle how the words are spelt and also group them for a specific purpose.

Give it a try! Check out the image below which gives a couple of ideas and things to consider to help with spelling.

1 to 20 game

Here’s another game linking to the framework. This time linking to the social and emotional stand:

The 1 – 20 game
Sit the pupils in a large circle. Add a group count from 1 – 20. You are not allowed to count in order, taking turns to say a number. Instead you must shout out a number. You should start by saying 1, the next pupil jumps in saying 2 and so on.

To be successful you must read the room, use eye contact to establish when the right time to speak is.

Learning outdoors

Other experiences and settings for learning especially outdoor experiences are so important for our children. We’re very lucky living in Devon we have both the moors and the sea on our doorstep. It always amazes me how many children I come across that have never been to the beach and never built a sandcastle! At Wembury beach we have the Marine Centre which everyone can access. They do a variety of different activities across the year including rockpooling!