7 Tips to Help Year 6 Children with Their Spelling
1. Play charades
The best way you can help your child revise their Year 6 SATs spellings is to make the revision process fun, which is why we suggest playing charades with them.
You can gather the whole family together for a game and then, once the word has been identified, you can ask your child to spell the word before you move onto the next charade. It’s quick, fun and barely feels like revision at all!
2. Create a word search
If you’re focusing your revision on letter order (such as I before E except after C) or common word endings, then consider creating a word search. Hide up to 10 words in each word search and when your child finds one of the missing words, you can ask them to tell you what the word means, and also to spell it out loud.
If you’re looking to make the game a little bit harder, then you can use a crossword with clues instead of a word search.
3. Which is it?
Some children find it much easier to identify the correctly spelt word when it’s written down in front of them. So, you can sharpen their skills and help them revise for their Year 6 SATs Spelling test by making word lists.
Prepare two word lists side-by-side so your child is looking at two different spellings of the same word. Then ask your child to circle which version is spelt correctly.
4. The ‘look, cover, write, check’ method
The ‘look, cover, write, check’ method is a favourite with teachers looking to help children learn their spelling words, including those in Year 6. This method isn’t quite as much fun as the games we’ve mentioned above, but you can reward good performance with something fun, like the chance to earn some computer time or play in the park.
To use the ‘look, cover, write, check’ method, a child is given a word to spell and:
- Looks at the spelling
- Covers it
- Writes the spelling next to the word
- Uncovers the spelling to check if they have written it correctly
5. Online practice papers make perfect
A great way of helping your child prepare for the spelling test is to get them to complete some SATs spelling practice papers. On SATs Boot Camp, you will find plenty of online spelling tests for children to practise. Getting children to do their KS2 SATs revision online, including their spelling tests, means that they can get instant feedback as their tests are marked right away. This will also help them to get used to the format of the test, so it will be far less daunting for them when they sit their actual SATs spelling test.
With regular practise, you’ll soon be able to spot patterns in a child’s spelling knowledge, so you can target revision to word groups that they are struggling with.
6. Focus on building their confidence
One way you can really help your child with their Key Stage 2 SATs revision is to empathise with them. If you find your child is struggling with their spellings, show them you know how hard it is to master the English language.
After all, the 26 letters in the alphabet make over 44 sounds, with 200 different spelling combinations that comprise over half a million words! So, given how difficult the English language is, you can remind them how far they’ve come in such a short period of time. A little perspective can really help.
7. Consistency is key
Whether you’re revising spellings or practising for one of the other Year 6 SATs past papers, you need to make sure your approach with your child is consistent. Try to stick to a timetable if you can, so your child can get into a routine. Aim to revise little and often so your child doesn’t burn out or feel overwhelmed. Practising spelling for 10 or 15 minutes in the evenings is a lot more effective than an unproductive hour with a child feeling tired and distracted.