Our Lady and St Anselm'sRoman Catholic Primary School

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No Nonsense Spelling


At OLSA, from Years 2 to 6, we follow the Non Nonsense Spelling Scheme. This is a programme that allows the children to decide upon which strategies, knowledge and skills they are more confident to use to ensure more accurate use of spellings.


The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.


The Teaching Sequence:

Teaching of spelling follows the same pattern in each year group to ensure consistency and continuity of provision through the years. The sequential approach follows the model below:


  • Revision of previous year group expectations in spelling to activate their prior knowledge.
  • Teach and Introduce the new concept through Explain, Investigate, Model
  • Practise learning through Individual/group work. There are opportunities to extend/explore the concept independently before they Investigate and Generalise
  • Apply/Assess - Assess through independent application and transfer skills into other areas of learning 




• Testing – by teacher and peers (through statutory tests, regular weekly tests, practise opportunities with peers)

• Dictation

• Explaining their understanding

• Independent application in writing

• Frequent learning and testing of statutory and personal words.


Tips to learn spellings at home:


Learning at home needs to be an extension of the practice in school. It may be useful to consider the following:

• limiting the number of words you learn in one go. Break down the words into manageable amounts, to ensure success and enable deeper learning

• making sure pupils and parents have access to the range of learning strategies which have been taught in school, to use in home learning (see help sheet below)

• assessing spellings in context, for example: learning spellings in a given sentence, generating sentences for each word, assessing through unseen dictated sentences

• keeping an ongoing record of words learnt and setting very high expectations of correct application in writing once a word has been learned.