At our school we consider spelling to be an important part of children's writing. With quick recall of patterns, or consistent use of phonic skills, children are able to focus on the content of their writing, enabling them to use technical skills as well as creativity.
We follow the 'Letters and Sounds' programme from Phase 2 in Reception class until children have completed Phase 6, when they move on to learn the spelling patterns appropriate for their age group.
In addition to this, Year 1 to 6 have a number of words to learn to read by sight and spell quickly without use of phonics. We teach and practise these, as well as learning definitions and vocabulary skills. These words are inside homework books in all year groups to enable practice and games with these words at home, as it is evident that those children who practise at home, benefit immensely.
Children get a great deal from practising their spellings - a sense of pride in a good spelling test score- but more importantly the chance to expand their written vocabulary and express themselves more clearly and articulately to their readers.