English an immensely rich language:
• Rich in homophones: right, write, rite or wright?
• Rich in regional accents: many children in southern England struggle to hear any difference between pours, pores, paws, pause and Poor’s, while in the US very and vary sound pretty similar.
• Rich in imported words: yacht, quay.
• Rich in anomalies: there, here and were all sound different (except in parts of Lancashire).
Teaching a struggling speller takes time and many schools have to prioritise the child ‘getting their thoughts on paper’ over getting the spelling 100% right. Unfortunately, prospective employers are unlikely to extend the same courtesy. Our children are going to be judged on their spelling by people who have never met them.
Practice makes permanent.
The first word most children learn to spell is their own name. They write it so often that once learned, they never forget it.
Apples & Pears is a spiraling spelling programme where every spelling pattern and rule comes back again and again. Enough times to make sure it’s there for life. This isn’t a fire-and-forget programme; no weekly lists of unrelated spellings, to be tested once and then on to the next.
Apples & Pears starts with words like cat and dog where one letter makes one sound, adds unambiguous digraphs (ship, car), and drip-feeds trickier patterns (he, she, me, we, be). Longer words are taught by breaking them into morphemes—the building blocks of thousands of other words. Rules are kept to a minimum.
Download the Placement Test to pinpoint exactly where your child needs to start.
To see the full text of each book, click on the ‘see inside’ link.