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St Mary's Catholic

Primary School

Pray Learn Love Enjoy

Pray Learn Love Enjoy


Spelling at Home

Year 3 and 4 Spelling words

Spelling can be tricky to tackle at home with your children but here are some things to help! 

On this page you will find: a button that takes you to the Year three and four National Curriculum spelling requirements; the spelling rules that we will covering this term; and some of the techniques and games you can try out at home to help support your children's learning.  



  • Words where the digraph 'ou' makes an /ow/ sound
  • Words where the digraph 'ou' makes an /u/ sound
  • Words where 'y' makes an /i/ sound
  • Words ending '-sure'
  • Words ending in '-ture'
  • Challenge words




Look, say, cover, write:

This is probably the most common strategy used to learn spellings.

LOOK: look at the whole word carefully, highlighting any tricky parts. 

SAY: say the word as you look at it, using different ways of pronouncing it to make it more memorable. 

COVER: cover over the word. 

WRITE: write the word from memory, saying the word aloud as you are doing so. 

CHECK: Have you spelled it right? If yes-try writing it again and again. If no- start again and have another look at the word. 


Segmentation strategy:

The splitting of a word into its phonemes in the correct order to support spelling. Adding sound buttons underneath the words helps. 


Quick write: 

Writing as many words as they can with the same spelling focus (dge at the end). The aim is to write as many words as they can within a certain time constraint. You can help give them the words and talk about them before the timer starts or you can write them down first and cover them over before you start the timer.  This can be played in a lot of different ways. 


Drawing boxes around the word:

Draw around the words making a clear distinction of letters that ascend and descend. Then look carefully at the shape that your word makes. Then write the word again making sure it fits into the same shape. 

Draw an image around the word:

This makes the word memorable as the picture is linked to the meaning of the word. This isn't something that should be used for every word but is a great tool for words children are misspelling frequently. 

Words without vowels: 

This is useful when the vowel choices are the problem in the word. Write the word without the vowels then the child has to choose the correct grapheme (letters) to put in the space. 


Pyramid words:

This method of learning words forces the child to think of each letter separately. You could also reverse the process so you end up with a diamond shape. 


Colourful words: 

Children love colours and you can use them in different ways to make spelling less tedious and more fun. You can write each letter of a word in a different colour, or you could write each syllable in a different colour to help you break it down.  Or you could just enjoy writing the word lots of times using different colours!!! The possibilities are endless...






Three-dimensional and sensory approaches

Use wooden or plastic letters, mould letters out of clay or plasticine, try ‘feely’ letters, sand trays and shaving foam on table tops for tracing letters and words. 


Using the letters from a given word to make up a phrase to help remember the order of the letters e.g. for said – “silly ants in dresses".  Create your own, especially for words you find tricky!