These approaches can help you to review children's progress and understanding. Learn how marking provides the opportunity to monitor individual children's understanding and see how well they are applying what they have learned.

Set clear expectations

  • When the children start to write, remind them of the strategies, rules and conventions that they can apply.
  • Your expectations and marking reflect the children's cumulative knowledge. The marking does not go beyond what has been taught about spelling.
  • Ensure that the children know what the criteria for success are in this particular piece of work. For example, once they understand the rules for adding -ed to regular verbs, let them know you expect them to spell these words correctly.

Analyse errors

Look closely at the strategies the children are using, thinking about what they tell you about their understanding. For example, a child using 'jumpt' instead of 'jumped' is using phonological knowledge but does not yet understand about adding -ed to verbs in the past tense.

Provide feedback and time to respond

  • In your comments to children, focus on a limited number of spelling errors that relate to a particular letter string or spelling convention.
  • Ensure that the children have had time to read or discuss your feedback and clarify expectations about what they should do next.

Set mini-targets

  • Outline your expectations for independent spelling by setting simple targets that apply to all children's writing.
  • Targets would typically be differentiated for groups, but you can also tailor a target to include specific 'problem' words for an individual (e.g. I expect to spell the words 'said' and 'they' correctly in all my writing).
  • Targets can be written into spelling logs for the children to refer to regularly.