Year 3/4 classteacher , Pembrokeshire school
"The children in my class are now so enthusiastic about spelling that they beg and negotiate for extra sessions of Listen Sort and Spell. This is a miracle! The process of doing ‘Listen Sort and Spell’ makes children independent, focused and unafraid to write.
It’s difficult to explain exactly how this happens but it has something to do with the fact that they come to understand why English spelling is difficult to master – that it is puzzling, contradictory and seems to break every rule you try to apply. When they know that, there is no longer any mystery and they feel empowered to take a risk and have a go.
What really impresses me now is that if I ask the class how they think a word might be spelt, the whole class will put up their hands to volunteer a suggestion. They all expect to get it wrong sometimes but they enjoy trying and are happy to consider and reflect on their mistakes. The process has given them strategies for working out the most probable spelling.
Doing this final stage of POPAT on a regular basis has led the children in my class into talking about the origins of words to explain strange spellings such as ‘sugar’. They have acquired the language to talk about language. They have become excited about considering the various ways of spelling just one long vowel sound and it has started to make sense of the confusion for them. Quite effortlessly it has built in the habit of considering which alternative ‘looks right’.
This year I have noticed how these processes and the knowledge and metalanguage acquired, feed into so many aspects of the literacy curriculum and complement each other.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of these sessions is that they are child led and this happens quietly and easily just by doing ‘Listen Sort and Spell’.
‘Listen Sort and Spell’ makes children fearless and enthusiastic about spelling.
I can only say its magic!"