If students are operating at high level stage 5 or stage 6, you will find that their spelling age exceeds 12 + years on a standardised spelling test. On one level this is wonderful as these students are clearly advanced spellers. On another level this produces challenges for the teachers who still need to cater for their needs and also integrate them into a class process.

Suggestion 1: Do not just look at spelling. I would suggest changing this aspect of your literacy block to 'word study'. This will enable you to more broadly cater for the range of needs that present in your class. Page 16 in the 2018 Phonic Sight Word Sequence attempts to represent this. You will see that when selecting the relevant boxes below you will be able to individualise the spelling/word study goals that reflect how students are to work with their provided list words. For some students the primary goals will be the mastery of phonics and the 'sounding out as they spell' word attack strategy. For other students (from stage 3) the knowledge of the words being provided should factor in and even be the most important focus. There is a significant section on this within the book, Spelling Activities for the middle and upper primary.



Suggestion 2: Do not advance students through the levels up to stages 5 and 6 if their knowledge of the words is not established. There is little benefit to students if they can spell the words, but not know what they mean and hence never use these complex words in their writing. Spelling (or word study) should be a medium to facilitate complex words transferring into written expression tasks.

I hope this information assists to still work with the process you have, but accommodate the needs of the advanced students.
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