Words are the ammunition of writing, speaking and thinking.

The development of a child’s spelling and vocabulary skills is crucial for all aspects of learning across the curriculum. As I mentioned in my last blog post, knowing words, and being able to use them in context, not only helps your child to properly understand any questions they are being asked but also enables them to answer questions correctly. Many marks are lost in tests and examinations because children do not have an extensive enough vocabulary to understand the question or write a coherent and appropriate answer to it.

There are many ways to build your child’s word bank. Extensive reading is very important, but not all children enjoy reading as much as others. There are, however, other ways to help a child expand their vocabulary. If you have not yet tried AE Publications’ Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks,¬†you can view the sample pages, along with a word list, for each of the 12 workbooks in our online bookshop. We make these available so that you will know which words your child may learn from the workbooks, and also to enable you to try a page before buying the workbook. The exercises and puzzles are fun and make it easy for your child to develop their word bank knowledge.

The series of 12 workbooks provides essential learning for all children preparing for SATs at Key Stage 2 and will also assist children’s learning in Key Stage 3. The exercises in these workbooks enable children to learn to spell over 5,400 words and use them in context. Although the Foundation level Workbooks 1-3 may appear too basic for year 5 children, they contain 1,380 of the total words to be learnt. The order of the words throughout the books is progressive in level of difficulty and, if a child is not performing at the required level for their age, they can work from the beginning to fill in any learning gaps. To help you decide which books you feel would suit your child the word list for each workbook is included within the content tab of each title.

We recommend that children start using the workbooks as soon as possible (i.e. at age 7) to have the maximum time to work through the series at a reasonable pace. For guidance, the 12 workbooks are divided into 3 levels, with Workbooks 1-3 being Foundation level (Year 3/4). If possible, it would be ideal for your child to complete Workbooks 1 to 3 before going into year 4. Workbooks 4-7 are Intermediate level (Year 4/5), so it is advisable for your child to complete these before going into year 5. Of course, should they be accomplished sooner than that, there is nothing to stop you encouraging your child to move on to the next level; it depends on the ability of each child. Workbooks 8-12 are Advanced level and are suitable for children in years 6-8 but, should you wish to really improve your child’s ability, it would be beneficial to complete the series before your child moves up to secondary school.