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Spelling in Year 5 (age 9–10)

Last updated date: 20th May 2024
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What are Spellings in the Year 5?

In Year 5, students will begin to spell more difficult words with more precision. They'll learn to spell words with silent letters, recognize homophones, begin to use additional prefixes and suffixes, and even begin to use morphology and etymology in their spelling. In Year 5, your kid will be able to spell increasingly difficult words with greater accuracy.

What will Your Child Learn?

The National Curriculum expectations for spelling in Year 5 (age 9–10) are given below.

  • Using more prefixes and Suffixes

Suffixes are morphemes (groups of letters that have their own meaning) that are appended to the end of a root or root word to alter its meaning. Prefixes are morphemes that are appended to the beginning of a word.

In Years 5 and 6, your child will study a variety of prefixes and suffixes that can be used to spell longer words and change their meaning.

  • Spelling some words with ‘silent’ letters

Some words contain letters that were pronounced hundreds of years ago but no longer exist in modern English. For example, there used to be a 'k' sound before the 'n' in 'knight.' Because the pronunciation has changed but the spelling hasn't, the term now has a silent letter that can't be predicted based on how it sounds. This type of word is typically difficult to spell.

Some of these words will be taught to your child in Years 5 and 6, including:

doubt, island, lamb, solemn, thistle.

  • Knowing the homophones and other confusing word’s difference

Homophones are words that have various spellings and meanings but are pronounced the same (or nearly the same) way. In children's writing, they are frequently mixed together. In Year 5 and 6, your child will learn the distinction between:

Aisle/isle, aloud/allowed, altar/alter, ascent/assent, bridal/bridle, cereal/serial, compliment/complement, descent/dissent, desert/dessert, draft/draught, farther/further, guessed/guest, heard/herd, led/lead, morning/mourning, past/passed, principal/principle, profit/prophet, stationary/stationery, steal/steel.

  • Using morphology and etymology in spelling

Morphemes are the smallest units of grammar and syntax, as well as the smallest units of meaning. In English, every word is made up of one or more morphemes. The study of these morphemes is known as morphology. A morpheme is a single root word, such as "cat" or "happy." A morpheme can be a root (the building block of a word) or a prefix or suffix that attaches to a root. Each morpheme has its own meaning, yet they frequently combine and collaborate to form words.

When a word isn't spelled with the most obvious group of letters to match the sounds, knowing the origins of words can help. Knowing that science, awareness, and conscience all have the same Latin root.

The study of word origins is known as etymology. This includes their origins, as well as how their form and significance have evolved over time. This is important for spelling words that come from different languages, as well as terms that use letter groupings that aren't the ones we're already used to.

  • Checking spellings in a dictionary

In Years 5 and 6, your child will continue to use an age-appropriate dictionary to check the spellings of their words.

  • Using a thesaurus

In Year 5, your child will begin to use a thesaurus to investigate word meanings and find synonyms for various words.

How to Help Your Child at Home?

There are many ways you can help your Year 5 child with spelling. Here are our top suggestions.

1. Help with spelling homework

If your child is finding it difficult with a spelling list that he/she has been asked to learn, here are some ideas to help:

  • Remind your child to proofread their work for spelling mistakes on a frequent basis. They must have a sense of whether a word is correct or not. They could highlight words they aren't sure about and then look them up in a dictionary.

  • Use a lot of pronunciation. Encourage students to say Wed-nes-day as they write on Wednesday. Many words have sounds that aren't usually clearly articulated (such as words ending in -ed), and over-emphasizing these while writing them out will help your child remember the spelling.

  • Make a list of the terms that your youngster needs to remember how to spell. The process of writing the words by hand helps children remember the spelling and encourages them to consider the letters that reflect the sounds in the word. It's not as effective to type the words onto a computer or iPad.

  • Ask your youngster to highlight the problematic parts of a word to draw their attention to them. Show them that it contains the letter 'ai' in the middle and encourage them to write the word, then highlight or underline this section to assist them in remembering. For primary-aged students, few resources are more motivating than a highlighter pen!

2. Play spelling games

Playing games can assist children in learning to spell in a fun way. Allow them to watch videos on 'How can I teach my child with grammar, punctuation, and spelling?' to see some fun and simple activities like the ones listed below.

Traditional games like hangman, as well as online games like Word worm, can be stimulating. It's also a lot of fun to make up crazy statements. Encourage your youngster to make up a silly statement using as many words from their spelling list as they can.

For instance, your youngster may be required to learn the phrase "room took hoop foot book." They may make up a silly statement like "The boy carried his book across the room but fell over a hoop." Why not make drawings to go along with the sentences?

3. Find the right resources

Learning to spell takes time, and understanding English's complicated spelling system takes even longer. Each child is unique; some children learn to spell quickly while others take longer. Vedantu provides some spelling activities to help them at various levels.

Year 5 and 6 spelling word list

Year 5 and 6 spelling word list


Teaching spellings to the children, especially for the ones aged 9–10, is an interesting method. Being a teacher/parent/guide, we can make them much involved with the concept by explaining the concept mapping with real-time examples or giving activities to perform.

For example, you may ask your child to pick a word of their choice and ask them to spell it and write it as well for their ease in remembering it. You can also teach them how to spell a word based on the sounds they produce.

FAQs on Spelling in Year 5 (age 9–10)

1. What is a curriculum spelling test?

Year 5 students will be evaluated on their spelling of high-frequency words and common exception words, sometimes known as 'tricky words' or red words,' as part of the national curriculum.

A teacher will read out 10–20 words in a typical national curriculum spelling test. They will read the word aloud and then demonstrate how to use it in a sentence. The children will then be expected to accurately spell the word on their answer sheet.

2. How spelling is taught in Year 5 and Year 6?

In Years 5 and 6, spelling words become much more difficult; however, due to exam preparation, the amount of time spent on teaching spellings may be reduced. When it comes to learning their own spellings, children must become much more independent and ensure that they continue to practise their weekly spelling tests.