From Year 1, COMMON EXCEPTION WORDS are introduced. These are words which also appear quite regularly in spoken and written English but, unfortunately for young readers and writers, do not always follow the fundamental single phonic sounds and digraphs (sounds which are composed of two letters such as th, sh and ch) which children become familiar with in Reception and indeed in a nursery setting.

Common exception words are best split into year groups with an expectation that children should be able to read and spell the relevant words by the time they reach the end of each academic year. As you would expect, Year 1 and 2 children start to learn simpler words which may still contain the odd irregular phonic sound or pattern such as once, friend, people and water, before progressing to trickier words in Key Stage 2 such as answer, breathe, certain, interest and peculiar.

By the time a child reaches Year 5 and 6, they should be adept at reading and spelling even more complex words such as accommodate, conscience, environment, guarantee, mischievous and prejudice. Tricky stuff! Pupils in Year 5 and 6 however are given ample opportunity to learn these words in school through having them as weekly spellings and also being encouraged to use them in their writing as ‘wow words’!

Please click on the link below to view a document displaying all common exception words by year group. Good luck Brundall readers and spellers – and keep practising!