Fairlight Primary & Nursery School

Every individual child achieves

Year 5 Spelling

Spelling is a vital skill to practice every day! This page will have resources related to the Year 5 spelling curriculum, to support you with your learning. You have three main things to practice:

  • the Year 5 & 6 Statutory Spelling List (and any words from previous year lists that you need to practice).
  • spelling rules that we have been learning each week. All the spelling rules for Years 5 and 6 can be seen in the National Curriculum Spelling Document.
  • Personal spellings which you have identified to practice and master. You will write some down to take home every week.

Spelling Strategies

As a school, we follow the national guidance to employ synthetic phonics as a primary strategy in your child's formative years, supported with other spelling strategies as they become proficient with the phonemes and their related graphemes in Years 1 and 2. By Year 5, most children will be using a wider range of spelling strategies which will enable them to recall related spellings, recognise word families, tackle tricky non-phonetic words, and to make plausible predictions for new words. Some of the strategies we will practice are listed below:

  • synthetic phonics: learning each phoneme and their related graphemes, and making plausible predictions (consolidating Years 1 to 3)
  • learning specific words in families related to their correct grapheme and phoneme, e.g. thought, bought, sought, fought; plough, bough; tough, rough, enough
  • learning word families by using a root word, suffixes and prefixes, e.g. fine, define, refine, confine, definite, definition, confinement, finite, infinite, infinity, refined, defined
  • looking at the etymology of root words, e.g. the meaning of words and their parts in ancient Greek, Latin, Old English, Norse and other world languages.
  • finding the definition of new and unfamiliar words.
  • Spelling games to aid memory and recall, e.g. rainbow write, blue vowels, pyramid words, word shape, acrostic mnemonics.
  • Making our own Personal Spelling Dictionaries.
  • Writing sentence using new words.

You can download a set of spelling strategy games similar to the ones we practice with each week in school here: Spelling Strategy Games,  more Spelling Strategy Games

 SPELLING YEAR 5 Autumn Term
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Morphology & Etymology

We are learning about morphology (the way words are built from roots, prefixes and suffixes) and etymology (where words come from and their meaning):

Spelling Year 5 Week 12


tele (Greek: far)

poly (Greek: many)

micro (Greek: small)

mega (Greek: big)

xylo (Greek: wood)


phon (Greek: sound/hear)








phonics phoneme phonetic





tele (far)

micro (small)

phon (Greek: sound/hear)

graph (Greek: picture/draw)

gram (Greek: ‘what is written’)

vision (Latin: ‘vide’ to see)

scope (Greek: to look out)





telescope telescopic

microscope microscopic

telegram telegraph


auto (Greek: by itself)

bio (Greek: life/living)


graph (picture/draw)

mat (Greek: to be able to/to desire)

mobile (Greek: to move)






-y -ally



biography autobiography

automatic automatically


grapheme graphics

Topical Words for War Stories

We found topical words, and Year 5 & 6 list words that we thought might be useful for our war stories. We are choosing 5 to 10 words from these that we think that we might use and want to learn.

Topical words for Year 5 War Stories

WWI words

horse horses


barbed wire

machine guns

gun carriage

cavalry artillery

shells mortars

Sergeant Captain


Lieutenant Corporal

Year 5&6 Word List


equipment equipped

harness harnessed

muscles shoulders

physical physically

sacrifice sacrificed

disaster disastrous

despair desperate desperately

deter determined determinedly

temper temperature

Year 5&6 Tricky spellings a-c

We practiced some of the tricky spellings on the Year 5 & 6 list beginning with the letters a, b and c.


achieve achieved achievement





awkward awkwardly

bargain bargained

bruise bruised bruises

(cruise, fruit, suit)


category categorically

cemetery cemeteries

com- and con- words

We looked at words beginning with these Latin prefixes: com- (with/together) and con- (thoroughly/with)

com- (‘with’/'together')

con- (‘thoroughly’/'with')


community communal common

communicate communication

committee committed

competition competitive

compassion compassionate


complete completed


contest contested

conscious unconscious

consider considerate


controversy controversial

convenient convenience

constitution constitutional



conduction conductivity

Plural word rules

We looked at the rules for plural words, and some irregular plural words that we have encountered.

add -s

add –es

(words ending with s sound, sh, ch, ss, zz, o or a split digraph/magic e)

change y to i and add -es

change f to v and add es

do nothing

change the vowel & spelling

cat cats


bush bushes

bunny bunnies

wolf wolves

sheep sheep

mouse mice


We looked at homophone words that we learnt in Years 3 and 4, and introduced some new ones.


-ible and -able words

This week, we have been looking at turning nouns into adjectives with the suffixes -ible and -able. The main rule as to which word uses which is whether you can hear the full root word or not. If you can, most use -able; if you can only hear part of the root word, it usually uses -ible. There are exceptions to this rule!


Silent letter words

This week we have been looking at words with a silent letter, and grouping them into families.


-ough words

This week we have been looking at words which have the same vowel grapheme -ough, but different sounds for it. We have put them into different groups based upon the phoneme sound that they employ: