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Wraparound Spelling

We have been developing some training videos which you can use, either just to watch on your own, or with your class in a kind of on-line team teaching situation.  As I write we have three weeks of lessons, with each week containing a video for days one to four.

There is also one training video for children in P6/7, which is a spelling investigation.  It comes with a pack of activities.  We will continue to add a few more to this group.

If you would like access to these, let me know, and I’ll add you to the shared drive.

Hang on in There! More Morphology

For those of you who enjoyed exploring morphology with your class last week, here is another word exploration.

The word expensive is one that we use a lot now.  Everything seems to be getting more and more expensive.  Have you ever stopped to think about what the word expensive really means?  It is an interesting word and full of history.

There are three morphemes (units of meaning) in the word expensive.  Ex + pens + ive

  • Ex means very or out of or from
  • pens means hang or weigh
  • ive means someone or something that does something

So expensive means something that weighs a lot.

This seems a strange meaning for things that cost a lot of money.  Hundreds of years ago, when people bought things in markets, the produce that they were buying was weighed to determine how much they cost.  Goods now usually have a set value so the term expensive doesn’t make as much sense now as it did a long time ago.

Another interesting thing is, why does pens have an e after it when it is at the end of a word and not in the middle?

If a word ends with an s, it usually means that it is a plural word, e.g. dogs, or it is a third person singular verb, e.g. she runs.  It is often put after a word that ends in s that is neither a plural nor a third person singular verb.  So, expense is neither a plural nor a third person singular verb, so it has an e after the s.

The Scottish Book Trust Book Bug and Read, Write, Count Bags

Thank you to the Highland Council schools who have so far returned their numbers for the P1 Book Bug Bags and the P2 and P3 Read, Write, Count bags.  Remember the deadline of Friday 24th of June.

Through Bookbug and Read, Write, Count, every child in Primary 1–3 receives a free bag with books, educational games and writing materials that change on a yearly basis. Read, Write, Count also provides advice and support for learning professionals and families through training events and online resources.

For more information go to:

https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading-and-stories/bookbug-picture-book- prizehttps://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading-and-stories/read-write-counthttps://www.booksforall.org.uk/book-awards/

For children with a print disability, who have difficulty with the original versions, you can request a digital version with symbols in four different formats from https://www.booksforall.org.uk/book-awards/

  • PowerPoint narrated.
  • PowerPoint Switch Prompt.
  • Keynote.
  • Grid.

Exploring Spelling through Morphological Awareness

Have you ever wondered why some people use the word holiday and some people say vacation?  In the UK, we tend to use the word holiday and in America, the term vacation is generally used. 

The word holiday was first used in the 1500s.  Holiday came from holy day.  Holy days were special days in the religious calendar that were set aside to be days where people didn’t need to work.

In America, the word vacation is used, and it is becoming more popular in the UK too.  This is a very interesting word which is connected to others that we may use. It is built from a root which means empty (even though our holidays are often full) and it is related to words such as vacancy and vacuum.

As we explore the word vacation, it can lead us to learning other words too and what the parts of the words (morphemes) mean.  Learning about morphemes can help us understand some strange spellings in words.  To find out the meaning of morphemes with a Greek or Latin origin, go to https://membean.com/roots .

Have a look at this word matrix.  How many words can you make from this list of prefixes, roots and suffixes?  Can you work out why each of these morphemes was used to create the word?

If you would like to try out more with your class, look at Pick and Mix Spelling.

Emerging Literacy Training – For practitioners in Highland Council

The following trainings and networks are for teachers in Primary One and others interested in Emerging Literacy as an intervention within Highland Council.

To access the codes for the following trainings and networks, please sign up through the CPD calendar.

Emerging Literacy Training Session 1

16th June 2022    15:45 – 17:00

In session one we will look at Oral Language and Phonological Awareness

Emerging Literacy Training Session 2

23rd June 2022    15:45 – 17:00

In session two we will look at Concepts of Print and Pre-handwriting Skills

These two sessions will be repeated on:

Session 1 – 25th August 2022 – 15:45 to 17:00

Session 2 – 1st September 2022 – 15:45 to 17:00

Emerging Literacy Support Network 1 – Term 1  

Thursday 15th Sept 2022              15:45 – 16:45

Network One will provide the opportunity to ask questions and share best practice around the Phonalogical Awareness Screener and to tour through what is in the Emerging Literacy Share Point Site

Emerging Literacy Support Network 2 – Term 2  

Thursday 15th December 2022      15:45 – 16:45

Network Two will provide the opportunity to ask questions and share best practice around Concepts of Print/Reading

Emerging Literacy Support Network 3 – Term 3  

Thursday 16th March 2023              15:45 – 16:45

Network Three will provide the opportunity to ask questions and share best practice around Progression/Writing

Emerging Literacy Support Network 4 – Term 4  

Thursday 1st June 2023              15:45 – 16:45

Network Four will provide the opportunity to ask questions and share best practice around Transition and Achievement of a Level.

Highland Council Literacy Training Sessions

Literacy Training Sessions

Over the next two terms, we will be running weekly training sessions on areas of literacy for Highland Council staff.  These sessions will include;

  • Wraparound Spelling
  • Morphological Spelling
  • Assessing spelling and planning for change
  • Phonics from the beginning and as an intervention
  • Organising the learning and teaching of reading
  • Assessing reading and planning for change
  • Planning for change in writing
  • Developing independence in writing
  • The use of benchmarks across the curriculum

There is no need to register for these training sessions through the CPD calendar.  To access the training, copy and paste the link given into your chrome browser.  No register will be taken, so you must record this in your own CPD log.  A google form will be sent out a couple of weeks after training to assess the impact training and how we can support you further.

To access the full information, click here.

Neil Gunn Writing Competition

Neil Gunn Writing Competition 2021/22

We are pleased to be able to give you information about this year’s Primary competition, which is now going ahead after having been postponed last year.

The theme will be: “It is a terrible thing to be bursting with a secret you can’t tell” from Young Art and Old Hector by Neil Gunn

As usual the chosen quote can be interpreted in any way the pupils wish and entries can be in the form of a short story or a poem. The actual words of the quote do not have to be used in the entry. For a short story the word limit is 500 words and for a poem 40 lines. The competition is open to pupils in P5-P7.

Below is a competition entry form, a copy of the rules, a Primary poster and the poster with details for every age group, for your convenience. Entry forms, rules and all the information about the competition is now on the High Life Highland website, www.highlifehighland.com/neilgunn. The closing date for entries is Friday 04 March 2022 and the lead judge is James Robertson.

We look forward to being inundated with entries from your pupils for Highland Schools’ own writing competition!

CLICK HERE – Neil Gunn Competition Rules

CLICK HERE – Neil Gunn Competition Entry Form

CLICK HERE – Neil Gunn Competition Primary Poster

Book Badge Challenge

Every year we put together a reading challenge to encourage children to read.

This year’s challenge is the Book Badge Collection.

There are eight book badges to be earned:

  • The Night Owl
  • The Early Bird
  • The Weekend Warrior
  • The Professor
  • The Bite-sized Bookworm
  • The Marathon
  • Librarian
  • The Seven-day Stretch

Every time that a child fulfils the requirements of a badge, they get a badge to stick onto their record sheet. Each well-earned badge can be celebrated with a certificate.

To download the challenge, click here.

To see the previous challenges go to:

The Genre Pizza

Around the World in Eighty Days   Passport

Challenge 20/20

Getting started in P1

Just a reminder that everything you need for getting started with emerging literacy in P1 can be found on this site!

There are a lot of support materials here, so a good way to get orientated is the Where to Begin Guide, which also has links to short training videos


Support networks

For practitioners in Highland, there will be some support networks offered throughout the session, led by teachers along with speech and language therapists and occupational therapists

Dates will be on the CPD calendar and on Digital Schools in a few days time

Talk for Writing

Dear Colleagues,

The Talk for Writing trainer will be conducting training on the inset days on the 13th and 14th of September.

This training is for Highland Council staff only.

On the 13th of September, she will be working with teachers who would like to receive initial training or a refresher session in the Talk for Writing process.

On the 14th of September, she will be working with teachers who have already started using the Talk for Writing process and would like to deepen their understanding.

There will be a cost of around £35 per person, but this will depend on how many people attend.  Please ask your line manager for permission before applying for this course through Highland Council’s CPD page.

It would be helpful to have all applications registered by next week.

The code and resources will be sent out prior to training to all those who have registered.