Spelling in Year 2

Spelling in Year 2
A parents' overview of Year 2 spelling patterns, with examples of the words children are taught at the end of KS1 and Year 2 spelling worksheets to help them practise.

Spelling in Year 2

In Year 2, children take a more in-depth look at the phonic rules and patterns of different words. For example, they may look at one particular sound and then see how it is represented in different words.

Can you see which sound the following four words have in common?

In these four words, the same sound is made by a different group of letters: 'dge', 'g', 'ge' and 'j'. 

To make this clear to children, teachers may give them various words to look at and ask them to underline the recurring sound. They may be given ten or more words and asked to group them according to their spelling patterns (so 'hedge' would be grouped with 'badge', 'gem' with 'giant', 'village' with 'charge' and 'join' with 'jet').

Year 2 spelling patterns

In their weekly spelling lists, children will cover various spelling patterns, including the following:

  • Silent letters k, g and w (as in 'knock', 'gnat' and 'write')
  • Words ending le, el, al and il (as in 'meddle', 'tunnel', 'animal', 'pencil')
  • Verbs ending y which then changes to ies and ied (as in 'copy', 'copies' and 'copied')
  • Dropping the e off the end of a word when adding -ing, -ed, -er (as in 'hiking', 'hiked' and 'hiker')
  • Words which need a consonant to be doubled before adding -ing, -ed (as in 'pat', 'patting', 'patted')
  • Unusual uses of vowels, such as 'o' being used for the 'u' sound ('other') and 'a' being used for the 'o' sound ('warm')
  • Words containing suffixes (groups of letters added to the end of a word) including -ly, -ment, -ful, -ness and -less
  • Words where apostrophes are used to show contractions, such as: 'do not' changing to 'don't'
  • Words ending -tion such as ('fiction')
  • Homophones, which are pairs of words that sound the same, but are spelt differently (such as: 'hear' and 'here')

Year 2 exception words

Children will also learn another group of common exception words (or tricky words). These are words commonly found in the English language, but which do not follow the phonic rules that have been taught so far. Examples of these in Year 2 are: 'sugar' and 'boxer'.

How spelling is taught in Year 2

Teachers will give children lists of spellings to learn at home, but will also need to provide various activities for them to do at school. They may be given their spelling words to do as handwriting practice. They may also be given worksheets in which certain words are missing and need to be filled in, given the context of a sentence. Children may be given cards to match up (for example, root words and suffixes). 

Preparing for the weekly spelling test also becomes a permanent homework task for most Y2 children.

Year 2 spelling worksheets

Look through our selection of Y2 spelling worksheets to find activities to help your child practise the Y2 spelling patterns they're learning, or download our Y2 spelling tests pack for ten lists of words and a final-year test.

How spelling is taught in primary school, year by year

Find out what words and spelling patterns children are taught in each year of primary school with our parents' guides: