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Homework will be set on a Wednesday in Year 4. As was the case in Year 3, homework will consist of:

Weekly spellings

They will receive a sheet of paper with their group’s spellings on. We would like all children to practise these spellings through the Spelling Shed website, where they can rise through the ranks from an egg to a Royal Bee. They will be tested the following Wednesday.

Spelling Shed Login Page

Times tables

In the Summer term, the children will sit a statutory multiplication test, where the children will be assessed against the government expectation that all children should know the multiplication and associated division facts up to 12 x 12.

To help prepare for this, each week the children will have a specific times tables to practise, with the aim of achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold stickers for each one in their test the following Wednesday.  These are earned as follows:

  • Bronze – being able to answer the times tables in order e.g. 1 x 3 = 3, 2 x 3 = 6, 3 x 3 = 9.
  • Silver – being able to answer 20 questions, which are out of sequence, in 1 minute.
  • Gold – being able to give the multiplication facts when provided with the product e.g. Question “fifty-six?” Answers “Seven eights/ eight sevens” or “What is Twenty-four divided by six?”

If your child has already achieved bronze, silver and gold awards for the given times table, they will be given a ‘times table challenge’ whereby they will answer questions on more than one times table. Times Tables Rockstars and Hit the button are two great ways of practising times tables online:


Regular reading is a vital element of the children’s development. They should be reading and completing their Reading Record at least 4 times every week. At least one of these entries should be from a grown up and at least one from the child. It is still vital that children read as regularly as possible to an adult, who can ask them questions about what they have read.

Below is a list of all the spelling patterns that children in Year 4 need to know. Any extra work you can do with them to learn them will be of great help in their development.

Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)

Adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters to words of more than one syllable

If the last syllable of a word is stressed and ends with one consonant letter which has just one vowel letter before it, the final consonant letter is doubled before any ending beginning with a vowel letter is added. The consonant letter is not doubled if the syllable is unstressed.

forgetting, forgotten, beginning, beginner, prefer, preferred

gardening, gardener, limiting, limited, limitation

The /ɪ/ sound spelt y elsewhere than at the end of words

These words should be learnt as needed.

myth, gym, Egypt, pyramid, mystery

The /ʌ/ sound spelt ou

These words should be learnt as needed.

young, touch, double, trouble, country

More prefixes

Most prefixes are added to the beginning of root words without any changes in spelling, but see in– below.



Like un–, the prefixes dis– and mis– have negative meanings.

dis–: disappoint, disagree, disobey

mis–: misbehave, mislead, misspell (mis + spell)


The prefix in– can mean both ‘not’ and ‘in’/‘into’. In the words given here it means ‘not’.

in–: inactive, incorrect


Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)


Before a root word starting with l, in– becomes il.

illegal, illegible


Before a root word starting with m or p, in– becomes im–.

immature, immortal, impossible, impatient, imperfect


Before a root word starting with r, in– becomes ir–.

irregular, irrelevant, irresponsible


re– means ‘again’ or ‘back’.

re–: redo, refresh, return, reappear, redecorate


sub– means ‘under’.

sub–: subdivide, subheading, submarine, submerge


inter– means ‘between’ or ‘among’.

inter–: interact, intercity, international, interrelated (inter + related)


super– means ‘above’.

super–: supermarket, superman, superstar


anti– means ‘against’.

anti–: antiseptic, anti-clockwise, antisocial


auto– means ‘self’ or ‘own’.

auto–: autobiography, autograph

The suffix –ation

The suffix –ation is added to verbs to form nouns. The rules already learnt still apply.

information, adoration, sensation, preparation, admiration

The suffix –ly

The suffix –ly is added to an adjective to form an adverb. The rules already learnt still apply.

The suffix –ly starts with a consonant letter, so it is added straight on to most root words.

sadly, completely, usually (usual + ly), finally (final + ly), comically (comical + ly)


Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)



(1) If the root word ends in –y with a consonant letter before it, the y is changed to i, but only if the root word has more than one syllable.


happily, angrily


(2) If the root word ends with –le, the –le is changed to –ly.

gently, simply, humbly, nobly


(3) If the root word ends with –ic,
–ally is added rather than just –ly, except in the word publicly.

basically, frantically, dramatically


(4) The words truly, duly, wholly.


Words with endings sounding like /ʒə/ or /tʃə/

The ending sounding like /ʒə/ is always spelt –sure.

The ending sounding like /tʃə/ is often spelt –ture, but check that the word is not a root word ending in (t)ch with an er ending – e.g. teacher, catcher, richer, stretcher.

measure, treasure, pleasure, enclosure

creature, furniture, picture, nature, adventure

Endings which sound like /ʒən/

If the ending sounds like /ʒən/, it is spelt as –sion.

division, invasion, confusion, decision, collision, television

The suffix –ous

Sometimes the root word is obvious and the usual rules apply for adding suffixes beginning with vowel letters.

Sometimes there is no obvious root word.

–our is changed to –or before –ous is added.

A final ‘e’ of the root word must be kept if the /dʒ/ sound of ‘g’ is to be kept.

If there is an /i:/ sound before the
–ous ending, it is usually spelt as i, but a few words have e.

poisonous, dangerous, mountainous, famous, various

tremendous, enormous, jealous

humorous, glamorous, vigorous

courageous, outrageous

serious, obvious, curious
hideous, spontaneous, courteous


Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)

Endings which sound like /ʃən/, spelt –tion, –sion, –ssion, –cian

Strictly speaking, the suffixes are –ion and –ian. Clues about whether to put t, s, ss or c before these suffixes often come from the last letter or letters of the root word.

–tion is the most common spelling. It is used if the root word ends in t or te.

–ssion is used if the root word ends in ss or –mit.

–sion is used if the root word ends in d or se.
Exceptions: attend – attention, intend – intention.

–cian is used if the root word ends in c or cs.


invention, injection, action, hesitation, completion

expression, discussion, confession, permission, admission

expansion, extension, comprehension, tension

musician, electrician, magician, politician, mathematician

Words with the /k/ sound spelt ch (Greek in origin)


scheme, chorus, chemist, echo, character

Words with the /ʃ/ sound spelt ch (mostly French in origin)


chef, chalet, machine, brochure

Words ending with the /g/ sound spelt –gue and the /k/ sound spelt –que (French in origin)


league, tongue, antique, unique

Words with the /s/ sound spelt sc (Latin in origin)

In the Latin words from which these words come, the Romans probably pronounced the c and the k as two sounds rather than one – /s/ /k/.

science, scene, discipline, fascinate, crescent

Words with the /eɪ/ sound spelt ei, eigh, or ey


vein, weigh, eight, neighbour, they, obey


Statutory requirements

Rules and guidance (non‑statutory)

Example words (non‑statutory)

Possessive apostrophe with plural words

The apostrophe is placed after the plural form of the word; –s is not added if the plural already ends in
–s, but is added if the plural does not end in –s (i.e. is an irregular plural – e.g. children’s).

girls’, boys’, babies’, children’s, men’s, mice’s

(Note: singular proper nouns ending in an s use the ’s suffix e.g. Cyprus’s population)

Homophones and near-homophones


accept/except, affect/effect, ball/bawl, berry/bury, brake/break, fair/fare, grate/great, groan/grown, here/hear, heel/heal/he’ll, knot/not, mail/male, main/mane, meat/meet, medal/meddle, missed/mist, peace/piece, plain/plane, rain/rein/reign, scene/seen, weather/whether, whose/who’s

Common exception word that need to be learnt:

  • accident(ally)
  • actual(ly)
  • address
  • answer
  • appear
  • arrive
  • believe
  • bicycle
  • breath
  • breathe
  • build
  • busy/business
  • calendar
  • caught
  • centre
  • century
  • certain
  • circle
  • complete
  • consider
  • continue
  • decide
  • describe
  • different
  • difficult
  • disappear
  • early
  • earth
  • eight/eighth
  • enough
  • exercise
  • experience
  • experiment
  • extreme
  • famous
  • favourite
  • February
  • forward(s)
  • fruit
  • grammar
  • group
  • guard
  • guide
  • heard
  • heart
  • height
  • history
  • imagine
  • increase
  • important
  • interest
  • island
  • knowledge
  • learn
  • length
  • library
  • material
  • medicine
  • mention
  • minute
  • natural
  • naughty
  • notice
  • occasion(ally)
  • often
  • opposite
  • ordinary
  • particular
  • peculiar
  • perhaps
  • popular
  • position
  • possess(ion)
  • possible
  • potatoes
  • pressure
  • probably
  • promise
  • purpose
  • quarter
  • question
  • recent
  • regular
  • reign
  • remember
  • sentence
  • separate
  • special
  • straight
  • strange
  • strength
  • suppose
  • surprise
  • therefore
  • though/although
  • thought
  • through
  • various
  • weight
  • woman/women

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Adults should continue to emphasise to pupils the relationships between sounds and letters, even when the relationships are unusual. Once root words are learnt in this way, longer words can be spelt correctly, if the rules and guidance for adding prefixes and suffixes are also known.


business: once busy is learnt, with due attention to the unusual spelling of the /i/ sound as ‘u’, business can then be spelt as busy + ness, with the y of busy changed to i according to the rule.

disappear: the root word appear contains sounds which can be spelt in more than one way so it needs to be learnt, but the prefix dis– is then simply added to appear.

Understanding the relationships between words can also help with spelling. Examples:

  • bicycle is cycle (from the Greek for wheel) with bi– (meaning ‘two’) before it.
  • medicine is related to medical so the /s/ sound is spelt as c.
  • opposite is related to oppose, so the schwa sound in opposite is spelt as o.