Framework for teaching English: Years 7, 8 and 9

Appendix 3 Key Stage 3 spelling lists

General spelling list

The following list of spellings was compiled by a number of secondary schools who all identified the following words as common errors among this age group.

The list is not intended for blanket teaching, because most pupils will know how to spell most of the words, but it is recommended that early in Year 7, pupils should be helped to learn those spellings about which they still are uncertain.

accommodation conclusion explanation
actually conscience February
alcohol conscious fierce
although consequence forty
analyse/analysis continuous fulfil
argument creation furthermore
assessment daughter guard
atmosphere decide/decision happened
audible definite health
audience design height
autumn development imaginary
beautiful diamond improvise
beginning diary industrial
believe disappear interesting
beneath disappoint interrupt
buried embarrass issue
business energy jealous
caught engagement knowledge
chocolate enquire listening
climb environment lonely
column evaluation lovely
concentration evidence marriage


material potential sincerely
meanwhile preparation skilful
miscellaneous prioritise soldier
mischief process stomach
modern proportion straight
moreover proposition strategy
murmur questionnaire strength
necessary queue success
nervous reaction surely
original receive surprise
outrageous reference survey
parallel relief technique
participation remember technology
pattern research texture
peaceful resources tomorrow
people safety unfortunately
performance Saturday Wednesday
permanent secondary weight
persuade/persuasion separate weird
physical sequence women
possession shoulder


Common homophones and confusions


advise/advice choose/chose quiet/quite
a lot of cloth/clothe sites/sights
affect/effect conscience/conscious source/sauce
allowed/aloud course/coarse thank you
bought/brought our/are threw/through
braking/breaking practise/practice to/too/two


Subject spelling lists

These lists of subject spellings were compiled by a number of secondary school departments. They identified the words listed as being words that were often needed and often incorrectly spelt. Schools may use these suggestions as the basis for local lists suitable for their own topics and needs. The list is not intended for blanket teaching, because all pupils will know how to spell some of the words. However, it is recommended that pupils should be helped to learn those spellings about which they are uncertain.

abstract easel kiln
acrylic exhibition landscape
charcoal foreground palette
collage frieze pastel
collection gallery perspective
colour highlight portrait
crosshatch illusion sketch
dimension impasto spectrum
D and T
aesthetic hygiene presentation
brief ingredient production
carbohydrate innovation protein
component knife/knives recipe
design linen sew
diet machine specification
disassemble manufacture technology
evaluation mineral tension
fabric natural textile
fibre nutrition vitamin
flour polyester
flowchart portfolio
advertise/advertisement figurative preposition
alliteration genre resolution
apostrophe grammar rhyme
atmosphere imagery scene
chorus metaphor simile
clause myth soliloquy
cliché narrative/narrator subordinate
comma onomatopoeia suffix
comparison pamphlet synonym
conjunction paragraph tabloid
consonant personification vocabulary
dialogue playwright vowel
exclamation plural
expression prefix
abroad function poverty
amenity globe provision
atlas habitat region/regional
authority infrastructure rural
climate international settlement
contour landscape situation
country latitude tourist/tourism
county location transport/transportation
desert longitude urban
employment nation/national wealth
erosion physical weather
estuary pollution
agriculture/agricultural defence politics/political
bias disease priest
castle document propaganda
cathedral dynasty Protestant
Catholic economy/economic(al) rebel/rebellion
chronology/chronological emigration reign
citizen government religious
civilisation immigrant republic
colony/colonisation imperial/imperialism revolt/revolution
conflict independence siege
constitution/constitutional invasion source
contradict/contradiction motive trade
current parliament traitor
binary hardware network
byte icon output
cable input password
cartridge interactive preview
CD-ROM interface processor
computer Internet program
connect/connection justify scanner
cursor keyboard sensor
data/database megabyte server
delete memory software
disk modem spreadsheet
document module virus
electronic monitor
graphic multimedia
alphabet/alphabetical encyclopaedia novel
anthology extract photocopy
article fantasy publisher
author genre relevant/relevance
catalogue glossary romance
classification index section
content irrelevant/irrelevance series
copyright librarian system
dictionary magazine thesaurus
editor non-fiction
addition estimate positive
adjacent equation quadrilateral
alternate fraction questionnaire
angle graph radius
amount guess ratio
approximately horizontal recurring
average isosceles reflect/reflection
axis/axes kilogram regular/irregular
calculate kilometre rhombus
centimetre litre rotate/rotation
circumference measure square
corresponding metre subtraction
co-ordinate minus symmetry/symmetrical
decimal multiply/multiplication triangle/triangular
degree parallel/parallelogram tonne
denominator negative vertex/vertices
diameter numerator vertical
digit percentage volume
divide/division perimeter weight
equilateral perpendicular
choir minim score
chord minor semibreve
chromatic musician synchronise
composition/conductor octave syncopation
crotchet orchestra/orchestral tempo
dynamics ostinato ternary
harmony percussion timbre
instrument/instrumental pitch triad
interval quaver vocal
lyric rhythm
major scale
active/activity injury qualify
agile/agility league relay
athletic/athlete medicine squad
bicep mobile/mobility tactic
exercise muscle tournament
field personal triceps
gym/gymnastic pitch
hamstring quadriceps
able/ability effort reality
achieve/achievement emotion/emotional relationship
addict/addiction encourage/encouragement represent/representative
approve/approval gender reward
communication generous/generosity sanction
control involve/involvement sexism/sexist
dependant/dependency prefer/preference stereotype
discipline pressure
discussion racism/racist
baptism Hindu/Hinduism prophet
Bible/biblical hymn religious/religion
Buddhist/Buddhism immoral/immorality shrine
burial Islam sign
celebrate/celebration Israel Sikh/Sikhism
ceremony Judaism/Jewish special
Christian marriage spirit/spiritual
commandment miracle symbol
commitment moral/morality synagogue
creation Muslim temple
disciple parable wedding
faith pilgrim/pilgrimage worship
festival pray/prayer
funeral prejudice
absorb exchange organism
acid freeze oxygen
alkaline frequency particles
amphibian friction predator
apparatus function pressure
chemical growth reproduce
circulate/circulation hazard respire/respiration
combustion insect solution
condensation laboratory temperature
cycle liquid thermometer
digest/digestion mammal vertebrate
element method vessel
evaporation nutrient

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