What is a Common Exception Word?

Common exception words do not follow the common phonetic spelling rules children learn in years one and year 2.

Many of these exception words are used frequently, hence the use of ‘common’ in the name. Children are normally introduced to common exception words in their first year of primary school. They will also have lists of words to learn in years 1 and 2.

Examples of common exception words:

Now that we know a little bit about what common exception words are, here are a couple of examples from the spelling lists of year groups 1 and 2:

Year 1: today, his, by

Year 2: floor, because, many, Mr

What common exception words are on the spelling lists?

Since we’ve learned a thing or two about common exception words, let’s go into more detail about what words children will be expected to learn in each year group.

Years 1 and 2:

In years one and 2, children will be taught how to read and spell several common exception words. These words will contain grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) that children will not have conducted so far in their phonics lessons. According to the national curriculum, some of the words that children may encounter in year 1 include:

  • The.
  • Do.
  • Has.
  • Where.
  • There.
  • Here.
  • Come.
  • Some.
  • Once.
  • Full.

As they move up into year 2, children will also come across some trickier common exception words, including:

  • Door.
  • Floor.
  • Behind.
  • Hold.
  • Told.
  • Move.
  • Should.
  • Could.
  • People.
  • Children.

It’s important to note that the common exception words taught by pupils may vary depending on the program used.

Why are common exception words important?

One of the key reasons why common exception words are so important is actually in the name!

These are words that get used a lot in both speech and writing. As children begin to read longer and trickier texts, you can be sure that they’ll come across these words often. Teaching children words that don’t follow standard phonics spelling conventions will make them less confused when they come across them in their reading. This will, in turn, help to improve their reading fluency.

Moreover, teaching children how to spell common exception words will equip them with essential vocabulary. So, for example, common exception words in Unfailing to spell these words makes it tricky to form even a simple sentence. That’s why common exception words are so important for soon-to-be writers!

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