Year 6 Spelling

Discover Year 6 spelling standards

Children in Year 6 are expected to have a rapidly growing vocabulary. They should be using and writing words with a greater variety of prefixes and suffixes. Their spelling needs to keep stride with the breadth of their topic learning. In subjects such as maths and science, students are expected to spell domain-specific technical vocabulary.

This guide will take you through specific examples of how your child should be spelling words in Year 6, and also suggest strategies on how your child can do this successfully.


Prefixes are a group of letters that can be placed at the beginning of a root word. This changes the meaning of the root word, just like these examples:

  • un-: unbelievable
  • in-: independence, invisible
  • mis-: mistaken, misunderstand

Ensuring that your young learner has a good grasp of common prefixes can help them not only spell longer words, but also decode their meaning when reading them.


A suffix is essentially the opposite of a prefix. Your child will use these at the end of common root words. Here is a spelling word list with words your child should be familiar with as they reach Year 6:

  • -ment: appointment, department, disagreement, encouragement
  • -ness: happiness, forgiveness, emptiness, thoroughness
  • -ing: forgetting, listening, transferring, preferring, concerning
  • -ly: separately, simply, recently, scarcely, accidentally, beautifully, especially

Practice tip

Consolidate your child's knowlege of suffixes with the lesson Electro Spike Adjectives from the lesson series Electro Spike Spelling on Night Zookeeper!

Suffix lesson on, displayed on laptop screen.

Technical spellings

Children in Year 6 will be expected to write an increasing amount of formal reports including technical, academic language. Here are some words that they may need to use in maths and science in Year 6:

  • arithmetic
  • capacity
  • denominator
  • numerator
  • radius
  • ratio
  • multiple
  • predict
  • pollution
  • scientific
  • positive
  • negative


Your child may know from earlier years that some words sound the same but are spelled differently. These are called homophones and can cause confusion for some children. Only regular spelling practice will help to ensure they understand the different meanings connected to each word. Here are a few examples that you could use to practise with your young learner:

  • hangar/hanger
  • advice/advise
  • principle/principal
  • stationary/stationery
  • steal/steel

Practice tip

The lesson Get It Right! is a great way to learn all about homophones! Your child can access this lesson on Night Zookeeper.

Homophones lesson on, displayed on laptop screen.

Consonant l-e

Children in Year 6 will learn about consonant l-e syllable words. These are words where a consonant is followed by an l and then a silent e. Here are some examples:

  • example
  • comfortable
  • capable
  • remarkable
  • recycle
  • noticeable
  • wrinkle
  • visible
  • struggle
  • vegetable

Word families

The following words are never alone because they are part of a word family. There are lots of different word families and they all share certain characteristics. Words in a family either share a common meaning, pattern or feature. This is what brings them together. Here's an example of the 'visible' family:

  • visible
  • invisibile
  • visibility
  • invisibility
  • visibly
  • invisibly

Practice tip

Get your child to give the lesson Smile For The Photo! a try! This lesson is part of the series Electro Spike Spelling on Night Zookeeper.

Word families lesson on Nightzookeeper,com, displayed on laptop screen.


Students should be routinely proofreading their own work for spelling errors. This is an important part of the drafting and spelling skills that they’ve developed in previous years.

Practice tip

Challenge your child to identify sentences where there are no visible spelling errors, just like in the below quiz on Night Zookeeper.

Proofreading activity on, displayed on laptop screen.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Night Zookeeper is a reading & writing program created by experts to make learning fantastically fun for children. Our wide range of gamified educational content targets all literacy topics, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading, and writing!

Here are some of the thousands of spelling resources available on our program right now:

  • Spelling games
  • Pre-made lesson plans to take the work off your shoulders
  • Lesson series on reading comprehension to support your child’s spelling skills
  • Printable spelling worksheets for offline learning
  • Vocabulary word games

Sign up today to claim a 7-day free trial!

Related articles

  • Spelling (overview)
  • Spelling Games For Kids
  • Primary English Curriculum
  • Year 6 Writing
  • Year 6 Reading
  • Year 6 Grammar
  • Year 6 Punctuation
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