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Hello, my name is Miss Chamberlain-Webber.

I'm going to be teaching you spelling and I absolutely love spelling.

I love spelling for many reasons.

It's in the books we read, we can even see it around us every day if we look at street signs.

And there's something so exciting about the patterns of the English language.

It might be difficult at times and that's why it's actually so interesting.

Today, we're going to look at a letter string, F-E-R, fer.

We're going to have a look at some ways in which we can remember the spelling of this letter string.

And also look at the connection between some words.

Let's get started.

Today, we're going to start with key vocabulary we'll need in the lesson today.

Then we're going to get explore the fer letter string.

And finally, I'm going to set you 10 spelling words.

You're going to need a pen, pencil, exercise book or paper for today's learning.

Please try and ensure you're somewhere that's nice and calm and quiet so that your brain is fully ready for learning today.

If you need to go and fetch yourself a pencil and paper, please pause the video and do that now.

Key vocabulary.

What do these words have in common? My turn, your turn.

Different, suffer, refer, prefer.

Pause the video here and have a little bit of thinking time.

They all have three letters which are the same, F-E-R within the word.

Maybe you can notice something different about these spellings today.

That's what we're going to explore a little bit later.

But first, what is the name for this type of pattern? It's a letter string.

Let's look at a definition for a letter string.

I've got two options here.

Read along with me, and we'll decide which one is the correct definition of letter string.

Option one, two or more words that sound the same, but have a different meaning and spelling.


Option two, a sequence of letters that appear in several words.

Pause the video here and decide which option is the correct definition of a letter string.

Option two, a letter string is a sequence of letters that appear in separate words.

Did you manage to think about what option one is actually a definition of? It's the definition of a homophone.

Let's explore today's focus on letter string, F-E-R.

Here are four words with the letter string, F-E-R in.

Now, there's something similar about each word.

Where in the word is the letter string, F-E-R? All these words are root words.

That means they can have a suffix or prefix added on to the end of them.

And in this case, all these root words are the same because of what? Because they happen at a string F-E-R at the end of the word.

Let's focus first on adding suffixes to the words.

Perhaps you notice something slightly different about these four words.

The first two, differ, suffer, are said the same.

Prefer, defer, sounds slightly different.

Let's see if this affects what happens to each four of these root words when we add a suffix to that root word.

But first, let's remind ourselves what a suffix is.

Here are three.

Can you use these to remind me of the definition of what a suffix is? Pause the video here if you need more time.

A suffix is a group of letters at the end of a word that change the meaning.

Here are the spelling rules for suffixes.

When we add a suffix onto a root word, sometimes we just add a suffix, particularly when the root word ends in a vowel and a Y.

But sometimes we have to change that root word by removing a Y and changing it to I or by removing an E and adding the suffix.

Finally, there are some root words where they have a short vowel sound.

In this case, we doubled the consonant, two consonants before adding the suffix.

Let's look at these two root words and see what spelling rule applies when we add a suffix to it.

The first word, suffer, we've talked about this already.

But how about the word offer? What does that mean? It means to give something or ask someone if they would like something.

For example, I often offer other teachers a cup of tea.

And of course, both words have the letter string, fer.

So what happens when we add the suffix, -ed, to each word? Suffer becomes suffered.

Offer becomes offered.

Do you think you can write down how they are spelled? Pause the video now and have a go.

Here's the spelling of suffered.

Suffered is the past tense verb of suffer.

Yesterday I suffered from a sore back.

How about the word offer? Was that also a verb? Yes, it was.

So our suffix, -ed changes the word, doesn't it? It changes it into what tense? The past tense, offered.

Yesterday I offered my family some delicious cake.

They all said yes, of course.

Let's have a look at these two words with the letter string fer, also and what happens to them when we add ed.

Prefer becomes? Defer, now this word means to actually postpone something.

It's often used to talk about entering a school or a university.

If actually I didn't want to go to university for one more year than expected, I could defer my place to the following year.

Pause the video here to think about the spelling of the past tense of both these verb.

Prefer becomes preferred.

Defer becomes deferred.

Did you notice something interesting about these spellings? Before, our two verbs suffered and offered, we just added -ed.

But what's different about the spelling of these words? Can you point at what's changed? So far, we know that for some root words with the letter string, F-E-R, we double the R.

But why? Let's look at the two previous words to help us quote some patterns.

Suffered, offered, how are they similar? Preferred, deferred, how are these two words similar? Of course, they all have the suffix, -ed, added to them.

But did you hear how the pronunciation of these two groups are similar? This is what changes the spelling rule.

You do not double the R for suffer and offer root words, but you do for prefer and defer.

Let's look at why.

Here is the reminder of our suffix rules.

Pause the video here and think about which one applies.

We just add the suffix for offer and suffer, but how about prefer? We double the consonant.

So this means that prefer has a short vowel sound, good job so far.

Let's place the root words with the suffix -ed are past tense verbs into a sentence to make sure we understand the meaning.

Here are two sentences.

Pause the video here and choose which word with the letter string F-E-R should be in each sentence.

The first sentence, read it with me.

I offered my sister some help.

The second sentence, he was crying because he had suffered a great fall.

Can you remind me what the rule is for adding the -ed suffix to these words? Just add -ed.

Then next two words.

Have a go at placing them in the following two sentences, pausing the video here for more time.

The first one, read along with me, please.

I told them I had preferred the chocolate ice cream.

Sentence two.

She had deferred her university place until next year.

Remind me what's different about the spelling of these words when we add the suffix -ed.

we double the consonant.

Well done, you're really focused.

Show me what you've learned then, here are two different words.

I want you to add the suffix -ed to them remembering our spelling rule.

Pause the video here and write them down.

Differ changes to differed just adding the suffix.

Transfer, pronounced similar to prefer and defer, we have to double the consonant.


What has happened to these words? They have the same root word from before, suffer, offer, refer, defer, but this time the -ing suffix has been added.

What do you notice about the spellings? It's the same pattern, isn't it? Suffer and offer, we just add -ing, whereas prefer and differ, we must double the consonant.

So, here is a pattern, I've noticed that I want to share with you.

For some words with the fer letter string they are similar, differ, suffer and offer, why? And then I've grouped this set of words together too, transfer, refer, prefer, confer and differ.

Can you tell me why these are grouped differently.

This is because you just add the suffix to these words on the left, differ, suffer and offer.

Whereas we sometimes double the R for the other set of words.

Do you notice anything about the spelling of these words that might help us remember this rule? Well, differ, suffer and offer have their own double consonants already.

Can you point at what letter is doubled? It's double F.

So it might help you to remember, as they already have a double consonant, you don't double the consonant when you're adding a suffix to them.

However, the words on the right, transfer, refer, prefer, confer, differ, all pronounced in a similar way, we do need to double the consonant.

Okay, reminder of the rules one more time.

So far for the letter string, fer, which spelling rules for suffixes have we used? Just add suffix, point out the other one, double the consonant if there's a short vowel sound.

We are going to look at two quite tricky words now.

So let's talk about the meaning of them before we talk about the spelling.

This first word, reference.

It means something, a thing, that means it's what word class? A noun.

A noun for something someone will gifts someone that tells that person something more about someone.

For example, a personal reference is something if you were going to a new school, your teacher from your old school would write about you to tell your new school about what type of student you are, a personal reference.

Let's look at the suffix that has been added to the root word, refer here.

Can you tell me what the suffix is in this word? Ence, this is also the case for our second word we're looking at in more detail here, preference.

Preference is also a thing, a noun that tells us what type of thing you prefer, your favourite thing.

For example, I have a preference for roller coasters out of my favourite type of rides.

Now, I want us to look at the different spellings, our top spellings in orange and our bottom spellings in blue.

Which of these set of spellings for the words reference and preference do you think is correct and why? This is tricky, but have a go.

Pause the video and point to the ones you think are correct.

Okay, I'm going to show you now.

This time for the root words, refer and prefer, you don't double the consonant before adding the suffix.

I know this is confusing, because we've looked at the pattern of these words with this similar pronunciation, defer, for example, and we did have to double the consonants when we added -ed.

But in fact, the group of words that sound the same sometimes we double the consonant and sometimes we don't.

Here I have two words.

I'm going to check that you understand the meaning.

So please have a read of these sentences.

When you're finished, press pause, and decide which of these words should go in the missing space.

Let's read the first one together.

She listed her favourite restaurants in order of preference.

Ask your teacher for a reference for your secondary school.

Sometimes because these F-E-R letter strings are difficult, it actually really helps to make a word map.

This is because we can spot the many different patterns that occur within this letter string.

To differ, this means to be different from something else.

What happens when we add an S? Differs.

This means the word is now, plural, good.

What other suffixes can we add to the root word, differ? Ed, this makes it past tense verb.

For example, yesterday my artwork differed from my friends', it was completely different.

Another suffix we can add to differ is differing.

And this also changes the tense to present.

Difference, adding which suffix? Ence, this actually changes the noun into, the verb into a noun.

Difference changes the word class, differ which is a verb into a noun, it's a thing.

The difference between this spelling is this suffix -ence is added to the end of the root word.

Here's some more patterns I explored.

In this case, I've actually added a letter string to the front of the word.

This is called a prefix, indifference.

And I had a look at this word different.

What's different about this word? It has many different patterns of words that we can actually look at, how interesting is that? The fact that one root word can have so many different types of words from its main root.

Let's look at one more.

But before we move on, let's have a look at the spelling patterns that have occurred.

For absolutely all my spellings when I add on the suffix to this root word, does anything actually change? No, for this root word, when we add on the suffix, the word stays exactly the same, F-E-R letter string.

Let's have a look at a different root word, refer.

Refer is slightly different.

Let's look at what happens when we add a few similar suffixes.

Have a go now at adding the suffixes -ed, -ing, ent, -ence, -ant, any of the suffixes we've just looked at and write down for yourself what happens to the root word? Okay? Let's have a look.

Refer as a plural becomes refers.

In this instance, nothing has happened to the root word, just an S has been added.

This is the same with some of the other suffixes on our right, with the orange arrows, for referee, for referable and for reference.

But refer is one of those words that's sometimes have a different spelling rule.

Can you tell me what suffix is added on to refer need a different spelling rule and what is that spelling rule? It's these one's on the left with the blue arrows.

So referring, when we add -ing, we must double the R.

For referred when we add -ed, we must double the R.

And also for referral, we must double the R.

Okay, I want you to have a go at making your own word map for the following root word, offer.

Now this one's slightly different to the other two word maps we've looked at.

I wonder if you can notice why.

Pause the video here and give yourself plenty of time to complete this.

Of course, if you'd like to look in a dictionary, or look online for different words from the root word, offer, please feel free to.

Offer, here are the suffixes you can add and the prefixes you can add to the word offer.

Perhaps you got more, but let's look at these ones in a bit more detail.

The plural of offer is offers.

We can have offering or offered to change the tense of the root word.

And then adding the prefix, re-, changes the meaning of our word too.

It means the verb offer becomes a slightly different meaning.

To re-offer means to do it again, to offer it again.

Now, did you notice what happened to the spelling of this root word offer.

It doesn't change when we add a suffix or a prefix.

Do you remember the trick in remembering why? Point out the letters that remind us why not to? The double F, it already has a double consonant, therefore, we don't need to double our R before adding the suffix.

Okay, I think you're ready for your spelling words.

Now, this is a really tricky letter string.

So, this week spelling list, I've given you 10 words, and I've grouped them so that you can understand them a little bit better.

What's different about these two groups of spelling words? Well, my ones on the left in orange, we don't double the consonant before adding the suffix.

And my ones in right, We do double the consonant before adding the suffix.

I hope this helps you as we write them down.

Don't worry about writing them all down now.

We're going to go through each one in more detail.

Have your pencil ready as we go through starting with number one.

Offered, this one follows which spelling rule? The root word, offer, has been changed.

Can you explain to me why? The suffix, -ed, has been added to the word to change it to the past tense.

So, in a sentence, I could say, yesterday, I offered my dog some treats.

Remember, it's a double F consonant.

There's already a double consonant in the word so I don't need to double my R.

Number two, suffered.

This same pattern has happened here, hasn't it? Remind me of the suffix added to the end of this word.

Good, -ed.

Be sure to make your F a double consonant, but not the R.

Number three, different.

Remember there's a double consonant in this word.

Can you point at it? The double F.

Now, remember, if there's a double F, do we need to double our consonants before our suffix? No.

And what's the suffix this time? Ent, E-N-T.

Number four, difference.

Let's remember the double Fs in difference just like the word before, different, but this time it has a different suffix.

What's the difference? Reference.

This one has a suffix of -ence, and no doubling of the R.

It's slightly different, because this is one of our root words, refer, just like prefer and transfer that sometimes doubles the R and sometimes doesn't.

So we just need to remember this one, that for reference, we don't double the R.

Number six, how is this word different to the five we've looked at previously? Preferred.

The suffix that's been added is -ed, but what's happened to our letter string, F-E-R? The consonant has been doubled.

That means our F in our word, there's just one.

There's not a double F, there's a double R instead.

Similarly for this word, transferred.

Now the meaning of this word, to transfer means to take something from one place and take it to another place.

Number eight, referral.

Referral follows the same pattern as number six and seven.

Do you know what word class a referral is? It's a noun.

It's the act of sending someone to get professional help from a place that provides it.

For example, a doctor will send a referral for their patient.

Number nine, deterring.

Deterring something is stopping it from doing something, trying to prevent it from doing something.

For example, the rat poison was deterring the rats from coming into the building.

Remember, this has the same spelling rule as the previous word.

Number 10 with the -ing suffix is inferring.

When we're inferring whilst we are reading, it means we're understanding the meaning of those words.

I want you to pause the video now and check that you've got every single word written down correctly.

Okay, here's a reminder of a few words that have the letter string, fer, that we do not double the R for.

Can you tell me which words they are? Differ, suffer and offer, there on the left.

But how about my right hand column? How are they similar? Transfer, refer, prefer, confer and defer are pronounced in a similar way.

This means that sometimes when we add a particular suffix, you must double the consonant, double the R.

But sometimes, we don't.

So for those type of suffixes, we just have to learn the spellings ourselves.

Pause the video here, so that you can write down this pattern.

I know this is a pretty difficult idea to get your head around.

But that's why spelling is actually so interesting.

It's because there's so many different types of rules and patterns we can spot.

Word maps are a fantastic way of making us visually see those patterns.

So here's a reminder of one for the root word, refer.

You might even spot some of the spellings in your spelling list down here.

Why don't you have a go at making a word map for each of the spellings, I've just set you.

Find the root word for each word, and then see how many different words you can find by adding a suffix or a prefix.

This will help you notice the rules a bit better.

Really great work today.

You've looked at key vocabulary, you've explored the letter string F-E-R, and finally you have your 10 spelling words ready for our next practise session.