Subject knowledge – derivational and inflectional affixes

“Phonic knowledge should continue to underpin spelling after key stage 1; teachers should still draw pupils’ attention to GPCs that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also need to understand the role of morphology and etymology.”

Department for Education (2014) The National Curriculum. English Appendix 1: Spelling. [Online].


A ‘morpheme’ is a short segment of language that is either a word, or a part of a word, that has meaning; it cannot be divided into smaller meaningful segments without changing its meaning.  Morphemes can be ‘free’ or ‘bound’, and in primary school many of the words in the National Curriculum appendix for spelling contain derivational or inflectional affixes.

Download here: derivational and inflectional affixes (subject knowledge)

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