Closing The Vocabulary Gap

Leading Literacy… And Perennial Problems

This short series is targeted at literacy leaders – either Literacy Coordinators, Reading Leads, or Curriculum Deputies etc. – with a key role in leading literacy to ensure that pupils access the curriculum and succeed in meeting the academic demands of school.  The old African proverb goes that it takes a village to raise a …

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Commonly Confused Academic Vocabulary

It is vital for our pupils to possess a wealth of academic vocabulary if they are to succeed in school.  For most of my teaching career, this issue was tacit and flew beneath my radar. Vocabulary issues were often hidden in plain sight. In the last few years, however, developing academic vocabulary has become talked …

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Arguing about English

Everyone has an opinion on the teaching of English, its curriculum, along with our national qualifications. Not just teachers: parents, policy makers, and pupils, all have an argument at the ready.  Of course, most of us have stumbled through an analysis of Shakespeare, or grumbled over the peculiarities of grammar at one time or another, …

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Three Pillars of Vocabulary Teaching

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that vocabulary knowledge is crucial for pupils’ school success. Pupils are language sponges, learning thousands of words each year. Like increases in a child’s height, it is a slow but inexorable development. On a daily basis it is near-imperceptible, but when you begin to count the passing of school …

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The ‘Language Leap’ at Transition

The importance of tending to pupils at the transition between primary and secondary school is well-established. The obvious focus, understandably, attends to the pastoral needs of pupils: making them feel safe and secure in their new ‘big school’ surroundings. Crucially, there is also an increasing recognition that making curriculum connections and charting the ‘language leap’ …

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Flipping Fronted Adverbials

Do you know your fronted adverbials from your prepositional phrases? As another week of home schooling commences, many parents, and teachers, are faced with tricky questions about grammar. It inspires feisty debate on social media and in school staffrooms. From world-renowned authors, PHD possessing parent-writers, to national leaders, everyone has an opinion on ‘fronted adverbials’. …

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