closing the vocabulary gap

Covid-19 and the Literacy ‘Matthew Effect’

“For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Matthew, 25:29 Six months ago everything changed. Covid-19 crashed into our consciousness and schools were closed for all but a few pupils. Ever since, school teachers […]

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Spelling: Avoiding Ignorance and Negligence

A version of this article was originally published in the excellent ‘Teach Secondary‘ magazine – you can subscribe HERE. It is well worth a read! Controversies and complaints about spelling are centuries old. In his Preface to ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’, in 1755, Samuel Johnson derided writers for their “ignorance or negligence”. Today,

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7 Strategies to Explore Unfamiliar Vocabulary

A 10-year-old child who is a good reader will encounter something like 1 million words a year (around 12 novels), but crucially, approximately 20,000 of those words will prove unfamiliar (Oakhill et al. 2015). It is important then to support our pupils to develop an array of independent word learning strategies to explore and to

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Cracking the Academic Code

(This article was first published in Teach Secondary Magazine. You can subscribe HERE) How could a group of crossword puzzle champions save the world? Such a startling question has a very British answer, and it should inspire teachers everywhere. During WWII, at Bletchley Park, a collection of academics and other intelligent folk became ordinary heroes,

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