Our Lady and St Anselm'sRoman Catholic Primary School

Growing together in faith, hope and love.

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As a school, we value the importance of vocabulary by making words a priority in our classrooms, empowering our pupils, having fun and enriching the whole school. Our staff ensure to pounce on every opportunity throughout the whole school day, not just in an English lesson starter, which is why we ensure all classrooms are vocabulary rich.


Through carefully planned vocabulary walls and through daily interaction and exploration of language, we ensure that our children have access to a variety of new language, both subject based and incidental. 


Strategies to support vocabulary development:

  • Teachers have used resources from Alex Quigley and Andrew Jennings to become more knowledgeable and confident in explicit vocabulary teaching.
  • Academic vocabulary is taught explicitly and clearly across all subjects, where new words are introduced through ‘My Turn, Your Turn’ and contextualised examples to rehearse language and to begin to use words with competency.
  • Structured reading opportunities are organised for all children to have exposure to new vocabulary whilst developing strategies for how to tackle unfamiliar words in context.
  • We promote and scaffold high quality academic talk in the classroom, with key terminology clearly displayed for children to refer to in their own talk and writing.
  • Word of the Week (KS1) and Word of the Day (KS2) where children are introduced to new words with the opportunity to explore its word class, morphology, etymology and to practise using within a sentence. We have a structure for introducing these words:
        • Introduce pronunciation
        • Clap syllables
        • Give explicit definition
        • Discuss word class
        • Display an exemplar sentence
        • Oral creation and rehearsal
        • Orally share
        • Orally edit and challenge
        • Write
        • Share, orally edit and celebrate


The vocabulary learning environment

At the beginning of lessons, children are shown key terms related to their learning to discuss and activate their prior knowledge. Teachers are able to use this to ascertain the starting point for the lesson. The learning environment supports vocabulary development with key words, images and contextualised examples.


Concept maps and knowledge organisers include key vocabulary for the children to develop and become proficient with throughout units of work. These are regularly referred to in class and copies are sent home for children to rehearse vocabulary out of school too. Alongside this, review boards in class help to continually revise vocabulary learned to transfer to long term memory.


Vocabulary is a key component of our curriculum. It is regularly referred to throughout all interactions. We provide opportunities for the children to encounter vocabulary through high-quality texts, all conversations, independent reading, being read to, modelled writing, listening to others, fiction and non-fiction, poetry, direct teaching, books, picture books, assemblies, encounters on trips and with experts, break times and performances.

Useful websites for Vocabulary