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Bridgeway School Blog 6: Focus on words

01 March 2021

Sue Gill, Head Teacher of Bridgeway School is taking on the role of a blogger. Here she explains the school’s vocabulary for learning principles.

Vocabulary learning forms the building blocks of communication: listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

Developing knowledge of words and their meanings gives our pupils the tools they need to access new opportunities and meaningfully engage with the wider world.

At Bridgeway, we intentionally create an environment where our pupils are exposed to new ideas and concepts within and beyond the classroom to expand their knowledge of the world around them in positive ways.

How do we support this at school? 

We have implemented a whole school approach to increasing vocabulary learning across the curriculum.

  • Subject teachers not only cover the curriculum objectives, but an intentional focus in examining word roots and associations of the vocabulary pupils encounter within the subject.
  • Pupils have access to Word Walls in each classroom where they reference and discuss topic-specific vocabulary. They are encouraged to refer back to these words and use them in their written and oral responses during lessons. 
  • Pupils are encouraged to keep a ‘working’ glossary in the front of their books, where they record their definitions based on their understanding of new words to help them learn and consolidate new concepts.
  • Whole school Word of the Week, which usually relates to the theme of our weekly assembly. By creating these links, our pupils can enjoy taking part in discussions about topics of interest. Pupils enjoy exploring word links and associations and great discussions take place surrounding this.

Sue also has tips on how this can be encouraged at home:

  • Provide opportunities for your child to learn new words, by researching a new topic of interest.
  • Try to start a daily reading habit, which includes a variety of genres, articles, biographies, poetry etc.
  • Play word board games, like Articulate, Taboo, Scrabble, Crosswords puzzles.
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