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Developing Vocabulary

We are passionate about developing pupils' vocabulary at St Catherine's, having seen the impact of recent missed time in school on this important area of learning. It is for this reason that we have developed our own whole school strategy to develop pupils' vocabulary, based on thorough research.

Aims

  • Pupils to have a wide vocabulary to enable them to become successful writers and communicators.
  • Pupils to develop word consciousness, meaning that they are aware and interested in words and their meanings, eventually being motivated and empowered to independently explore new words themselves.

Approach

EYFS
  • The Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)
    • Programme to improve children’s language and early literacy skills.
    • Involves a trained teaching assistant providing short small-group and individual teaching sessions to around 3-6 pupils for 20-weeks.
    • NELI children make on average 3 months of additional progress in language.
  • Talk through Stories
    • In Story week, we help children to get to know the story really well: the plot, the characters, and their actions and motives.
    • In Vocabulary week, we explore eight words from the story.
    • These words have been specifically selected to develop children’s understanding of each word in the context of their everyday lives.
Year 1
  • Talk through Stories
    • In Story week, we help children to get to know the story really well: the plot, the characters, and their actions and motives.
    • In Vocabulary week, we explore eight words from the story.
    • These words have been specifically selected to develop children’s understanding of each word in the context of their everyday lives.
  • Pre-teaching vocabulary
    • Teacher led intervention.
    • Following Alex Quigley's SEEC model (Select, Explain, Explore, Consolidate) for initial introduction of words.
Years 2-6
  • Whole class reading
    • Weekly vocabulary focussed session.
  • Pre-teaching vocabulary
    • Teacher led intervention.
    • Following Alex Quigley's SEEC model (Select, Explain, Explore, Consolidate) for initial introduction of words.

Wider school

  • ‘Word of the Week’ in newsletter
    • The idea is for families to discuss this word, look up its meaning and try to use it at home in conversation. Teachers look out for any pupils who are then able to use this word in class.
    • The word is discussed at the end of each Gospel Assembly to remind pupils of the word and have a quick discussion of its meaning
  • Key vocabulary for various subjects on displays in classrooms
  • Dictionary and Thesaurus skills to be developed when suitable
  • Opportunities taken throughout the school day and in all areas of the curriculum to discuss and explore new vocabulary
  • Accurate speech and good vocabulary modelled by staff throughout the school day