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Vocabulary

A good grasp of vocabulary – understanding a wide range of words and how to use them in context – will help your child not only articulate and explain what they think, but enable them to ask the right questions to learn more.

The words they learn during conversations at home will help them construct and build their own conversations at school and socially. Your child will be better able to understand what a task or test requires of them, to join in with class discussions, and to join in with play. As their command of the English language grows, so will their confidence.

Mind the Word Gap

A report published by Oxford University Press in 2018, Why the Word Gap Matters, revealed that there’s an increasing number of children at primary and secondary school who have a limited vocabulary – a word gap. During the research, 67% of primary school teachers said that broadening pupils’ vocabulary is a high priority.

Find out more about the report, why the word gap matters and what you can do at home to help your child’s vocabulary in our blog post: The word gap: How to build your child’s vocabulary at home.

A new Oxford University Press report, Bridging the Word Gap at Transition: The Oxford Language Report 2020, looks at why so many children start secondary school without the word skills they need, and how to solve this problem.

Find out more about the report and how you can further support your child’s vocabulary at home in our blog post: How to help your child bridge the word gap between primary and secondary school.

Blog: How to help your child bridge the word gap

Students with a limited vocabulary – or word gap – struggle to understand what is being taught at school. Find out how you can help your child at home as they transition from primary to secondary school.

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Blog: The wonder of words

Find out how learning new words can help your child succeed, and how you can help at home.

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Blog: How to inspire your child to read more

Reading for pleasure is so important in developing vocabulary. Use these ideas to inspire your child to keep on reading as they get older.

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Blog: Building a strong vocabulary at home

Headteacher Tracey Smith shares her ideas for fun and easy games you can play to build your child’s vocabulary and boost their confidence with words.

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Vocabulary at primary school

Throughout primary school, your child will be expected to grow their vocabulary. They’ll be asked to articulate and justify their answers and opinions, to give well-structured descriptions, to participate actively in conversations.

Teachers will expect your child to listen to what they’re saying, understand it, and give an appropriate response. They’ll also expect your child to ask relevant questions to extend their knowledge and understanding.

Watch our video to find out how to help boost your child’s vocabulary at home:

Video: How to grow your child’s vocabulary

Education expert and parent Isabel Thomas offers her advice on improving your child’s vocabulary, and suggests tips for reading with your child.