Word of the Week
Our English Curriculum
As part of our commitment to developing pupil’s vocabulary, we have launched a whole school ‘Word of the Week’. This allows our children to be introduced to a new word each Monday during morning work time. They will learn to recognise the word, read it and write it.
Children will also be set specific challenges to help develop their understanding of the words. Throughout the academic year we will practice using the words and support pupils to absorb them into their daily vocabulary.
Pupils will have the opportunity to earn Dojo’s throughout the week by using the Word of the Week appropriately in their verbal and written responses.
There is a decicated display board in the corridor where children are encouraged to showcase their ideas and challenge attempts on post it notes. These are added to a collective Word of the Week book which children can access independently whenever they choose to.
This year we are focusing on high frequency words. High frequency words are common words that appear very often in written texts. They are a mixture of decodable words (words that can be sounded out) and tricky/ exception words (words in which the English spelling code works in an unusual or uncommon way, which means the words have to be learned and recognised by sight).
It is really important that children learn how to read these words as they will make up a large proportion of the words they will be reading in everyday texts.
They also need to learn to spell these words as they will find they will need to use them a great deal in their writing.
Research has shown that just 16 words, such as ‘and’, ‘he’, ‘I’ and ‘in’, but also the more phonetically-difficult ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘you’, ‘said’, ‘are’, ‘she’ and ‘was’, make up a quarter of the words in a piece of writing, whether it’s for adults or children.
The top 100 high frequency words (in order of frequency of use) are:
the, and, a, to, said, in, he, I, of, it, was, you, they, on, she, is, for, at, his, but, that, with, all, we, can, are, up, had, my, her, what, there, out, this, have, went, be, like, some, so, not, then, were, go, little, as, no, mum, one, them, do, me, down, dad, big, when, it's, see, looked, very, look, don't, come, will, into, back, from, children, him, Mr, get, just, now, came, oh, about, got, their, people, your, put, could, house, old, too, by, day, made, time, I'm, if, help, Mrs, called, here, off, asked, saw, make, an.
Below are some examples of the challenges which might be used;
Ø Learn how to spell the word
Ø Explain the meaning of the word
Ø Write the definition down
Ø Put the word into a verbal sentence
Ø Write a sentence which includes the word
Ø Learn how to say the word it in another language
Ø Learn how to write it in another language
Ø Include the word somehow in your homework
Ø Does the word look like another word you know?
Ø How many syllables does the word have?
Ø Can you use the word in a question?
Ø Can you think of any rhyming words?
Ø Can you find another word within this word?
Ø Can you draw a picture to explain the word?
Ø Can you find any synonyms?
Ø Can you find any antonyms?
Grandma Fantastic is our school ambassador for having high expectations of language. She is always on hand in every lesson to help the children with word collecting and broadening their vocabulary.
Grandma Fantastic carries a very special basket which always contains ambitious vocabulary linked to whatever it is the children are learning about. These are usually words that they would not usually have come across and experienced before. In classrooms you will often hear the children asking; “Grandma Fantastic, what words are in your basket?”
As an additional challenge linked to word of the week, Grandma Fantastic gives the children an extra word every Monday morning. This is an ambitious word. The children are challenged to learn to read and spell the word alongside finding the definition and trying to use it at some point that week in their work. If they are able to get the ambitious word into their work they will receive 5 dojo points.
As with the Word of the Week, children are invited to add examples of their work to this display board. This work is collected and put into our whole school word collector book.