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Vocabulary at Firfield

An essential element of our knowledge rich curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this. The vocabulary content of our curriculum has been planned with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’ for children who enter school with a limited vocabulary and to empower our pupils to succeed across the curriculum and beyond.

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 our Literacy lessons. 

Words and vocabulary are much more than just a piece of the educational jigsaw; words are a constant. Since the beginning of mankind, language and words have evolved with us and are the lifeblood of humanity. Vocabulary surrounds, engulfs and guides us every day; without words we’d be lost.

The great thing about vocabulary is that it is extremely accessible for all pupils – it literally empowers them.  Pupils quickly become adept at using more complex language, varying verbs and adjectives, while developing a greater capacity to show not tell.  Quite quickly, ‘big’ will become ‘enormous’; ‘happy’ will become ‘elated’; and what was once ‘boring’ will become ‘mundane’, even ‘tedious’.


Subject leaders have created progressive curriculums and have selected key vocabulary for each unit that our children study that build on existing learning. We use vocabulary title pages at the beginning of units in our foundation subjects and at the end of their learning to assess the progress in the children's understanding of the key vocabulary. Knowledge organisers also 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.


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.