One comment we frequently hear from students is that they were delighted to see a question on their favourite theme/character/poem pop up in the paper, but there was a word in the question that they didn’t understand and so they opted for another question. ‘How does the poet’s writing make his thoughts and feelings so vivid for you?’ was a gift of a question for a class I taught a few years back: they knew the poem inside out and back to front, but the word ‘vivid’ caused them to turn away, insecurity rearing its ugly head as they decided not to tackle it.
Topics: Academic vocabulary
We have some exciting news here at Bedrock HQ... We are going to be presenting a talk at this year's Education Show at the Excel in London. The Education Show is all about bringing the classroom to life, which is why we're so excited to be a part of this year's event!
You'll find us...
Where: In the Pedagogy in Practice Theatre
Date: 25th January
For the most part, when students and parents (and even a lot of teachers!) hear terms like ‘literacy’ and ‘vocabulary’ being thrown around, they tend to come to the same conclusion: these are issues for the English department to solve. On the surface, this seems like a pretty sensible viewpoint. Maths teachers have all sorts of complicated equations they need their students to memorise, whilst Science teachers are working hard to ensure their classes understand simple old things like chemical reactions, the workings of the human body, and the endless expanse of space. Vocabulary seems pretty low priority, right?
Topics: Literacy across the curriculum
Here at Bedrock HQ, we are really excited to announce that we have been shortlisted as finalists for the Bett Awards 2019!
Topics: National Events
Earlier last month, I happened to stumble upon a fantastic - and frankly rather stunning - essay in pictures, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell. The topic of discussion? Why libraries are fundamental to our future, the unequivocal importance of reading, and the necessity of libraries and librarians in the lives of our children.
Then Libraries Week came along, which really got me thinking: when was the last time I stepped foot in a library? As the tumbleweed mockingly rolled across my mind, I was ashamed to realise that I couldn’t actually remember.
Editor’s notes: October 5th marks the annual event of International Teachers’ Day, a day to celebrate and appreciate the incredible efforts of the influential educators in our lives. To mark this occasion, our very own English Specialist, Alex Randle, offers her advice as she reflects on her time as a teacher and discusses her insightful research into improving homework strategies and student engagement with tasks outside of the classroom.
Topics: International Teachers' Day
So it’s September 13th - you know what that means! Just as soon as we started to believe that the back-to-school classroom chaos might be coming to an end (we wish!), Roald Dahl Day has come rolling around again - and what a gloriumptious, phizz-whizzing day it is (not fluent in Gobblefunk? You’d better check out last year’s Roald Dahl Day blog to find out more!).
Topics: Roald Dahl Day
Since 2003, when the term "word gap" was first coined by Betty Hart and Todd Risley, teachers, academics and others have explored its existence and impact in primary and secondary education.
In this helpful infographic, we've pulled together some of the key findings from the likes of Oxford University Press, the Education Policy Institute, and our own digital vocabulary curriculum.
The term ‘skills’ can be quite a vague one. Humans have created, learned and mastered a fair amount of skills over the last hundreds of thousands of years - an amount that will only continue to grow as we carry on experimenting and innovating. We usually have to add qualifiers to specify precisely what skills or types of skills we’re referring to. Even the team responsible for UNESCO’s International Literacy Day found it necessary to offer their own personal definition when expounding on this year’s theme of ‘Literacy and skills’. According to them, “‘skills’ means knowledge, skills and competencies required for employment, careers, and livelihoods, particularly technical and vocational skills, along with transferable skills and digital skills.” The aim of the theme, they say, is to explore “integrated approaches” that aid both the development of these types of skills and the development of literacy.
Topics: International Literacy Day
The new school term is here! Teachers are once again donning their teaching caps. We’re starting to think about what new ideas and strategies we can bring to our schools and classrooms. And if a vocabulary curriculum is one of the ideas topping your agenda, then you’re on the right track (and if it isn’t, there are a lot of reasons it really should be). Understandably, however, building a new curriculum from scratch might seem like quite an overwhelming task. So, to help you get the ball rolling, here is a back-to-school vocabulary checklist, made up of key questions you should be asking yourself about how you and your school are teaching vocabulary.
Topics: Vocabulary Curriculum