English > Vocabulary

Vocabulary at primary school

Children in school classroom

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.

Blog: The wonder of words
Find out how learning new words can help your child succeed, and how you can help at home.
Read the blog post >

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.

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.

Activities to help develop vocabulary

More than one (Ages 5+)

Putting things in order activity sheet

Putting things in order (Ages 5+)

Spotting synonyms activity sheet

Spotting synonyms (Ages 5+)

What shape activity sheet

What shape? (Ages 5+)

Word game activity sheet

Word game (Ages 5+)

All in order activity sheet

All in order (Ages 7+)

Opposites activity sheet

Opposites (Ages 7+)

Spotting synonyms activity sheet

Spotting synonyms (Ages 7+)

How do you spell that? (Ages 7+)

Know your ABC! (Ages 7+)

Mind the word gap (Ages 5+)

Use word cards to create sentences (Ages 7+)

Similes (Ages 9+)

Video: How to grow your child's vocabulary

Animation: Synonyms and antonyms


Oxford First Dictionary

This major new edition of the Oxford First Dictionary in hardback includes new words and more pages to extend vocabulary, improve spelling and support comprehension across the new curriculum.
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Oxford First Thesaurus

This major new edition of the Oxford First Thesaurus in paperback has been updated to include more related words, synonyms and antonyms to develop children's writing skills, support comprehension and inspire a more creative and adventurous use of language.
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Oxford Phonics Spelling Dictionary

This unique dictionary makes it easy to explain how 'sun' and 'Cinderella' both start with the 's' sound and how 'dance' has the same 's' sound at the end, while 'egg' and 'eat' start with the same letter but different sounds. With the familiar Oxford Reading Tree characters, this is a fun way to prepare for the phonics screening check. Buy on Amazon >

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Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

This Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary takes readers aged 8+ on a phizz-whizzing, splendiferous, fantabulous journey deep into the language of Roald Dahl's bestselling children's stories. This is a dictionary which will develop language and literacy skills by igniting the creativity in all readers and writers everywhere.
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