Category Archives: Word Up Series 1

27. Disciplinary literacy in the classroom with Kathrine Mortimore



Kathrine Mortimore

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Kathrine Mortimore about ways to employ disciplinary literacy techniques in your classroom. The EEF have placed disciplinary literacy as their number one strategy for improving literacy in secondary schools. Kathrine and Helen discuss the importance of: showing students what excellence looks like in your subject; the explicit teaching of challenging key ideas and vocabulary; and scaffolding using carefully prepared materials. 

Kathrine Mortimore is currently an Associate Assistant Principal, leading literacy at Torquay Academy. Her most recent book ‘Disciplinary Literacy and Explicit Vocabulary Teaching’ is centred on moving forward those who are furthest behind by improving their literacy skills. This publication follows research she has undertaken into narrowing the attainment gap at the University of Cambridge, and whilst working in the context of Torquay Academy. Kathrine has also co-authored four of Neil Bowen’s ‘Art of..’ literature study guides.

Further reading and support:

  • Read more on disciplinary literacy strategies from Kathrine on the Oxford Education Blog.
  • Kathrine is particularly interested in tackling social inequalities through education. She has been blogging about this topic for many years and tweets at @kathrine_28

14. Teaching tips for the Key Stage 2 classroom with Sophie Bartlett



Sophie Bartlett

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Sophie Bartlett about her experiences of being a primary Year 5/6 teacher. Sophie shares some great tips on how to use vocabulary in mixed year groups and explains how she successfully teaches whole class reading using techniques including echo reading. Sophie also talks about how she uses Twitter as a positive way to engage and support other teachers and NQTs.

Sophie is a Year 5/6 primary teacher, English & curriculum lead, and the brains behind #TeachLikeAChumpion on Twitter. 

Further reading and support:

  • The 3 Cs for a successful transition to secondary school. Emily Weston shares her top tips for a successful transition from Year 6 to Year 7 on the Oxford Education Blog.
  • Download our newest report ‘How Schools are Closing the Word Gap: The Oxford Language Report 2021-22’ for a series of case studies from teachers packed with ideas and suggestions for narrowing the Word Gap.
  • Explore TreeTops Greatest Stories, a rich series of 39 key stories, handpicked by world famous author Michael Morpurgo, to enthral children and develop and extend their reading experiences.

13. Talking transition across the key stages



Emily Weston

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Emily Weston about the key role teachers can play in bridging the word gap at transition. Emily discusses her experience of moving from being a primary teacher to a transition role at secondary school. She offers tips for improving transition from Year 6 to Year 7, for teachers and parents, and has some good advice for NQTs.

Emily is a KS2/3 Transition teacher, blogger and founder of #TeacherSelfCareSunday on Twitter. 

Further reading and support:


12. Why it’s important to teach vocabulary in History



Lindsay Bruce

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Lindsay Bruce about the importance of language and vocabulary in the History classroom. Lindsay shares her passion for teaching students to communicate their opinions, both orally and on paper, a skill that will set them up for life. 

Lindsay teaches History at a school in the West Midlands. She is an Assistant Head and is also an author for Oxford University Press. 

Further reading and support:

  • Closing the word gap in History. Lindsay offers 6 ways to build Historic vocabulary on the Oxford Education Blog.
  • What can we do to bridge the word gap at transition? Read more from Lindsay on the Blog.
  • Lindsay shares practical classroom ideas to develop students’ understanding of key vocabulary in our activity pack ‘Closing the Word Gap: activities for the History classroom’. Download a copy.

11. Teaching subject vocabulary in the RE classroom



Dawn Cox

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Dawn Cox about strategies to teach subject vocabulary in the RE classroom, ensuring equality of provision, testing retrieval of key wordsand the important role parents can play in supporting pupils. 

Dawn is Head of RE and SLE in Essex; she is also a respected blogger and author. 

Further reading and support:

  • Dawn shares strategies to develop students’ understanding of the words they read, hear and speak. in our activity pack ‘Closing the Word Gap: activities for the RE classroom’. Download a copy.

10. What does good vocabulary teaching look like for boys?



In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Matt Pinkett about strategies to raise expectations and improve outcomes for boys, the importance of challenging gender stereotypes and what good vocabulary teaching looks like in the classroom.

Matt has had a number of teaching roles: Literacy Coordinator; Head of English; and Assistant Head Teacher of Teaching, Learning and Assessment. He is also a best-selling author, passionate about books, gender studies, and reducing social inequality. In his spare time he likes to wear ugly trainers.

Further reading and support:

 


9. A lifelong love of storytelling – part 2



Michael Morpurgo

In this episode of our series Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Michael Morpurgo about his childhood, teaching career and success as a storyteller and writer. We learn how Michael’s love of stories was inspired by his actor mother and how a courageous decision to tell his first story to Year 6 class, along with encouragement from Headteacher Mrs Skiffington, opened the door to him becoming an author of magical children’s books. 

If you missed part 1 we would recommend listening to that episode before tuning in to part 2. 

Michael Morpurgo is an award-winning storyteller, author, poet and playwright who has written over 120 books; a former teacher who went on to become Children’s Laureate. Michael is also series editor of TreeTops Greatest Stories published by Oxford University Press. 

Further reading and support:

  • Explore TreeTops Greatest Stories.
  • Find out how your child expands their vocabulary at primary school, and discover how you can help them learn new vocabulary at home here.

8. A lifelong love of storytelling – part 1



Michael Morpurgo

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen chats to Michael Morpurgo about his childhood, teaching career and success as a storyteller and writer. We learn how Michael’s love of stories was inspired by his actor mother and how a courageous decision to tell his first story to Year 6 class, along with encouragement from Headteacher Mrs Skiffington, opened the door to him becoming an author of magical children’s books.

Michael Morpurgo is an award-winning storyteller, author, poet and playwright who has written over 120 books; a former teacher who went on to become Children’s Laureate. Michael is also series editor of TreeTops Greatest Stories published by Oxford University Press.

Further reading and support:

  • Explore TreeTops Greatest Stories.
  • Find out how your child expands their vocabulary at primary school, and discover how you can help them learn new vocabulary at home here.

7. Teaching and parenting with Gogglebox’s voice of reason



Baasit Siddiqui

In this episode of Word Up with Helen Prince, Helen and Baasit Siddiqui chat about his time as a teacher and his journey to becoming one of our favourite Gogglebox regulars.   

As well as being a professional educatorBaasit has been helping to support his daughter’s home learning during school closures. Baasit talks about the remote learning strategies his child’s school used to help build pupils’ vocabulary, as well as the positive experience of seeing his daughter learn through play during lockdown.  

Baasit Siddiqui is the managing director of Siddiqui Education Ltd. Baasit’s passion is to educate, motivate and build aspirations of disadvantaged school children across the nation, using his unique experiences and connections as an educator, entertainer and entrepreneur. 

Further reading and support:


6. How can effective school leadership techniques impact quality of education?



Moira Marder

In this episode of Word Up with Helen PrinceHelen and Moira Marder discuss the effective leadership techniques Moira has used across the Ted Wragg Trust, a group of 12 schools and 9,000 pupils.  

They talk about the importance of creating a strong team and creating sustainability with a longterm vision for schools.  A lovely conversation about optimism and creating opportunities for our young people.  

Moira is the Chief Executive Officer of The Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust; an Exeter-based Trust set up in 2013 to transform the quality of education and life chances for all pupils in Exeter.  

Further reading and support:

  • Visit our wellbeing hub for support for parents and teachers.
  • Download our report ‘How Schools are Closing the Word Gap: The Oxford Language Report 2021-22’ for a series of case studies from teachers packed with ideas and suggestions for narrowing the Word Gap.