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A whole school vocabulary project


‘The Power of Words’: a whole school vocabulary project

At The Sittingbourne School, we are committed to preparing all our students for a successful future. A major factor in this is their ability to use and understand a wide range of vocabulary. Researchers at Oxford University Press found that students with a strong command of vocabulary cope better in lessons, gain higher qualifications and have better employment prospects after leaving school.






In order to broaden students’ vocabulary, and improve their ability to decode unfamiliar or more specialised vocabulary, we are increasing our focus on word roots. We know that 60% of the English language is drawn from Latin and Greek origins, a figure which is even higher in technical language. Understanding word roots, and the word families they belong to, makes unfamiliar vocabulary more accessible, whilst introducing students to the ‘hidden stories’ behind words. Recognising word roots helps our students develop deeper word knowledge, which, in turn, accelerates the growth of their vocabulary.

Over the next three terms, students will be introduced to two word roots a week, along with the subject specific vocabulary drawn from them. Students will be challenged to use the vocabulary creatively in tutor groups, with the best sentences shared across the school!

You can view the word roots here.  These will be updated each week:

Term / Week Root 1 and meaning Examples Root 2 and meaning Examples Best student sentence
3.1 photo - light photosynthesis; photosensitive inter - between intercept; interpret; international

The photocopiers and internet systems were only intermittently working due to a lack of interchangeable which would have fixed the the problem.

3.2 aqua - water aquarium; aqueduct; aquifer port - carry portly; export; reporter

I am currently building a portfolio of evidence to support my application for the role of aqua culturist, where I will be responsible for the cultivation, importation and exportation of live plants and fish across the globe.

3.3 lumen - light luminous; illuminate; luminescent contra - against contrast; controversy; contradict  
3.4 auto - self automate; autobiography; automatic trans - across transverse; translate; transportation  
3.5 sub - under submarine; subvert; submissive uni - one (same) uniform; unique; universe  
4.1 terra - earth terracotta; terrain; terrestrial sphere - ball spherical; atmoshpere; biosphere  
4.2 cent - hundred century; centipede; percentage audi - hear auditory; audience; auditorium  
4.3 hydro - water hydrate; hydroelectric; hydrophobia con - with consequence; converse; connection  
4.4 tri - three triumverate; tricycle; triangulate graph - draw photograph; graphic; biography  
4.5 leg - of the law legacy; illegal; legislate tele - far telescope; telepathy; television  
5.1 thermo - heat thermostat; thermometer; thermal cog - learn cognitive; cogent; recognition  
5.2 vis - see vision; invisible; visualise magna - great magnify; magnificent; magnanimous  
5.3 bi - two bias; bicycle; bilateral integer - whole integrate; integral; integrity  
5.4 spec - look inspector; spectacle; spectator dict - speak dictator; dictionary; predict  
5.5 geo - earth geography; geology; geode extra - outside extraterrestrial; extraordinary; extraction  

Please share our love of language with your children at home! Perhaps you have a fantastic sentence using the word roots of the week that you would like to contribute? Please contact Mr Andy Trigwell, the school’s Literacy Lead – with your ideas!

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