5 Reasons to book your Bedrock demo

All great teachers want their students to be confident readers and users of language. The tricky part is figuring out the best methods to help achieve this goal and then committing to implementing those methods effectively. From our research base, we know that students acquire new vocabulary most effectively when it is presented to them via a contextual, consistent and coherent vocabulary curriculum. When delivered correctly, this approach can transform vocabulary teaching in schools.

Of course, creating and putting into practice an entire curriculum dedicated to vocabulary is something we’d all love to do for our students, but it can take a significant amount of time – something that most schools don’t have a lot of! That’s why our English teacher founders created Bedrock Vocabulary, so that students can jump straight in and start broadening their lexicons. The Bedrock Learning online vocabulary curriculum teaches thousands of tier 2 words that students need for academic success. Every single word is embedded into both fiction and non-fiction texts, written by our team of English specialists in Norwich. Students read a range of texts specifically designed to increase their cultural capital, with topics as varied as ‘The Life of Alan Turing’ and ‘The Arctic’. Schools around the globe are joining the Bedrock Learning network in a collaborative effort to narrow language gaps and provide their students with a language rich, knowledge based curriculum.

If you and your senior leadership team are looking for ways to build an effective vocabulary curriculum that will narrow language gaps across your school, without spending precious hours on preparation, then booking an online demo of Bedrock Vocabulary could be 20 minutes well spent.

1. Vocabulary gaps must be tackled

As it stands, on average there is a 19 month word gap (EPI, 2017) between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers. Without a more direct approach, this language gap widens as students progress through their education. Incidental vocabulary acquisition is not enough – too many are being left behind. Indeed, teachers report this themselves. The key to levelling the playing field and narrowing language gaps is deliberate and explicit teaching of tier 2 words. In every single Bedrock lesson, students are given the opportunity to process deeply all of the new vocabulary they are taught. They complete reading comprehension questions, compare words to images, and explore the relationship between words and their synonyms and antonyms. They’re even challenged to create metaphors that capture the words’ meanings, ensuring nuanced understanding!

2. Students have a right to increase their cultural capital

Alongside enriching students’ vocabulary, Bedrock Learning aims to provide students with greater cultural capital by embedding all of the tier 2 language within engaging, informative fiction and non-fiction texts. In KS2, students will voyage across the seas with the Vikings, visit Japan to learn all about the geishas in ‘A Geisha’s Tale’, and even take a rocket ship into outer space to find out more about our solar system. By KS3 and KS4, they explore even more thought provoking topics such as ‘Malala’, ‘The London Riots, and ‘Women Writers’. Over the course of the entire curriculum, students can be exposed to over 80 fiction and non-fiction topics, broadening both their vocabularies and their overall knowledge of the universe they find themselves in.

During your demo, one of our English specialists will walk you through an example topic and discuss with you how, through teaching language in the context of wider stories, we are expanding students’ cultural capital.

3. GCSEs and SATs are packed with tier 2 vocabulary

Across the country, we’ve encountered teachers who worry that their students do not have the vocabulary they need for exam success. Teaching academic verbs can be tricky and dictionary definitions just don’t cut it. This is why we embedded over 250 academic verbs throughout our curriculum. Students can access Bedrock Vocabulary from lower KS2 right through to Year 11 – that’s 9 years of content! We prepare students with the language they need to be exam ready.

As Deputy Headteacher Matt Maynes pointed out, these are just a few of the words KS2 students were required to understand during this year’s SATs reading paper: majority, extinction, diminishing, vital, adopt, hesitate, guardian, and more. Pretty tricky, right?

4. Strong vocabulary knowledge = strong comprehension

Vocabulary knowledge plays a central role in reading comprehension. As discussed in our research base, to understand any written text, students have to know the meaning of 90 – 95% of the words used. Stronger readers, who understand around 95% of the language used, will rely on the strength of their existing vocabulary in order to make an educated guess at the meaning of the unknown 5%.

But what if students don’t understand the majority of language in a text? In every Bedrock Learning text, the tricky tier 2 words are clickable to allow students to discover the meaning of new language as they read it in the text. We surround the taught tier 2 language with simpler tier 1 language to allow students to fully understand a text’s overall meaning, focusing all of the student’s efforts into interrogating those target tier 2 words.

Pre and post tests feature at the beginning and end of every topic, which, alongside the reading comprehension questions that appear in every lesson, allow teachers to track students’ understanding of the texts and the tier 2 language embedded within. You can also log in and see precisely which words you need to explore in class. No more random words of the week!

5. Whole school literacy

Bedrock Learning isn’t just beneficial for your English department. We’ve all come across students who have struggled with academic vocabulary they have encountered in maths, science or beyond. The Oxford University Press’ recent Word Gap report found that most secondary school teachers stated that “a low vocabulary affects a child’s progress… across a wide range of subjects.” Throughout our entire curriculum, students will learn language that will prove useful in every classroom. Words like ‘accelerate’ for physics, ‘synthesise’ for chemistry, ‘diagram’ for maths, and academic verbs like ‘evaluate’ and ‘demonstrate’, which apply to just about every area of study. Our curriculum teaches students the words they need for whole school success – not just success in English. You can see a list of words taught in our curriculum here.

Your SLT meeting

Bedrock Learning is working with different types of schools across the globe. During your chat, our team can discuss with you how we can personalise your Bedrock Vocabulary package to suit your schools’ needs.

At Bedrock, we know teachers are strapped for time. But we think it’s worth you sparing just 10 minutes to receive your free Bedrock demo.

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