The CPS Vocabulary Pathway has been designed by the staff at CPS with the explicit intention of ensuring equity of opportunity and provision for all our children in order for them to acquire a sufficiently rich vocabulary, enabling them to be successful and skilled readers. This will, in turn, drive their academic achievement and their increasing cultural literacy.
It is designed in line with the principles contained within Bringing Words to Life (Beck, et al., 2013), which uses a system of categorising words according to the frequency and utility.
Consequently, Tier 1 words are the most basic type, which typically appear in oral conversations, so that children are exposed to them at high frequency from a very early age. As they rarely require instruction and attention to their meanings in school, they will not feature in the CPS Vocabulary Pathway.
Tier 2 comprises wide-ranging words of high utility for literate language users. They are words that are more characteristic of written language and not so common in conversation. Typically, in the vast majority of cases, Tier 2 words will be introduced during English lessons, and then reinforced throughout the school day. They will also be the focus of the CPS Vocabulary Pathway.
Tier 3 words have a frequency of use that is quite low and often limited to specific topics and domains. The instruction around Tier 3 words will, therefore, take place within domain specific lessons. They will also be identified on the relevant Knowledge Organiser.
The research available emphasises the need to ‘seed the environment’ with selected words in order to maximise the children’s ability to truly understand a word’s meaning. Therefore, there is a requirement for adults working with the children at CPS to promote and accurately use rich and sophisticated language across a range of contexts – with the express aim of enabling children to convey and understand ideas and concepts. This will require a whole-school approach, and also the support and involvement of key adults in the children’s lives.