Resource type: CPD resource, CPD course
Price band: £
Key stage: KS1, KS2, EYFS
Region(s): All of UK
Word Power is a contextual approach to vocabulary instruction for Early Years, KS1 and KS2 (ages 4-11). It is designed to:
- Help teachers identify the most appropriate words for direct instruction.
- Provide practical and fun strategies to support effective word-learning.
- Promote communication-rich environments where pupils choose and use newly-instructed words for a clear purpose.
The Word Power approach advocates a three-step model to ensure that pupils strengthen connections with language use over time:
- Step 1: Unlock – Activate pupils’ existing stores of word and world knowledge around a high-quality text or subject topic through interaction and discussion. Use this information to select the words and concepts that need to be taught in order to help pupils communicate effectively, always connecting the new and the known.
- Step 2: Power Up – Use the eight Power-Up word-learning strategies to explicitly teach the words and concepts identified. The Power-Up strategies are designed to help children understand the connections between words based on their sounds, visual patterns, structure, grammatical function, meaning and/or word history.
- Step 3: Charge and Re-Charge – Provide frequent opportunities, both in school and at home, for pupils to put their new language to work when speaking, listening, reading and writing.
The Word Power approach was developed by primary English specialist Kelly Ashley and is set out in her book Word Power: Amplifying Vocabulary Instruction. Word Power CPD training courses are also available.
Cost: Book – £25. Training and consultancy costs available on request.
About Kelly Ashley Consultancy: Kelly Ashley is a Primary English specialist with a particular interest in communication and reader identity. She has over 20 years’ teaching experience in both the US and the UK. She is currently a lecturer in Reading for Pleasure with the Open University, a fellow and advisory board member of CollectivEd, and an associate consultant for the Curriculum Foundation. (@kashleyenglish, Twitter and Instagram)
Literacy Hive Likes:
- To bring the eight Power-Up strategies to life in the classroom, each strategy is linked to a vocabulary superhero equipped with bespoke ‘superpowers’. Meet the Word Power League.
- A range of free resources and teaching tools are available to download, including a Power Up Menu of the eight word learning strategies, and Power Packs outlining Word Power ideas in practice for Reception and KS1.
- Training and consultancy on all aspects of the primary English curriculum also available.
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