English – Lesson Study

To download a copy of the English Lesson Study, please click HERE.

To view and download the “Closing the Vocabulary Gap” presentation click HERE – PDF or PowerPoint.

Lesson Study – English (September 2019)

‘Language is the heart of education. It opens doors and it unlocks the word of treading and imagination.’
Jane Harley, Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language report


Why introduce a lesson study focusing on providing targeted vocabulary instruction in every subject at MHS?

Students and Teachers

  • According to academics, 4 out of 10 pupils in their first year of secondary school have such a limited vocabulary that it is affecting their learning, this even effects more students with SEND
  • The number of pupils with limited vocabulary remains “stubbornly high” across all age groups, despite a range of programmes addressing literacy.
  • Children with limited vocabulary find it “extremely challenging” to understand test papers.
  • Limiting vocabulary can lead to lower self-esteem, negative behaviour and in some cases greater difficulties in making friends.
  • Vocabulary gap affects assess to a full breadth of the curriculum.


What are you going to do – what teaching approaches are you going to use?

  • Vocabulary
  • Consistently implement bespoke and whole school interventions aimed at extending students vocabulary ( Tier 2 and 3)

Tier 1 words are basic words used often in everyday conversation, e.g. go, play.

Tier 2 words are complex words that are more likely to occur in academic settings, e.g.   compare, neutral.

Tier 3 words are highly specialised, subject-specific words, e.g. isosceles

  • Teachers and subject leaders consider which words and phrases to teach as part of curriculum planning

Reading Practice

  • Implementing a targeted programme focusing on vocabulary, reading and comprehension focusing on:
  • An increase exposure to a range of unseen texts
  • Exploring thinking about text
  • Building language for discussion of text
  • Pupils are encouraged to read aloud across all subjects Staff use brief comprehension questions to determine what pupils have and have not understood.
  • Developing students’ ability to read complex texts.
  • Pupils are read by a number of time (ideally at least once) in tutor time.

Whole staff strategies

  • Vocabulary is explicitly taught in all subjects. New words are introduced and revisited a number of times in a lesson, ideally in a different way. Specific staff to receive bespoke training on chosen interventions.
  • Working in partnership with other stakeholders.
  • Evidence based practice, implementation process through research lesson study group and CPD
  • All staff to receive training on how to teach vocabulary and approaches to reading

Consistency approach to reading a text

  • LS research group led process to develop a high quality consistence approach to reading a different type of text



  • Inter school collaboration as a part of peer support network
  • Training programme for specific staff on decoding and vocabulary enhancement intervention
  • Whole school staff training on aspects of how to provide targeted vocabulary instruction in every subject


  • Head of Department acts as coach to Focus group in implementing developed reading programme
  • Focus group to coach teachers/support staff/ intervention staff throughout the lifespan of the project

Educational materials

  • Online research to reading including specific vocabulary modules for staff and students
  • ‘Knowledge organiser’ implemented in every subject, which includes key subjects specific vocabulary and formula for the unit the class is studying.

Curriculum development

  • Share responsibility between subject leaders and Head of English, to support subject teachers to develop strategies to teach vocabulary effectively

 Monitoring and Evaluations

  • Staff to film good practice of providing targeted vocabulary instructions in the foci group
  • The foci group will analyse observations of each session and the impact it had on the students learning and development
  • Project lead to monitor submission of baseline student’s phonetic ability and on –going data sets on reading ages.
  • On–going monitoring of reading in class ( Reading Record Books) provided by Focus group


  • An increase in reading ages.
  • An improvement in quality and fluency of written work.
  • ‘Knowledge organiser’ implemented in every subject, which includes key subjects specific vocabulary and formula for the unit the class is studying.
  • Increased access to broadening complex texts and greater time spent reading by pupils
  • Effective approaches implemented, including those related to etymology and morphology that help students remember new words and make connections between words.
  • Teachers in every subject provide explicit vocabulary instruction to help students and use academic language.
  • Share good practice of teaching vocabulary across the school to enable the students to succeed at improving their reading ages and vocabulary
  • Increased confidence and engagement
  • Improved students social and emotional development, particularly confidence and self- efficacy.