Reading Strategies in the Classroom

Across the school, we are focusing on vocabulary acquisition and retrieval.

Every lesson students begin with 3 key words that are vital for them to know and use in the lesson. A definition is provided by the teacher on the board and a verbal example is given to demonstrate how to use the word in context. Throughout the lesson, the teacher and students will keep using the key terms and linking back to them.


  • Select: Which word/s do you need to know for the lesson?
  • Explain: What does the word mean? This is a student friendly definition and might have an image to support students’ understanding.
  • Explore: How can we use the word in a sentence?
  • Consolidate: Teachers use the word in the lesson and expect students to use it too! We then visually store these words on a word wall!

Word Walls

We use word walls to visually store key words so that students can come back to these, and we can ensure that the words are retained. This acts as a growing word bank for our students that they can keep coming back to.

The word walls really help me remember ambitious vocabulary that would help me improve my marks in my GCSEs.

They helped me remember the word ‘hamartia’ which is the flaw of the tragic hero which leads to their downfall. In Biology I learnt the word ‘phagocyte’ which is a type of white blood cell that conducts phagocytosis which is when the phagocyte engulfs and digests pathogens.

Another benefit of having a word wall is that you could have a designated writer of the keywords which gives a sense of responsibility and encourages them to come to the lessons and feel more confident.”

Alex, Year 10

Frayer Models

A Frayer model is a way to delve deeper into the meaning of a word and ensure that we make connections to related knowledge.

Here are some examples from Science and English.


KIM is an acronym, and it stands for Knowledge – Information – Memory clue. We use KIM models as visual glossaries to help us retrieve the meaning of key words.