11+ Vocabulary

All the words are sourced from books that prepare students for the 11 plus exams vocabulary. Our vocabulary sessions extend for 60 minutes, encompassing a selection of 20 words, interspersed with a rejuvenating five-minute intermission. In these sessions, we employ a multi-faceted approach, incorporating visual aids (images), linking unfamiliar terms to common words (how many words your child would know), constructing sentences, injecting humour with jokes, and sharing intriguing facts about each word, all meticulously tailored to enhance retention and following the science behind vocabulary.

Upon reaching a milestone of 100 covered words, we seamlessly transition to crafting short stories that interweave these terms. This process serves as a comprehensive revision strategy, ensuring that all the vocabulary is effectively reinforced through engaging narratives. Additionally, this technique introduces reading comprehension to our students, while concurrently offering them a glimpse into the realm of creative writing. It’s important to note that our reading comprehensions closely adhere to the well-defined principles of effective writing, as outlined in the 11 plus Exams preparation guidelines.

Steps by Steps for 11+ Vocabulary Builder

  • We give handouts of an exercise of 20 words with meaning, part of speech, synonyms, antonyms and one sentence, one joke and one fun fact about the word before a class. This way a student can associate a word with a synonyms or antonyms that a student already knows.
  • In class (30 minutes- 2 sessions) we will talk about the word and its association with the image that we will show in the slides. This should help a student to associate a word with an image.
  • After 200 words (10 classes) we will ask the students to write meaning of those 200 words so that we know what words the student is struggling with.
  • One to one session helping the students to learn the words they found it difficult to remember. We ask them to create a story or association between an image and the word and its meaning. The guru may share other ways to learn the word.
  • Furthermore, we will select words that students encounter during their practice tests or reading exercises elsewhere and identify as challenging.

The process of acquiring new words and building vocabulary is rooted in cognitive and linguistic mechanisms. This involves several interconnected aspects of the brain and language processing:

Semantic Network: Words are stored in the brain’s semantic network, where they are interconnected based on meaning and associations. Learning a new word often involves linking it to existing words with similar meanings or related concepts.

Contextual Learning: People tend to remember words better when they encounter them in meaningful contexts. Contextual cues, such as sentences or situations, help solidify the word’s meaning and usage.

Repetition and Exposure: Repeated exposure to a word in different contexts strengthens memory and retention. Consistent encounters with a word increase the likelihood of it becoming a part of one’s active vocabulary.

Neuroplasticity: Learning new words triggers changes in the brain’s structure and neural connections. Neurons form new pathways as information is processed and integrated, contributing to the expansion of vocabulary.

Mnemonic Devices: Memory aids like mnemonic devices, visualization, or creating associations can enhance word retention by providing hooks for recall.

Word Families and Roots: Understanding word families, prefixes, suffixes, and roots can help decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words. This knowledge facilitates the acquisition of related words.

Reading and Context: Reading widely exposes individuals to diverse vocabulary. Inferring word meanings from context while reading is a fundamental strategy for expanding vocabulary.

Active Practice: Engaging in conversations, discussions, and writing using new words actively reinforces their integration into everyday language.

Language Exposure: Exposure to a rich linguistic environment, including conversations, books, media, and educational resources, plays a crucial role in vocabulary growth.

Motivation and Curiosity: A genuine interest in learning new words and a curious mindset contribute to a more receptive attitude toward vocabulary expansion.

Talking about the world around them

The vocabulary we address during our sessions will be shared with parents, enabling them to incorporate these words into conversations or recognize them if their child employs synonyms or antonyms.

They can also listen to their child’s speech which is one of the most effective methods for gauging whether they are acquiring vocabulary skills at an appropriate pace.

Observe their ability to articulate their surroundings and the variety of terms they employ. Are they curious and expressive about their surroundings? Do they readily participate in discussions? How do they recount their experiences from school when sharing with you?

Reading at the right level for their age

Look at books that are aimed at your child’s age group and see whether they can read at this level.

‘It’s important to look at whether they’re taking in the information, as some children are very fluent readers, but their comprehension isn’t at the same level,’ Jack explains. ‘Doing a bit of questioning about what they’re reading, such as asking them to sum up the last paragraph they read, will help you see whether they’re understanding the words on the page.’

Your child’s reading scheme level is a good indicator of whether they’re acquiring new words at the right rate, but also check out the books that children their age are reading for pleasure and see whether your child has a big enough vocabulary to access them.

 Playing word games

A good test of your child’s vocabulary is to engage them in word games. Try thinking of words (hot, high, fast, bright etc) and challenging your child to tell you the opposite word (the antonym): they should be able to do this by the age of seven, or thereabouts.

Jokes are also a good way to see how your child’s vocabulary is developing. By 11, for example, they’re likely to understand how puns (jokes that exploit the different possible meanings of a word) work.

Reading and writing for pleasure

It stands to reason that if your child doesn’t have a good basic vocabulary, they’ll find reading and writing hard work.

‘Children who read for pleasure are 67% more likely to write at the expected level for their age,’ explains Alice. ‘If your child reads and writes purely for enjoyment, it’s a good indicator of their vocabulary.’

All children develop at different rates, so it’s impossible to say how many words your child ‘should’ know at a certain age. However, the figures below can be used as a guide.

12-18 months20 words
2 years200-300 words
3 years900-1,000 words
4 years1,500-1,600 words
5 years2,100-2,200 words
6 years2,600 words expressive vocabulary (words they can use)
20,000-24,000 words receptive vocabulary (words they understand)
12 years50,000 words receptive vocabulary

Grammar Schools Information

Grammar SchoolsCityRegionExam Board(s)Links
Kendrick SchoolReadingBerkshireCEMAdmissions
Reading School ReadingBerkshireCEMAdmissions
Bexley Grammar SchoolWellingBexleyCEMAdmissions
Beths Grammar School BexleyBexleyCEMAdmissions
Chiselhurst & Sidcup Grammar School SidcupBexleyCEMAdmissions
Townley Grammar School BexleyBexleyCEMAdmissions
Bishop Vesey’s Grammar SchoolSutton ColdfieldBirmingham & WalsallCEMAdmissions