Teacher Terminology Explained

We realise that, sometimes, your child may come home using terms linked to school and you won't know what they mean. We've put together a list of words, split down into different areas, with simple explanations of what they mean.

If you think of another term that you need explaining, please either let your child's class teacher know, let us know through the parent voice page or email us at admin@acacias.manchester.sch.uk.

We hope this helps!


General terms

Dojo - dojos are the system we use for rewarding positive behaviours (using the 'Class Dojo' system). Children can recieve dojos for a variety of positive behaviours.

Learning Objective - the learning objective tells us what the purpose of the lesson is, and what the children will be learning to do. 

Success Criteria - a list of features that the teacher wants to see in a finished piece of work. They help children to be successful in their learning. 

Next step - when children's work is being marked, they are sometimes given a next step. This is what they can do to make their work even better.

Talk Partners - 'talk partners' means pairs of children discussing work or an answer to a question. 



In Nursery and Reception children are assessed using 'Development Matters'. For more information on Development Matters, please visit the following website: https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/04/4Children_ParentsGuide_2015_FINAL_WEBv2.pdf. Using the Development Matters framework, children are assessed as Emerging, Developing or Secure in given age brackets.

From Year 1 - Year 6 we use an assessment system that assesses children against year group objectives. Children are given a grade of Entering, Developing, Secure or Greater Depth in a year group's objectives.

Entering/Emerging - Children assessed as entering are starting to show ability in some objectives for the year group/age bracket graded (eg EY2 would mean they are starting to show understanding of and ability in the Year 2 objectives)

Developing - Children assessed as developing are shwing a developed understanding of the objectives for the year group/age bracket graded (eg DY4 would mean they have developed an understanding of and ability in the Year 4 objectives) 

Secure - if a child is assessed as secure, it means they have shown a good understanding and ability linked to the year group/age bracket objectives

Greater Depth - a child assessed as Greater Depth has shown an excellent understanding and ability linked to the year group objectives, beyond that expected for children their age.



CLIC - CLIC stands for Counting, Learn It's, It's Nothing New and Calculation. It is a 20 minute session, taught daily in each class from Year 3 to Year 6, that is designed to support children's basic maths skills. For more information on CLIC, click here and view our 'Big Maths' information leaflet.

For more maths terms and their meanings, you might find the following website helpful: https://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-numeracy-glossary-for-parents.



SPAG - SPAG stands for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. 

Grammar - how words are used to make sentences.

Talk for Writing - Talk for Writing is a strategy that helps to develop children's speaking and listening and, therefore, their writing. For more information on Talk for Writing, click here. 

Imitation - this stage of Talk for Writing involves imitating (copying) the text that has been learnt 

Innovation - this stage of Talk for Writing involves slightly changing the text that has been learnt 

Invention - this stage of Talk for Writing involves children creating their own text, based on their imitation and innovation.

Story map - pictures used to show a story. 

Shared Writing - a piece of writing created as a group, or whole class, with the teacher. 

Shared Reading - this is where a story, or piece of text, is read and discussed as a whole class. 

Comprehension - this is the child's understanding of what they have read. 

Decoding - being able to read words. 

For more English terms and their meanings, you might find the following website helpful: https://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-literacy-glossary-for-parents



For more information on phonics, click here.

Phoneme - a unit of sound. To hear the correct pronunciation of each sound, you may find it useful to watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_4106458245&feature=iv&src_vid=RlpsmpWOUFY&v=EYx1CyDMZSc

Grapheme  - the written representation of the sound.

Digraph - where two letters make a phoneme/sound (eg. ch and sh) 

Trigraph - where three letters make a phoneme/sound (eg. igh) 

Split digraph - where the two letters making one sound are split by another letter (eg. i_e in vine)

Blend - blending is putting sounds together to make words.

Segment - segmenting is splitting words down into sounds/phonemes.

Tricky words - these are words which cannot be read using phonics.

Vowel - there are 5 vowels in the English alphabet; a, e, i, o and u. 

Consonant - a consonant is any letter in the English alphabet that is not a vowel.