Printer-friendly view |

Closing the Word Gap

Help to Close the Word Gap

The latest research from Oxford University Press and
The Centre for Education and Youth examines vocabulary at the time of transition and provides practical recommendations and advice to help close the word gap. Find out how you can help.

The Oxford Language Report 2020

Moving from primary to secondary school is a major milestone, but without the vocabulary needed it can be a daunting experience. Bridging the Word Gap at Transition: The Oxford Language Report 2020 examines vocabulary at the time of transition and also highlights the heightened word gap among many children as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

  • 9/10 teachers think that the transition between primary and secondary school highlights vocabulary issues with the variety, quantity and purpose of language dramatically shifting.
  • 92% of teachers think school closures and remote learning will contribute to a widening of the word gap.

Read the full report with practitioner insights, expert views, practical advice and support, and join us in committing to bridge the word gap at transition.

Sign up to be a Word Gap Partner School using the primary and secondary links below and find a wealth of support to help close the word gap in your school, including resources to share with parents and carers at home.

Primary schools

Resources for your Primary School

Secondary schools

Resources for Secondary Schools

Closing the word gap: KS2–3 transition support

Transition pack

KS2–3 transition support

This resource, designed to help you to engage with parents of Year 6 and 7 children, provides free ideas to tackle the word gap during transition to secondary school.

Closing the Word Gap at Home

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl for Home

Find advice and support for parents and carers to help close the word gap at home.

Early years and primary language resources

Word Sparks

We’ve combined 300 ambitious words to help children succeed in school with fully-decodable books that help you match your phonics teaching and reading practice, while inspiring and engaging your young readers.

Project X Comprehension Express

Project X Comprehension Express

Comprehension Express and the new Catch-Up Tutoring Packs, help pupils in Years 4-6 (P5-7) meet expected standards in reading comprehension quickly. Challenge words and expanding vocabulary are a feature of every Comprehension Express and Catch-Up Tutoring lesson.

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Address the word gap right at the very start with this 20-week programme for children in their first year of primary school who show weakness in their oral language skills

Oxford Owl eBook Library

Oxford Owl eBook Library

Choose from three options to suit the needs of your school - whole-school, infant-only, or junior-only - and upgrade your free eBook Library giving you a total of up to 550 eBooks!

Read Write Inc. Phonics

Developed by Ruth Miskin, Read Write Inc. provides a whole-school approach to teaching literacy that ensures consistency across a child's primary years.

Oxford Levels

Our Oxford Levels system means you can accurately match children to the right book, and are correlated with the Oxford Reading Criterion Scale so you can assess and identify next steps

Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl is packed with the tools and expert advice you need for monitoring progress and motivating your children

PX Code

Proven reading intervention for children in Years 2–4 who are a year or more behind in their word reading

Oxford Children's Dictionaries

Encourage a love of words and language with our range of dictionaries, thesauruses and free online resources specially compiled to meet the demands of the school curriculum


This concrete-pictorial-abstract approach encourages children to explore maths using structured imagery and apparatus in order to understand and explain mathematical concepts.

Secondary English language resources


Support for students who are below expected standards at the start of secondary school, helping students to develop their skills and approach their examinations with confidence

Super-readable rollercoasters

Super-readable Rollercoasters

Developed in partnership with Barrington Stoke, the experts in producing accessible fiction, Super-readable Rollercoasters aim to encourage struggling readers and support them to become life-long readers.

Get it right: Boost your vocabulary

Get it right: Boost your vocabulary

Get It Right: Boost Your Vocabulary workbooks contain flexible lessons built around aspirational Tier 2 vocabulary taken from the Oxford Children's Corpus. Developed by Helen Prince, each word is explored in context with engaging activities, to help students build their word banks and start using them confidently.

Read Write Inc. Fresh Start

A successful reading and writing intervention programme developed by Ruth Miskin to rescue pupils age 9 and above who are below age-related expectations

Ignite English

Encourages KS3 students to build their vocabulary and aims to show how the study of English relates to the real world. For KS3 from a trusted author team including Geoff Barton


A vast array of genres, novelists, and challenging subject-matter, accompanied by free online teaching resources


The ideal way to introduce your 11-14 students to thought-provoking, challenging and accessible, classic and modern plays, and the act of reading aloud in the classroom

Oxford Children's Dictionaries

Encourage a love of words and language with our range of dictionaries, thesauruses and free online resources specially compiled to meet the demands of the school curriculum

To 14

Enables students to develop lasting confidence in essential reading, writing and comprehension skills

19th Century Dictionary

This browsable and unique dictionary explains the interesting words found in 19th century texts studied at secondary school

Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary

Provides students with invaluable support while they read and understand Shakespeare's plays

RSC School Shakespeare

Working in partnership with the RSC, this series is ideal for introducing your 11-14 year old students to Shakespeare's world

Search results

No results were found