Literacy at Hugh Christie

Hugh Christie Word of the Week

2020 -2021

Words give you Power – the more you have the more powerful you will be.


In your school day, you will meet thousands of words, some you know and some you don’t. You will also meet the same words in different lessons and be expected to know how that subject uses that word when another subject might use it in a different way.


To help you learn, be powerful and be confident in using words in many different ways and in many different situations, we are going to focus on one word a week that can be used by lots of different subjects.


You will see how it is used, you will know how it is spelt and what its word classification is. You will see how it links to other words and what is meant when each    subject uses the word.


Of course, you will still be using thousands of other words and you should still try to learn new words every day.

Word Power

To get a word to be part of you and part of your overall power you need to use it at least ten times before your brain has got it firmly fixed. So it isn’t enough simply to write down the meaning of a word in a lesson and then not use it. Just like everything: practice makes for power and perfection.

Easy ways to increase your Word Power:

Try to learn a new word every day.


Keep a list of your new words so you always have them with you.


Practise using that word in your writing and  speaking.


Practise using the different versions of the word e.g. if you have learnt the verb, use the adjective, noun and adverb from it: create, creative, creation and   creatively.


Make yourself find ways of using that word more than once a day.


Do not get put off if people don’t immediately  understand you or make fun of you for using  different words – keep going!

Instead of GOOD

  • Positive

  • Effective

  • Amazing

  • Helpful

  • Advantageous

  • Beneficial

  • Incredible

  • Impressive

Instead of BAD

  • Negative

  • Ineffective

  • Awful

  • Unhelpful

  • Disadvantageous

  • Detrimental

  • Damaging

  • Dangerous

Instead of NICE

  • Pleasant

  • Generous

  • Interesting

  • Appealing

  • Kind

  • Sweet

  • Beautiful

  • Attractive

  • Other Words to Consider

  • Advantage

  • Analyse

  • Assess

  • Calculate

  • Compare

  • Concentrate

  • Conclude

  • Create

  • Criticise

  • Investigate

  • Justify

  • Perspective

  • Relationship

  • Significant

  • Specific

  • Suggest

Instead of THINGS

  • Factors

  • Features

  • Aspects

  • Properties

  • Objects

  • Characteristics

  • Items

  • Details.

  • Dependent

  • Describe

  • Determine

  • Develop

  • Discuss

  • Estimate

  • Evaluate

  • Explain

  • Factor

Literacy Focus

Literacy Focus 1: Capital Letters

Use capital letters for names.

Use capital letters to start sentences.

End sentences with:

Full stops .

Question marks ?

Exclamation marks !

Literacy Focus 3

The apostrophe should always be used to show omission, (that a letter or letters have been missed from a word).

For example:

  • it’s = it is   

  • I’m = I am    

  • we’ll = we will   

  • wasn’t = was not

Apostrophes should always be used to show possession (that something belongs to the noun or nouns in the sentence).

For example:

Who drank Mr Sheppard’s Pepsi Max?

Literacy Focus 2: Paragraphs

Whole texts (fiction and non-fiction) should be organised into paragraphs. New Paragraphs are used to show something new or different is being addressed:

Ti P To P

Time Place Topic Person

The first word of each paragraph should have a capital letter and should be indented if it is handwritten or miss a line between paragraphs on a computer.

Literacy Focus 4: Say it in a Sentence

Every answer that you give, whether it be written or spoken, should be in a full sentence.


Never begin a sentence with “because”.

Always use capital letters and full stops when writing in sentences.

Remember that words have power and your ability to communicate in full sentences enhances your chances in everything!

Literacy Focus 5: There, Their, They’re

There is used to show place, existence or quantity.

  • There are four trees in the park over there.

  • How many people are there on the train?


Their is used to show that something is belonging to more than one person.

  • The students are looking for their books.

  • The family is moving to their new house.


They’re is a shortened version of they are.

  • The singers don’t know if they’re going to be chosen when they’re singing in an audition

Literacy Focus 7: Have, not of, could of,  should of, would of, might of, may of 

These sayings are all WRONG! The following are acceptable: 

  • could have 

  • should have  

  • would have  

  • might have 

  • may have  


These are all correct!​

  • could’ve, 

  • should’ve, 

  • would’ve, 

  • might’ve, 

  • may’ve

These are also correct.

Literacy Focus 6: Your, You’re, You’ll

Your = belonging to you

  • Your birthday is in July.

  • Have you done your homework?


You’re = you are

  • You’re going to be on holiday in August.

  • When you’re at school, you wear your uniform.

You’ll = you will

  • When you get your results, you’ll be happy.

  • You’ll like the new film.

Literacy Focus 8: Homophones

Many words in English have one sound (‘homo’ means ‘one’, ‘phone’ means ‘sound’) but two spellings.

You must use the correct spelling, otherwise your work is inaccurate or won’t make sense!


  • hear/here

  • see/sea

  • where/wear 

  • stair/stare  

  • allowed/aloud