This week, we have been pressing home tactics for answering the multiple choice synonym and antonym questions; more specifically when the children just don’t know the answer and have to guess.

For example: if you know the meaning of the word on the left and you know the meaning of four of the options, it makes perfect sense to go for the word that you don’t know! We also advise the children to steer clear of words that sort of ‘look’ the same.

Also, after we distributed the results of our recent timed tests, we held a feedback session for our year 5 parents today.

The overwhelming concern held by parents is that of vocabulary!

After many years tutoring I am convinced that 10 year old children tend to know the meanings of the same words and at the same time don’t know the meanings of the same words, if that makes sense!

Next week’s work will be a test of 100 multiple choice synonyms followed by 100 multiple choice antonyms. I hope to illustrate that the range of correct answers will be quite narrow and therefore take the pressure off the children to feel that they need to score highly in these sections!

I don’t subscribe to the theory that children learn 1000 new words each year – surely one of the most important factors is their home environment and the type of language used at home?