As you navigate your child’s education you will likely encounter complex language, specialist terms, and one too many acronyms!
As parents, you want to be fully informed in order to best support your child, but this can be daunting when you are unfamiliar with the language used in letters home, newsletters, school reports or at parents evenings.
To help you out, we have compiled this Education Jargon Buster to demystify some commonly used terms and make your Brabyns journey more accessible.
Attainment: A student’s level of achievement or success in their learning. This can be measured through tests, exams, teacher assessments, or coursework.
Age Related Expectations: Communicate how a child is learning and progressing regarding their age.
Blending: This is a skill your child learns in their phonics lessons to help them learn how to read and write. It involves taking small sounds and blending them together to form a word. For example, the sounds f-l-a-p, blended together, reads “flap.”
Character Education: Teaching children positive character traits so that they can become the best versions of themselves and develop into responsible, kind, and resilient individuals.
Co-curriculum: The activities and learning experiences that happen outside of traditional classroom lessons. These activities can include things like sports, clubs, and projects that help children develop skills and interests beyond their academic subjects.
Common entrance exams – A set of assessments often included in selective admissions processes at senior schools. These test children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, as well as their readiness for senior schools. These can be taken at 11+ or 13+.
Cross Curricular: When teachers draw links and make connections between different subjects or topics to help children see how they are related. For example, when a maths lesson involves reading a story or when a science project includes drawing pictures.
Confidence bands: The confidence band is an indication of the range within which a pupil’s assessment score lies in KS1/KS2. GL Assessments. The narrower the band the more reliable the score. Reliability values range from 0 to 1, with 0.9 being very high and 90% confidence bands showing strong reliability.
ECT – Early Career Teacher.
EHCP (Educational Health Care Plan) – An education, health and care plan is a document that states what support a child or young person who has special educational needs should receive.
Enquiry-based Learning: When your child learns by asking questions and exploring their curiosity. It’s like when they wonder about something and then go on a little quest to find out more. This way, they become really good at finding answers and understanding the world.
EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage): The EYFS is a statutory set of guidelines for schools and childcare providers, outlining how children aged 0-5 should learn and be cared for. Schools use it to refer to children in their care from nursery to reception.
EAL: English as an Additional Language – refers to children whose first language is not English, and may not speak English fluently or at all.
EDI: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Fine Motor Skills: These are the little movements your child makes with their hands and fingers. It’s like when they learn to hold a pencil, use scissors, or do up buttons. These skills help them do things like writing, drawing, and getting dressed.
GLD (Good Level of Development): When a child has reached the expected level of development in the core strands of the Early Years curriculum.
Governors – An educational professional appointed by Bellevue to oversee the school’s vision, aims and approving school budget.
Gross Motor Skills: These are the big movements your child makes with their arms, legs, and body. It’s like running, jumping, or riding a bike.
ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate): The organisation responsible for inspecting independent schools in the UK to monitor if standards are being met.
ISA (Independent Schools Association): An association that represents the headteachers of the UK’s best independent schools.
ISPs: Individual Support Plans are in place for some children that may need some additional targets and support in their educational journey.
Key Stage one – age 5-7 (Years 1 and 2).
Key Stage two – age 7-11(Years 3, 4, 5 and 6);
Non-Verbal Reasoning: Solving problems and puzzles based on images, diagrams, and shapes, rather than words. This assesses children’s ability to analyse visual information and recognize patterns.
Oracy: The ability to express yourself clearly, fluently, and eloquently. It is about how your child is able to speak and communicate effectively with others.
Pastoral Care: The support schools provide to ensure the physical, social, and emotional well-being of its pupils. Examples of this include counselling services, bullying prevention, mentoring, and guidance.
Pedagogy: The methods and techniques teachers use to help children learn effectively. It is how teachers teach.
Phonics: A method of teaching children how to read and write by focusing on the sounds and letters that form words. By knowing the sounds of letters, children can blend these sounds to form and decode words.
PSHE: Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
Pupil Voice: When pupils contribute their opinions on school life and are listened to by adults in the school. They have an active role in making decisions and implementing changes.
Peripatetic Teachers (or Peri’s): Teachers who visit schools that teach specific subjects including but not limited to Performing Arts, LAMDA, Instrumental or singing lessons.
Progress: Progress is evident when children demonstrate increased knowledge, skills, and competencies across subject areas. This can be measured through assessments, tests, and evaluations.
Prime Areas of Learning: The three EYFS Prime Areas of Learning are Personal, Social & Emotional Development (PSED), Physical Development and Communication & Language.
They play a significant role in encouraging children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
Raw Scores:The raw score is the total number or points or marks the pupil has scored on a test. Standardised tests convert raw scores, for example 33 out of 50, to scores on a readily understandable scale, a normal distribution curve.
Standardised Score: A Standard Age Score converts a pupil’s raw score to a standardised score which takes into account the pupil’s age in years and months and gives an indication of how the pupil is performing relative to a national sample of pupils of the same age. The average score is 100. A higher score is above average and a lower score is below average. The SAS is key to benchmarking and tracking progress and is the fairest way to compare performance of different pupils within a year group or across a year group.
Segmenting: This is a skill your child learns in their phonics lessons to help them learn how to read and write.It involves breaking a word up into its individual sounds. For example, the word ‘flap’ is segmented into sounds f-l-a-p.
SEND: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator): An experienced teacher who is responsible for overseeing how the school delivers support to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. They are a key point of contact for colleagues and parents and are also involved in the identification of children with special educational needs.
Specific Areas of Learning: Specific areas of learning and development provide children with knowledge and skills to flourish in society. The specific areas are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design.
SRE: Sex and Relationship Education is not just about learning about growing up, changes and reproduction. It is also about enabling children to make and maintain relationships with others, to understand about human sexuality and to feel good about themselves and the choices they make. This involves helping children to gain knowledge, develop skills and form positive beliefs and attitudes.
SLT (Senior Leadership Team): The senior leadership team is responsible for running the school. This typically consists of the Headteacher, Deputy headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Heads of Departments, Heads of Year, SENCo.
Stanine: The stanine places the pupil’s (SAS) score on a scale of 1 (low) to 9 (high) and offers a broad overview of performance.
Verbal Reasoning: Solving problems and puzzles based on images, diagrams, and shapes, rather than words. This assesses children’s ability to analyse visual information and recognize patterns.
Wrap Around Care: The additional childcare services that the school provides before or after normal school hours. This typically includes a breakfast club before school or after