St Augustine's Academy

Where we all shine

Vocabulary Velociraptors

'Vocabulary Velociraptors' is a research project run  in collaboration with The School of Tomorrow Fellowship.  Through our work, we aim to increase the amount of objects that our children can name and recognise, therefore increasing their communication and comprehension skills.   You can find out the full details of our project by watching the YouTube video above. 

Our research was shared as an exemplar case study in the book 'So What Now?' by Malcolm Groves and John West-Burnham. 


Each week, in 2021 - 2022, we took a different letter of the alphabet and, used the book called 'The Ultimate Alphabet' by Mike Wilks, to see how many objects beginning with that letter that we could name.

Ultimate Alphabet Complete Edition: Wilks, Mike:  9780764972133: Books

In addition, we chose a theme of the week and learnt, through repetition, the names of 12 objects based around that theme.   Our children also took part in an engaging experience to help put the words into context.  At the start and end of each half term , we refreshed our knowledge of all the words so than they became stored in our long-term memory.


From 2022 onwards, our Vocabulary Velociraptor Work continues.   We now allocate each week to a different National Curriculum Subject.  The children learn 12 words that they will encounter as part of their learning while at St Augustine's and also take part in an activity to help consolidate their learning.  

Below are more details about some of the weeks and themes we have covered over the last 2 years.

A - Art

This week, we experimented with a range of Art tools and media.  (Art Link)

The words we learnt were: pencil, pencil sharpener, rubber, felt-tip pen, fountain pen, crayon, chalk, pastel, charcoal, paint, paintbrush and palette.

B - Balls

This week, we took part in a range of ball games.  (PE Link)

The words we learnt were: tennis ball, football, netball, rugby ball, table tennis ball, golf ball, beach ball, bouncy ball, stress ball, juggling ball, basketball and bowling ball.

C - Clothes

This week, the school staff put on a fashion show where different types of clothes were modelled on the catwalk.  (DT Link)

The words we learnt were: t-shirt, dressing gown, blouse, pinafore dress, poncho, culottes, anorak, overalls, lab coat, cap and gown, tuxedo and ball gown.

D - Dwellings

This week, everyone  went on a walk around Downside and found different types of dwellings along the way.  We had a special map with a 'Dwellings' key to follow.  (Geography Link)

The words we learnt were: terraced house, end of terrace house, maisonette, semi-detached house, detached house, block of flats, tower block, trailer, cottage, mansion, bungalow and town house.

E - Eggs

This week, we looked at a collection of birds' eggs and Gary taught us how to cook  eggs in different ways.  Watch the video below where Gary explains how to cook boiled, poached, fried and scrambled eggs.  (DT Link)

The words we learnt were: chicken egg, ostrich egg, blackbird egg, bluetit egg, boiled egg, fried egg, poached egg, scrambled egg, fish egg (roe), tortoise egg, Easter egg and Faberge egg.

F - Furniture

This week, we viewed a special display of furniture created for us in the school hall.  (History Link)

The words we learnt were: sofa, dining table (and chairs), deckchair, cot, high chair, bar stool, nest of tables, writing desk, telephone table, bureau, pouffe and four-poster bed.

G - Groceries


This week, we tasted a range of different foods, some of which we had never tried before. 

We also used an old fashioned cash register, a pricing gun and a modern scanner.  (DT, Maths and History Links)

The words we learnt were: raisins, cornflakes, baguette, Swiss roll, pickled onions, spinach, cream cracker, Red Leicester cheese, avocado, yeast extract, pate and sushi.

H - Hats

This week, we tried on a range of hats and also learnt about the Luton hat making industry by watching and discussing these 2 videos.  (DT  and History Links)

Luton Hat Making by Luton Sixth Form College

Luton Hat Making - Pathe News

The words that we learnt were: beanie, bobble hat, flat cap, bonnet, straw boater, top hat, baseball cap, beret, sun hat, sombrero, bowler hat and trilby.

I - Illnesses and Injuries

This week, we saw looked at the items in our school first aid box and also learnt some basic first aid.  (PSHCE Link)

The words that we learnt were: chicken pox, slapped cheek, measles, conjunctivitis, motion sickness, sunburn, bruise, graze, cut, splinter, burn and sting (insect).

J - Jewellery

This week, we made our own necklaces.  (Art, DT Link)

The words that we learnt were: ring, necklace, bracelet, bangle, watch, brooch, anklet, tiara, choker, armlet, cuff links and locket.

K - Kitchen Utensils

This week, we viewed a range of Kitchen Utensils.  (DT Link)

The words that we learnt were: rolling pin, grater, ladle, spatula, potato masher, whisk, peeler, pizza cutter, cake slicer, sieve, lemon squeezer and colander.

L - Luggage

This week, we took part in a quiz to guess which staff member owned which piece of luggage.   (Geography Link)

The words we learnt were: suitcase, rucksack, handbag, laptop bag, briefcase, tote bag, duffel bag, guitar case, pet carrier, satchel, trunk and vanity case.

M - Machines

This week, we saw a special display of machines and saw some of them being used.  (DT Link)

The words that we learnt were: hair dryer, drill, record player, whisk, food processor, cement mixer, pressure washer, sewing machine, bulldozer, vending machine, blood pressure monitor and block and tackle.

N - Nighttime

This week we were fascinated by the Wonderdome.  (Science Link)

The words we learnt this week were: bat, owl, badger, streetlight, cat's eyes, neon sign, fireworks, moon, star, planet, meteor and aurora.  

O - Occupations

This week we took part in an online 'Occupations Quiz'.  (PSHE Link)

The words we learnt this week were:  firefighter, police officer, paramedic, car mechanic, carpenter, author, illustrator, composer, lifeguard, software developer, marine biologist and curator.

P - Plants

This week we completed a plant treasure hunt around in the school grounds.  (Science Link)

The words we learnt this week were: rose, nettle, ivy, Scots pine tree, bramble, weeping pussy willow, laurel, dogwood, wild cherry, seaside sandplant, Jade plant and Jerusalem sage.

Q - Queen and Royal Family

This week we produced portraits of The Queen.  (Art and British Values Link)

The words we learnt this week were: King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Charles Prince of Wales. Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Diana Princess of Wales, Prince William Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge.

R - Rooms


This week we created our own room designs.  (Computing and DT Link)

The words we learnt this week were: bathroom, dining room, classroom, waiting room, changing room, cloakroom, stockroom, ballroom, showroom, courtroom, messroom and darkroom.

S - Shops

This week we designed a product to sell in our own shop.  (DT Link)

The words we learnt this week were: newsagents, supermarket, bakery, fishmongers, florist, butchers, haberdashery, hardware, greengrocer, chemist, delicatessen and antique shop.

T - Tools

This week we used gardening tools in the school site.  (DT Link)

The words we learnt this week were: screwdriver, hacksaw, claw hammer, hand drill, spanner, chisel, spade, rake, hand trowel, hand fork, hoe and secateurs.

U - United Kingdom

This week we decorated our own paper plate to use at our Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration. (Art and British Values Link)

The words we learnt were: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, union flag, telephone box, post box, double-decker bus, tea, Buckingham Palace, guardsman and Houses of Parliament.

V - Vehicles

This week we carried out a traffic survey.  (Maths and Geography Link)

The words we learnt were bicycle, motorcycle, van, helicopter, ship, submarine, cable car, rickshaw, barge, tram, airship and hovercraft.

W - Weather


This week we learnt how to use a weather station.  (Maths and Science Link)

The words we learnt were sunny, cloudy, overcast, drizzle, rain, hail, frost, snow, fog, thunderstorm, hurricane and tornado.

X - X-ray and other Medical Equipment

This week we learnt how to use a range of medical equipment.  (Science Link and PSHCE Link)

The words we learnt were wheelchair, inhaler, thermometer, dental mirror, syringe, hearing aid, glasses, reflex hammer, x-ray machine, stethoscope, defibrillator and adrenaline auto-injector.

Y - Yew and other Trees

This week we learnt to identify a range of trees.  (Science Link)

The words we learnt were oak (English), apple, beech (common), silver birch, horse chestnut, sycamore, fir, monkey puzzle, cherry, ash, maple (field) and yew.

Z - Zoo Animals


This week we enjoyed a petting zoo visit.  (Science Link)

The words we learnt were giraffe, zebra, brown bear, llama, lemur, sloth, meerkat, gorilla, pygmy hippo, tapir, dromedary camel and bactrian camel.