Intensive vocabulary is included in the termly writing and comprehension courses, as well as offered as stand-alone courses in holiday programs.
The SSE’s emphasis is on the acquisition of vocabulary tools to be used rather than on just ‘doing dictionary work’. By focussing on effectiveness and enrichment of their own written and spoken language, students build up their own personal word banks. Furthermore, by analysing words in context (rather than gathering isolated words in lists and writing ‘instantly forgettable’ meanings) students begin to gain an understanding of the power of the written and spoken word.
This functional approach to vocabulary not only gives meaning to, and enrichment of, the students’ own written work, but also instils in many a love of words, which when fostered by the SSE’s teachers, could culminate in a life-long love affair with language.
The SSE’s enhancement of vocabulary starts at the youngest of levels by the modelling of appropriate and challenging vocabulary in the teachers’ own written and spoken words and continues right through to HSC where
‘sophistication’ is merely ‘everyday’ for the SSE’s students.
Reading is fundamental to the development of vocabulary. The benefits of reading cannot be over-emphasised. To further this, the SSE has provided students with their own lending library, a very popular feature of the school. Also, to keep abreast of developments in the field the SSE is a member of the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Visiting authors are regular events.