Pre Teaching Vocabulary (PTV)

From Pip St John

Pip StJohnPip St John was one of a kind! She had a huge passion and commitment to children that was obvious to everyone the moment they met Pip. With over 30 years of experience as a teacher and then specialist teacher for speech, language and communication needs Pip had a wealth of knowledge, and expertise that was developed from real in-depth practice. ‘Mrs Pip’, as so many children called her, had a big personality but this was supported by incredible skills and a quest to get it right for every child. In 2018 Pip was awarded ‘Communication Champion’ in the UK-wide ‘Shine-a-Light’ awards. Pip was an apt winner as she truly was a champion of children’s communication. Pip served as a valued member of the NAPLIC committee, acting as secretary for many years. For many she was the embodiment of the organisation, combining up to date specialist knowledge in an accessible way.

Pip was committed to children’s language in general, but she was extra keen on vocabulary. She had completed her Masters Degree at Sheffield University and was planning to undertake a Doctorate, both with a focus on word learning. Pip had already established her own website for sharing her PTV resources, which had proved popular internationally. With Pip’s passing in 2019 the NAPLIC committee took on the task of preserving Pip’s legacy. We will continue to host the PTV resources on our website so that practitioners can access evidence-based resources that will make a difference to children with speech, language and communication needs. Just as Pip would have done.

Pip St John's Resources

Communication Champion in ‘Shine-a-Light’ awards

In 2018 Pip St John was awarded ‘Communication Champion’ in the UK-wide ‘Shine-a-Light’ awards. Pip was an apt winner as she truly was a champion of children’s communication.

Pip St John's Resources

Pip St John’s Journal Articles

A collection of journal articles from Pip St John


Pip St John's Resources

Pre-Teaching Vocabulary (PTV)

A teaching resource conceived and developed by Pip St John, and published in October 2016 under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 Licence.

Pre-Teaching Vocabulary Manual (PDF File, 67MB)


Pip St John's Resources

Pre-Teaching Vocabulary Prompt Cards and Resources

Pre-Teaching Vocabulary (PTV) is a vocabulary teaching methodology that uses symbols and pictures from Communicate in Print (or CIP, see on visual prompt cards to support teaching children how to learn new words.


Pip St John's Resources

Research Skills LfL Question Cards

By Pip St John

Research Skills LfL Question Cards (Doc)

These cards contain questions which may be used by the adult and/or placed in the challenge area for children to work independently to extend their thinking about a story or an account whilst interacting with a text (fiction or non-fiction). Many teachers recognise that when children work with non-fiction texts they often do no more than simply copy passages from their reference source albeit a book/web page, with little evidence of learning. They will need to be altered according to the main text / story or account given to the children but provide a starting point for use in class.

Pip St John's Resources

Sentence Builders

Developed by Pip St John

Sentence Builders (Word Docs in Zip file)

Sentence builders are made for both fiction and non-fiction texts and can be a springboard for teachers to create their own (acknowledge Black Sheep Press please). The sentence builders specifically aim to reduce the pressure on children to be able to create and construct their ideas into a written form without the worry of whether they can spell and/or recall any of the key words – they are there available to use and apply. There are further blank sentence builders on which children can input the information from text themselves.

Sentence builders can support language development across the curriculum. Provide and model a sentence frame on the whiteboard or a wall. Encourage learners to use the frame for speaking and in writing: e.g. to make predictions, offer cause effect statements, describe a process etc.


Pip St John's Resources

Sentence Builders Blank Frames

Developed by Pip St John

Blank Frames (Word Docs in Zip File)

These are blank frames Pip St John used within schools to support story and account writing using BSP key visuals. Adapt, amend and change according to your need.

  • story planner Reception
  • story planner KS1
  • story planner KS2
  • A5 Narrative squares for class
  • MASTER writing grid


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