How does Bedrock work?

Bedrock Vocabulary is an online curriculum that children can follow at school or at home. It teaches students the academic words they need to succeed at school and beyond.

Step-by-step, here’s how Bedrock works – from getting set up, to using the programme and understanding learner progress:

What is Bedrock Learning?

Bedrock Vocabulary is a ready-made online curriculum covering nine years of learning material. It’s designed for students aged 6 to 16, and it’s also suitable for more able younger children.

It can be used by students of varying abilities and needs, including students for whom English is an additional language and those with special educational needs.

Getting set up with Bedrock

Each student has their own online account, which they can access both at school and home. Students’ learning is enhanced by parental involvement, so we also give parents access to their child’s dashboard to monitor their learning and progress.

The programme is divided into nine blocks, from 3 to 11. Each block takes about one academic year to complete.

At the start of their Bedrock journey, students take the Alpha Test. This uses a bespoke algorithm to ensure learners begin with the block that’s most tailored to their ability – so not frustratingly easy for more able students, and not too hard for those who find learning more challenging.

Using Bedrock

Once placed in the correct block, students progress through a variety of topics (between 10 and 14 in each block), experiencing engaging, language-rich fiction and non-fiction texts that expand their knowledge of the world as well as their vocabulary. Subjects range from hot air ballooning, Galileo and sea creatures in Block 3, to the climate crisis, Charles Dickens and social media in Block 11.

Each topic consists of six 15-20 minute lessons, plus a pre- and post-test to track students’ progress. Learners make optimum progress when they complete two lessons each week – at school, at home, or a combination. To ensure new vocabulary is retained in long-term memory, teachers can set our spaced learning algorithm at a rate which is most suited to their learners.

Every lesson is human narrated to engage students and enable them to both hear and read words in context.

Each lesson introduces students to between three and five new words. New words are shown in multiple contexts and alongside synonyms and antonyms to help students relate new words to ones they already know, embedding understanding.

Understanding progress with Bedrock

Assessment at the end of each lesson tracks each student’s progress. Results are logged on their dashboard automatically, saving teachers marking time.

If a student scores under 60% in a lesson’s post-test, they repeat the lesson to ensure they retain the new words before moving on to the next lesson.

If at any point a student scores over a certain threshold in two consecutive pre-tests, they’ll be re-allocated to the next block up to ensure they maximise their learning. Equally, if a student scores below a given threshold, they’ll be re-allocated to the block below to ensure they’re learning at the right level for their ability. Capping ensures learning remains age appropriate.

Students, teachers and parents are able to track learner progress qualitatively in students’ vocab notebooks, which shows words they already know, words they’ve learned and words they’re learning.

Teachers and parents can monitor performance quantitatively through their dashboard, which uses a traffic light system to show each student’s progress.

Teachers receive weekly emails containing data on both completion and progress. This data can be viewed at a whole-class and whole-school level, and sorted by gender, Pupil Premium, and special educational needs. Teachers can see which words each segment is still learning, enabling data-driven interventions where necessary.

Students are awarded badges and certificates to celebrate their progress!


“Bedrock has supported the school in becoming a place where language matters, particularly the quality of language. It has gone from a place where staff despaired about vocabulary to a place where the team now feels empowered about bridging the gap.”

– English teacher, Oriel High School, Sussex

Find out what it’s really like to embed Bedrock in your school’s curriculum – read more from this school and other success stories.


Start your free trial today

We offer free trials to  schools and to parents, tutors and home educators so you can see if this is the right tool for your learners.

Our trial gives users full access to our application as well as unlimited free support.

British Educational Suppliers Association - BESA
Educate - Education Research Edtech
EdWard for Bedrock Learning
Bett Awards 2019 - Finalist
ERA Awards 2021 - Finalist