Speaking and listening are fundamental to the teaching of English and permeates the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. We want our children to develop effective communication skills for the here and now and also in readiness for later life. Our aim is to enable the children to improve their levels of oracy so that they are express themselves clearly and are able to communicate effectively and confidently in front of any type of audience. These skills are being encouraged in every area of our curriculum as good oracy skills can enhance every type of learning including maths and science. A key part of oracy is for children to think carefully about the language they’re using, and tailor it to their subject, purpose and audience. So much in life depends on being a good communicator, so it’s vital that children learn the importance of oracy from a young age. Children who start school with limited communication skills are six times less likely than their peers to reach the expected standards in English at the end of Year Six. We are aware of children’s different starting points therefore developing oracy skills is crucial in improving our children’s life chances. We also recognise that children who communicate well are more likely to form good relationships with other children and adults, therefore it is important that our children are able to listen to others, and respond appropriately. Purposeful talk is used to drive forward learning, through talk in the classroom, which has been planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable all learners to develop the skills needed to talk effectively.
At Green Park School we have adopted the Voice 21 framework for oracy which breaks down the teaching of speaking and listening into four strands:
Social and Emotional
We promote classrooms rich in talk, in which questions are planned, peer conversations are modelled and scaffolded and the teacher uses talk skilfully to develop thinking. From EYFS to Year 6, children are given opportunities to develop oracy skills and build their confidence in talk for formal and informal situations, both in and outside the classroom. We have an embedded oracy curriculum ensuring the children have an opportunity to practice a variety of types of talk and practise the skills needed for different oracy outcomes:
- exploratory talk
- debate and persuasion
- building understanding
- to inform/teach
- entertainment and expression
- The deliberate, explicit and systematic teaching of oracy across the school and throughout the curriculum will support our children to make progress in the four strands of oracy. Our children will have opportunities to ‘Speak like an Expert’ Deepening and embedding subject knowledge, understanding and reasoning.
A range of purposeful opportunities are used to encourage learning through talk and learning to talk, including:
- Setting ground rules for speaking and listening in class, such as putting your hand up before speaking, waiting to be chosen, and not interrupting each other.
- Presentations on a specified subject, or a subject of their own choosing. These could be individual presentations or in pairs or small groups, in front of their class or the whole school.
- Discussions as a pair, small group or whole class, for example about religious beliefs, story plots, or predicting the outcomes of experiments.
- Hot seating: a drama technique where one child sits in the ‘hot seat,’ and the other children ask them questions to answer in character.
- Exploring a text through performance – not just re-enacting what actually happens in the book, but also acting out what characters might do or say in a particular situation.
- Giving oral book reviews to the rest of the class, and then taking questions.
- Debates, with one group of pupils for and another against a certain topic or question, such as, ‘Is it right to bully a bully?’
- Putting on assemblies e.g. Harvest, attended by the rest of the school and often parents.
- School council meetings, where council members collect questions and concerns from other pupils and present them to their fellow councillors and teachers.
- Group work, where communication and listening to each other are essential.
- Role play, where children pretend to be someone else or pretend to be in a specific situation that they are not actually in at the time.
Oracy skills will be assessed using the oracy framework. Teachers and Senior Leaders can use the progression statements from the Oracy Progression Map to monitor progress and attainment. Each year group has oracy objectives which build on and extend from the previous year ensuring progression as the children move through the school.
Through the teaching of oracy, children will be able to:
- Speak fluently, with confidence and clarity in front of an audience including talking in full sentences
- Explore ideas through talk
- Deliberately select gestures that support the delivery of ideas e.g. gesturing towards someone if referencing their idea
- Recognise the value of listening to what others say
- Use conjunctions to organise and sequence their ideas
- Adapt how they speak in different situations according to the audience, including using Standard English
- Value their own opinions and be able to express them to others
- Begin to reflect on their oracy skills and identify areas of strength and areas to improve
- Ask questions to find out more about a subject
© Green Park School 2019
Green Park Drive, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, MK16 0NH