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. Taking part in Oracy training with Voice 21 (a national charity that exists to enable teachers and schools to provide a high quality oracy education so that all young people can find their voice for success in school and life) we are committed to building and embedding a culture of oracy throughout our curriculum.
We ensure that teaching staff are equipped with the skills to develop oracy for teaching and learning, to plan for talk across the curriculum and to elevate speaking beyond the classroom. By building a culture of oracy within our school, we want to develop our children’s confidence, spoken language and written outcomes across and beyond the curriculum.
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 6. 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.