Our aim in oracy is to develop children’s speaking and listening skills, to make sure that they develop a rich and varied vocabulary, learn to listen attentively and speak clearly and confidently. We intend for oracy to be part of the school’s pedagogy, not a discrete lesson, but a thread running through daily school life. We know language development is an area of key importance for our children, because to comprehend what we read, to master mathematics or to make sense of science, we must first understand the words and what they mean. We believe oracy to be an imperative; fundamental to achieve success.
By the time children leave school, they will be able to:
- express issues and ideas clearly,
- speak clearly, using formal language, varying expression, tone and volume,
- listen carefully, to understanding a speakers’ conclusion or opinion
- respond to others with questions and comments
- contribute purposefully to group discussion
- show agreement or disagreement, giving reasons in a respectful manner
- use a wide and interesting vocabulary, appropriate to the topic being discussed, or the audience that is listening.
Children will be able to effectively communicate their understanding, enabling them to work cooperatively with their peers and will become independent learners and take responsibility for their learning. They will develop resilience when dealing with challenging concepts, which can be applied to other aspects of life.
Within English, the national curriculum states that: ‘the curriculum reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.’
Oracy is threaded through all planning and teachers take oracy opportunities in every lesson, by using discussion, groupings, performance and other strategies. Children are immersed in a talk-rich environment. Within each classroom our ‘Word Aware’ program provides a structured framework to promote vocabulary development in all children. Across school, you will see a range of strategies and opportunities to teach vocabulary. These include:
Word aware games
Weekly Let’s Think English lessons
Discrete teaching of vocabulary in our lesson structure
Communication in print symbols.