Oracy

English Subject Leader: Mrs C Ball

Intent

At Hindsford CE Primary School, we understand the integral part that oracy plays in teaching and learning. The ability to listen actively, speak clearly and communicate articulately is seen as a fundamental part of the learning process. Critically, oracy underpins the development of reading and writing, and is key to progress in all subjects. At Hindsford CE Primary School we strive to develop oracy skills through both the curriculum and the whole ethos of the school.

Oracy can be described as a combination of learning to talk and learning through talk. At Hindsford CE Primary there is a shared understanding of how talk supports learning and children’s social development. We believe that developing oracy throughout primary education provides our students with vital life skills. We aim to encourage fluent speakers, who are confident to communicate, debate and present in a wide range of situations.

Implementation

The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development. Oracy is embedded throughout our broad and balanced curriculum. Lessons are talk-rich, and questions are carefully planned to ensure all children can fully participate. Pupils participate in a wide range of oracy activities which help them to develop confidence in spoken language.

Some examples are:

  • Partner talk

  • Group discussion

  • Collaborative work and problem solving

  • Debate

  • Role play

  • Drama

  • Presentations

There are also opportunities for pupils to develop their oracy skills outside of the curriculum. This is achieved through pupil voice groups, year group productions, assemblies, visiting speakers, topic events and participation in local events.

Teaching and Learning – The National Framework

 We ensure all children are taught spoken language as outlined in the National Curriculum 2014.

Spoken language – Years 1 to 6

 Pupils should be taught to:

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers

  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge

  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary

  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions

  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings

  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments

  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas

  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English

  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates

  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)

  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others

  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication

 Notes & Guidance (Non-Statutory)

 These statements apply to all years. The content should be taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils. Pupils should build on the oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years. Pupils should be taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness of their communication across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. They should therefore have opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – in pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class. Pupils should understand how to take turns and when and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates. Teachers should also pay attention to increasing pupils’ vocabulary, ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts and a wider range of topics, and enhancing their knowledge about language as a whole. Pupils should receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening, not only to improve their knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at primary school, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond.

Oracy through the Curriculum

At Hindsford CE Primary School, oracy is developed through all areas of the curriculum. During all interactions, children are encouraged to verbally express themselves to the best of their ability, with staff modelling and encouraging the use of new vocabulary and accurate spoken language. In the very earliest stages in Reception, this takes the form of adults modelling speaking in full sentences and encouraging pupils to do so themselves. Children are explicitly taught what a good listener looks like and positive speaking and listening behaviours are praised. Children in Reception have daily opportunities for extended uninterrupted play which allows staff to have sustained time to play with and talk to children, reinforcing and extending their language use. Adults engage in frequent back and forth conversations with the children and the learning environment is set up to encourage children to talk to one another. Adults deliberately use and repeat new vocabulary and encourage the children to do so until it becomes embedded in their every day lexicon.

The Reading offer provided to pupils at Hindsford, through the books that they study in the English curriculum and the texts that are read to them during Story and Class Reader sessions, is deliberately designed to revisit and develop the vocabulary they are exposed to across the curriculum. In this way, pupils have a deeper understanding of this vocabulary and are more confident to use it in their speech.

During Reading practise sessions, children in Reception and Key Stage 1 engage in weekly Prosody lessons which are designed to develop their fluency and expression when reading aloud. Children in Key Stage 1 and 2 are given sentence stems to support both their spoken and written contributions which are gradually removed as the children become more proficient at using them spontaneously.

Across all age groups, teachers encourage pupils to build upon and extend their spoken contributions, through the use of open-ended questioning and an expectation that pupils make use of new and recently learnt vocabulary in their spoken answers. To support this, teachers use Working Walls  (in English, Maths and non-core subjects) to display vocabulary and to model correctly formed sentence constructions.

Children are given regular opportunities to present and read their final written pieces in English to their classmates. Units that have spoken language end products based on a wide range of poetry, scripts and debates are incorporated into the English Curriculum at Hindsford CE Primary School, allowing further opportunities for children to develop their oracy skills. Likewise, children have frequent opportunities to orally present and demonstrate their learning throughout the non-core curriculum, particularly at the end of their History and Computing units. In order to aid recall of previously learnt and new vocabulary, teachers provide learning overviews at the start of each unit of work and marking is used to reinforce the expectation that accurate language and terminology is used.

Impact

By the time they leave Hindsford CE Primary, we want all our pupils to be fluent speakers, who are equipped with the skills needed to operate in a range of situations. We want them to be able to express their thoughts and needs eloquently and have a sound grasp of the tier 2 vocabulary that they will meet as they enter their secondary education, ensuring success in their future learning.