At Hovingham we understand the importance for our pupils to improve their levels of oracy. So much in life depends on being a good communicator, so it’s vital that our pupils learn the importance of oracy from a young age.
At Hovingham, purposeful talk is used to drive forward learning, talk in classrooms that has a clear aim is modelled and scaffolded to enable all learners to develop the skills they need to talk effectively.
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.
Our oracy intent 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. We aim to ensure 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 vocabulary; for children to think carefully about the language they’re using, and tailor it to their subject, purpose and audience.
All pupils are expected to speak in full sentences using Standard English with sentence stems modelled to support them. These approaches underpin learning in a way that enables pupils to reinforce and build upon prior learning, make connections and develop subject specific language.
Our intentions in oracy are for pupils to:
- listen carefully and attentively in a range of contexts
- use oracy to exploratory talk in order to learn
- speak clearly and confidently using Standard English using the right register for the occasion
- use of sentence stems to support answers
- speak and answer questions in complete sentences
- elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas
- ask questions to check understanding, challenge others and build on their ideas respectfully
- use taught and target vocabulary plan and make well-structured presentations and demonstrations to others in a range of contexts
Oracy is implemented through questions which are planned, peer conversations which are modelled and scaffolded and effective teacher talk skilfully used to develop thinking.
In lessons teachers use our learning tools to support and develop oracy by considering how opportunities for speaking and listening can be maximised.
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. Our oracy curriculum map ensures that pupils have an opportunity to practise a variety of types of talk and practise the skills needed for different oracy outcomes:
- exploratory talk
- recitation 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 talk throughout our overarching curriculum and subjects, 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. Curriculum, attended by parents and other classes.
- 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 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
- Respond appropriately to what others say, challenge each other’s opinions and develop their own reasoned arguments
- Be open-minded, value the contribution of others and take account of their views
- Appreciate the diversity of languages, dialects and accents in the school
- Consider the impact of their words on others when giving feedback
- Share their learning in an engaging, informative way through formal presentations.