“At the heart of good Oracy, is a classroom filled with opportunities for purposeful talk; where adults harness the power of words to stimulate children’s thinking through discussions, questioning, exploration and discovery.” Miss Selby, Oracy Leader
At Meadowbank, Oracy is the thread which ties together all aspects of teaching and learning from curriculum development, to implementation, to reflection across all subjects. Through this process we intend to equip children with ambitious vocabulary and skills which allow them to communicate with structure and clarity. Our curriculum is designed with the children’s interest at its heart, which creates instant links between learning in school and experiences from their wider environment; these links are the perfect foundation for children to develop their Oracy skills. As a result of this, our children are exposed to meaningful talk at every potential opportunity, so they will be able to communicate their thoughts, ideas and aspirations; ultimately preparing them for their future as life-long learners.
- To deepen understanding, make links between school education and the wider world and improve academic outcomes.
- To use Oracy skills as a means of developing, retaining and articulating ambitious, powerful vocabulary across all areas of the curriculum and life beyond primary school.
- To equip children with the skills and language to express themselves: including expressing their thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- For children to develop the verbal and non-verbal skills needed to communicate and work collaboratively, thus preparing them for new challenges, future education and employment and to flourish and become successful life-long learners.
The Oracy Leader has a strong understanding of the EYFS curriculum, and the seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in our Early Years Foundation Stage. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected, and the experiences, opportunities and activities which are planned enable children to develop a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundations for good future progress through school and life. Through high quality Oracy, children across school learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom, which has been planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable them to learn the skills needed to talk effectively. We believe spoken language to be essential in the development and achievement of our children across the curriculum. We strive to develop spoken language skills through the taught curriculum, the hidden curriculum, playtimes and lunchtimes, extra-curricular activities and the whole ethos of the school. The Oracy progression of skills, knowledge and vocabulary maps enable teachers to ensure they are always planning for the next steps in learning around the four key concepts: social and emotional, linguistic, cognitive and physical development.
Respectful and productive relationships between all who form part of the school community are crucial aspects of our oracy ethos. We place a high priority on supporting the development of good speaking and listening skills amongst our children. Correct spoken language and development of vocabulary is fundamental to learning. Speaking and listening play a large part in a child’s progress in all curriculum areas and teachers plan to develop these skills in a wide variety of ways. We aim to develop and encourage fluent speakers, with rich vocabulary, who are confident to operate in a wide range of situations.
The children play an integral role in developing a unique curriculum through discussion and questioning as well as using communication skills to drive their learning and understanding forward. As a means to support this effective communication we have developed Communication Roles, which the children use to scaffold their talk and create meaningful, structured conversation with others.
The class discussion guidelines and sentence stems, which have been developed with our children make them aware of the conventions of good discussion and allow them to regulate their own, leading to more productive speaking and listening and deeper thinking across the curriculum.
Learning Environment and Immersion
At the heart of good Oracy, is a classroom filled with opportunities for purposeful talk. Adults enjoy scaffolding skilful talk to encourage children’s excitement in questioning and exploration. In order for our children to become Life Long Learners, we ensure they have a plethora of purposeful opportunities and experiences which ultimately prepare them to become successful life-long learners. Children are immersed in a vocabulary rich environment and high quality texts and resources. These opportunities provide the foundation for discussion, debate and discovery. Oracy is a key driver, with children empowered to articulate their own ideas and lead their own discussions about their learning, and sharing their lines of enquiry.
Assessment for Learning
Oracy assessment is captured across the whole curriculum and through the use of the Oracy progression of skills and knowledge maps. The children’s curriculum planning journals; skills, knowledge and vocabulary maps, alongside their questions of enquiry and interests, are used to inform medium term planning and inform the learning undertaken across each half term. A sequence of learning and opportunities for discreet Oracy teaching is evident across each year groups half termly medium term planning and alongside the key concepts and ‘the big question’ constructed by the children. As learning experiences are also child led, it instils excitement and the perfect foundation for them to learn through communication and discussion and highlights of this are captured and evidenced through photos and videos. Children are given feedback throughout lessons and adults model and demonstrate social and emotional cues, linguistic skills, cognitive skills and the physical body language, so that children can adapt and make accelerated progress in becoming successful communicators.
Monitoring and review
The Oracy leader is responsible for the rigorous monitoring of this area of learning through planning looks, children’s agency, lesson pop-ins and whole school CPE. Ongoing analysis and discussion with teachers allows the Oracy leader to identify vulnerable groups, children targeted for accelerated progress and those who are expected to reach age related expectations by the end of the academic year. This approach allows the Oracy lead the opportunity to share feedback with teachers, in order for them to adapt the teaching and learning for specific target groups when planning for the future. Children’s voice and agency is valued highly when reviewing the offer and learning opportunities we provide for Oracy. Children are empowered to share and reflect on their experiences through the class Learning Journals, individual books and concept maps. Through the use of these tools children are able to make links and articulate how Oracy is a key aspect of their learning and experiences across our whole curriculum.