At St Paul’s CE Primary, oracy and vocabulary are woven into every part of school life. In building their skills in this area, we are preparing children for their adult life, where they will engage with a range of people in different positions and in their future employment. Through a range of tasks, in a range of subject areas, students will learn to talk confidently and clearly, heard and understood by all.
Children are given scenarios and talking points which allows them to think methodically and structure their answers to prove their points. Stem sentences, on display throughout the school, allow children the first step in answering throughout all lessons, other situations and in more detailed oracy arguments. It is our aim that all children are given the very best opportunities, regardless of their personal characteristics or experiences, as they prepare for their futures. Oracy at our school incorporates opportunities for children to apply, strengthen and deepen their competence in other curriculum areas, including English, mathematics, science, geography and history. One of the main aims is that oracy and vocabulary perfects children’s discussion and development of presentation skills, allowing children to make and justify their choices, express opinions and develop a sense of individual achievement, while sharing their learning with each other and learning from one another. This includes building upon, agreeing and disagreeing, offering non-verbal gestures, becoming confident in their own points and reflecting on what others’ say when forming their own responses.
Through a variety of games and activities planned into subjects across the curriculum, children are taught how to structure their sentences, use intonation, apply the correct volume and address a crowd of a range of sizes. The pupil voice and leadership group, Oracy Oracles, model their own oracy and comment on the oracy of their peers to give them constructive and child-friendly feedback. Walkarounds involving the Oracles allow the Oracy Lead and teachers to see what the children see as attainable targets.
Following the children’s involvement in an externally-led debate program, children are taught games, suited to their age, to develop their skills of thinking quickly, structuring ideas and building upon the ideas of their peers.
The leader of this subject follows CPD provided by the Local Authority, as well as the books and training of Alex Quigley, to identify ways to improve the teaching of oracy and vocabulary. Key vocabulary has been identified in each subject area by subject leaders and, after training from the Oracy and Vocabulary lead categorised into tiers identifying the key words children need to be taught. Mrs Wordsmith lessons directly target tier 2 words which children come across regularly in their reading but are not subject specific. Encouraging the use of technical vocabulary, from the content in knowledge organisers, planning and flip charts, during discussion opportunities directly enhance oracy.
All staff will praise, encourage and support improvement in oracy, both verbally and through the use of non-verbal cues.
Children will have clear enjoyment and confidence talking and presenting on a range of subjects. Through carefully planned and implemented learning activities, pupils will develop the vocabulary, performance and practical expertise needed to undertake everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in a world where they will have to promote themselves and their skills. As confident orators, children will develop skills they can use beyond primary school and into adulthood. Pupils will become critical thinkers who apply the collaborative and reflective approach to outcomes in all areas of the curriculum and everyday life.
Pupil’s skills and knowledge, when assessed by the class teacher as part of an ongoing process, throughout lessons, will show that they build on previous knowledge and experiences.
Teachers baseline children at the start of the year using a ‘RAG’ scale that is updated at the end of every term. Careful questioning and planning of child-led discussions will support the Oracy and Vocabulary leader in measuring impact and will enable the class teacher and curriculum lead to measure impact and adapt planning, overviews and support where necessary.