Oracy

Our vision is to have oracy at the heart of learning in order to facilitate language-rich classrooms and talk-rich children. Through the explicit teaching of oracy we aim to develop the pupils’ language skills to help them find their voice whilst empowering them to speak effectively, express themselves confidently whilst listening and responding attentively.

We believe that the art of speaking well and listening well should be woven together throughout our lessons as we harness and guide the children to be eloquent and concise communicators. We value all contributions and believe that it is important that each voice is heard.

Within our school, we have a culture of trust and respect where children feel confident that their views will be valued and listened to and as a result find their voice. Speaking and listening is embedded in our broad and balanced curriculum to deepen subject knowledge through dialogue and exploration, each year building on previous learning. We highlight the importance of oracy in life-education, class worship and whole-school assemblies with an emphasis on children taking ownership and leading them. As well as being encouraged in daily Guided Talk sessions, children also enjoy public speaking in performances, poetry recitals and debating events.

We understand the importance of talking and listening not only in the classroom but beyond the school gates and in the community.  We strive to involve and educate parents in our goal to stretch and expand their vocabulary and narrow the word gap amongst our children.

As children move through the school our vision is that children flourish academically and socially using oracy skills. With a clear progression of skills mapped out, children will learn to convey knowledge cohesively, comment on matters, solve problems, voice their views and have the ability to explain their thinking.

 

A fundamental driver is the recognition that a language-rich vocabulary will help boost pupils’ life chances and equip them with tools to compete against more advantaged peers. The school is undertaking a whole-school approach to improve the oracy skills of teachers, working with Voice 21 so that staff can confidently model high-quality talk and expose learners to new words.

All classes employ Vocabulary Ladders which incorporate progressive Tier 2 Vocabulary alongside subject specific vocabulary. The Vocabulary Ladder also highlights and gives recognition to new language that children discover each day.

Classes display Discussion Guidelines in order to implement oracy within lessons. These clear set of guidelines ensure that discussion is focused whilst listening to the contributions of peers. It is our vision for children to use progressive Talk Tactics to come to build on and challenge ideas in a safe environment, understand others’ viewpoints and come to shared agreements.

 

Miss Brown is our oracy leader. She is currently studying with Voice 21 to become an advanced oracy practitioner and is a lead in the Voice Blackburn project. She also leads our very successful debating team, of which we have almost 40 children. Miss Brown joined us after a very successful, award winning career in journalism and trained with us here at Wensley Fold via School Direct.

Mr Simpson is our oracy consultant from Little Big Mouth,who works with us in school one day a week. He runs oracy workshops with the children and staff aiming to develop children’s love of the spoken word and develop their confidence in the delivery. He also helps school to run a very successful debating society and organises many inter school events such as the Blackburn with Darwen Debating League and Children’s University Public Speaking Competition. Mr Simpson joins us after an award winning career in acting which spanned 25 years prior to starting his own company-Little Big Mouth Drama.

We were pleased to be involved in Voice Blackburn starting Autumn 2020 in conjunction with Voice 21. Watch this space for more information.

Curriculum Overview and Skills Progression