Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a vital tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them.
At Gossey Lane, 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. Children are taught how to be effective communicators through oracy projects that feature skills such as storytelling, debating and presenting. Good oracy skills support wider literacy skills; improvement in oracy is also linked to improvements in reading, writing, and overall attainment.
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 pupils. 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.
We focus our development of pupils’ oracy on the four key strands of the oracy framework, as identified by Voice 21:
Physical- The physical aspects of talk- ensuring we speak in an appropriate volume, pace and tone; as well as knowing when and how to vary these for effect. As well as this, we focus on how body language, facial expressions, eye contact and gestures can convey meaning when we talk.
Linguistic- Ensuring appropriate vocabulary to enable us to talk like an expert. This includes being aware of the appropriate formality, taking into account who the audience are and what the talk is about.
Cognitive- The thought processes behind talk. This includes carefully selecting content to suit the audience and purpose of talk, developing detail in presenting opinions and also structuring talk for effect. We also explore how to ensure we are actively listening- demonstrated through the ability to stay focused when we are speaking and listening as well as the ability to summarise and clarify what other speakers have said.
Social and Emotional- We develop awareness of how to interact with a range of different audiences. This includes the ability to adapt talk based on who the audience is, as well as being confident for a range of audiences. In terms of discussion, we focus on ensuring active listening and appropriate responses to others, as well as the importance on turn-taking.