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Oracy / Speaking and Listening:




At Chalfont St. Giles Village School, we want our pupils to have a strong command of the spoken and written word, whilst developing a love of literature. We want to develop their abilities to use language to think, explore, organise and communicate significant meanings thus enabling them to achieve their potential and develop self-esteem.


In this school, pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and practise taught literacy skills. We will:


  • Enable pupils to be taught in all subjects to express themselves correctly and appropriately
  • Enable pupils to communicate accurately, with understanding and enjoyment
  • Enable pupils to recognise the close relationship between spoken language, reading and writing
  • Provide pupils with learning opportunities which integrate spoken language, reading and writing activities
  • Provide real contexts for language learning in English and across the curriculum
  • Encourage pupils to have an interest in words, their meaning, and a growing vocabulary. This interest extends to the technical and specialist vocabulary of all subjects.
  • Develop the thinking skills of pupils to help them on the path to becoming reflective, independent learners
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to use ICT to facilitate and extend their learning in spoken language, reading and writing
  • Recognise the importance of having a consistent view of language learning across the wider curriculum


Children’s ability to speak and listen is fundamental to their language development, learning in school and social development. Talk underpins learning and thinking. Richness and variety of talk is important for all children.




Direct teaching of oracy skills is fostered at our school to enable our children to develop confidence and a repertoire of talk for different purposes and audiences. Links between oral and written language are encouraged and built on across the curriculum. We use a wide range of resources to support our work and train our staff to develop our oracy approach. This includes using Voice 21resources and training.


We aim to enable pupils to:


  • Be confident when sharing their ideas
  • Enjoy playing with patterns of words
  • Enjoy talking as part of their play and learning
  • Communicate effectively by speaking and listening with increasing confidence, clarity and fluency
  • Speak appropriately in a variety of settings for a range of audiences
  • Develop a wide range of speaking skills on increasingly complex subjects
  • Think carefully and organise thinking before speaking
  • Respond sensitively and reflectively to what has been heard
  • Reflect on their talk


We ensure that pupils’ oracy skills play a significant part in their learning. We provide children with role play, real life situations, collaborative and problem solving opportunities to develop these skills.


Pupils will also be taught knowledge, skills and understanding through a wide range of activities, contacts and purposes including:


  • Speaking for different audiences which includes friends, class, teachers and other adults in the school
  • Listening and responding, both in face-to-face situations and to broadcast or taped material
  • Discussion and group interaction, in settings with different numbers of participants and different levels of formality
  • Speaking with talking partners, to create and clarify ideas
  • Drama activities, including improvisation and working in role, as well as writing and performing scripted drama


In the Foundation Stage the children work towards the Early Learning Goal for Communication and Language with its three aspects of listening and attention, understanding and speaking. The National Curriculum guidance for Speaking and listening in key stages 1 and 2 has been adapted and is included in our termly planning for literacy. Specific literacy and cross curricular activities may include:


  • Speaking and listening as a focus for teaching where particular oral skills are being taught, although the subject matter may be related to any part of the curriculum
  • Curricular areas other than English may be the teaching focus but may be organised to help children reinforce oracy skills, e.g. investigating, evaluating and reporting work.


We ensure that our children become confident, successful young people because of our commitment to the use of talking within the learning process. Children throughout their learning use talk partners, group work and whole class work to share ideas and develop their thinking. Role play, drama, discussion, debate, presentation and decision making play a significant part in the learning process. Within drama we encourage pupils to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles whilst also responding appropriately to others’ in role. In history the children will re-create scenes from the past and then brainstorm feelings and phrases that the characters may have said. In science the children have to plan an investigation with their group and decide what resources they will need. In maths pairs of children will discuss which is the best method for solving a problem and then share this with the whole class. This talk for learning supports the children’s thinking and enables them to learn from each other and structure their ideas.


In English lessons we use talk for writing strategies to encourage all of the children to verbalise their ideas before they write. For example, children throughout the school, within guided group work, might talk through shared story maps or make class word and phrase banks. This ensures that they have used the vocabulary and verbalised their ideas so that they are then confident to commit their ideas to paper. From Nursery to Year 6 we model quality talk for learning and for writing, and through guided work ensure all of our children become successful users of language and who are able to express themselves clearly and communicate effectively.




We regularly collate pupil voice to ensure our curriculum meets the needs of the children. As a result, children are exposed to a varied menu of experiences for a range of audiences and purposes, with high quality models. Through pupil interviews about the wider curriculum, children can articulate what they know and remember. They are confident and able speakers and can listen carefully in order to develop their thinking and ideas.

To measure the impact of our oracy curriculum, we regularly use pupils’ books to capture an insight into the impact on writing. Pupils’ work demonstrates the effectiveness of the curriculum where age-appropriate taught phrases and modelled strategies are developed over a sequence of lessons.