At St Mary’s, we value oracy as a key life skill, and are dedicated to ensure our children and their voices are prepared for life beyond the school gates. We believe talk is a vehicle for success not only academically but also for the world of work too. Talk not only supports children with writing, reading and maths but also every subject across the curriculum. At our school, we want children to experience high quality oracy opportunities that enable them to become fantastic communicators. We hope by becoming fantastic communicators, children’s mental health is supported too. We feel that a worry shared is a worry halved.
In order for our children to develop eloquent oracy skills, we implement the following.
1. Mini Missions to begin with a launch.
2. Children to stand up and answer questions in a full sentence.
3. Questioning to be key to learning: asking open questions, allowing children thinking time, following up answers with a question to deepen understanding and allowing children to ask questions too. We aim to hear the children’s voices just as much as our own.
4. An ethos of respect in the classroom. Children to look at the speaker.
5. Language is modelled and corrected where necessary by an adult.
6. ‘Sentence stems’ used by the children (For example, Can you elaborate? Do you all agree?)
7. Speaker categories used. Children to aim for ‘Spectacular Speaker’.
8. Oracy activities weaved into learning.
9. Once a week, children engage in a hat debate - this is a time to develop children’s use of sentence stems.
10. Each classroom has an oracy display, with space for a hat debate area.
11. ‘Oracy Champion’ certificates can be earnt each week.
12. New vocabulary discussed in class is displayed on Mini Mission walls.
13. We have Chatter Tuesday’s weekly to support talk at home.
Through the continuous development of oracy, whilst children are at school and home, we hope that children leave St Mary’s as eloquent speakers, attentive listeners and critical thinkers, who are not afraid to ask or answer questions.