Speaking and Listening
Oracy / Speaking and Listening at Warmsworth Primary School
At Warmsworth Primary School our principal aim is to ensure that all our children become valuable 21st Century citizens and can use a range of skills that oracy supports and develops. Oracy allows us to develop our social and emotional skills, which in turn allows our children to become confident, self-aware and resilient individuals.
We strive to ensure that our children can speak confidently, with enthusiasm and show empathy as active listeners. Our aim is to develop our children to be confident young people that can communicate effectively and passionately in any situation.
At Warmsworth Primary School, we provide opportunities to share ideas, communicate, develop language through rich vocabulary and co-operative skills to enable our children to develop critical thinking skills, to reason and reflect. This allows our children to be able to make decisions through sharing their ideas, working with others and understanding that it is important to listen to ideas that are not their own.
At Warmsworth Primary School, we provide children with an abundance of stimulating opportunities to engage with language and vocabulary through all curriculum areas and collaborative learning strategies.
Teachers model correct vocabulary and grammar and provide opportunities for pupils to practise speaking in a range of contexts. We support the development of oracy in our children through sentence stems and the introduction of new vocabulary. Each oracy skill is built upon year on year.
The collaborative learning strategies and structures we employ encourage effective co-operation and communication across the curriculum and teaches children to become both negotiators and empathetic listeners. All our children are encouraged to communicate with their peers and share their ideas. We encourage our children to take risks by sharing their opinions and explain their thinking to create debate and conversation; children have opportunities to share their learning with a wider audience through class presentations etc.
To ensure that children can make progress and become good communicators, we develop a scheme of learning which is based on a specific topic or text so that children can develop and embed their vocabulary around each subject/topic; providing the children with opportunities to use the key vocabulary ensures they understand the meaning and how to use it. The scheme of work and progression of skills act like a building blocks allowing children to build upon the skills from the previous year and enhance these skills and have the opportunities to use them in different experiences.
The earliest stage of speaking and listening begins in Early Years Foundation Stage 1 where our children are immersed in early language, encouraged to use their voices and listen to their peers.
As our children enter Early Years Foundation Stage 2, they build upon the vocabulary they know and are exposed to an environment that is rich in language. Children are encouraged and taught how to be collaborative, share thoughts and ideas which can be built upon with explanation. Our indoor and outdoor provision provides immense opportunities for a wide variety of vocabulary and discussion to take place; here children will hear adults model grammatically correct sentences and adults will question children to extend their thoughts and ideas.
The staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage closely monitor and baseline each child’s speech and language skills to highlight any gaps or concerns. We employ various interventions to support oracy from the moment that children begin their learning journey with us. Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) is used to assess children at the start of Foundation Stage and focuses on their language and comprehension.
We monitor progress and provide interventions both internally and through external agencies to ensure all children meet their full potential.
We encourage a partnership with parents to actively speak to their children as this is extremely important when developing children’s vocabulary and speaking skills.
Warmsworth Primary School continues to take part in the Cambridge Oracy Programme (led through the Doncaster Challenge Partner’s Hub) where good practice and future development ideas are shared and developed.
Training has been delivered to staff through staff professional learning meetings where progression of skills and schemes of work have been shared. The assessment tool has been developed and shared in staff meetings. Foundation staff have had training in delivering NELI and are able to assess children and deliver a tailor made version of the 20-week programme successfully and with confidence. Training and development of Kagan strategies and structure is refreshed in phase meetings and through drop ins for staff that wish to develop themselves further.
At Warmsworth Primary School, we pride ourselves on the support we give all of our children to develop their oracy, particularly that of our SEN and EAL children to enable them to develop their speech and language skills. This continued support ensures that the majority of children make good or better progress from their starting points and leave our school with the necessary oracy skills to support their next stage of education and beyond.
On leaving our school at the end of Key Stage 2, our children can speak confidently, with clarity and enthusiasm. Our children are observed to talk confidently with one another in their Kagan pairs and groups, demonstrating skills of turn taking, asking questions, using high level, key vocabulary and active listening.
Our children are able to show empathy towards others and their ideas and views. They encourage each other through coaching, listening and asking questions to develop thinking. Our children are observed to show empathy as active listeners, when listening to their peers and staff members. They are friendly and polite to visitors and their peers.
Our children are encouraged to ask questions, to push their thinking and ideas through conversation and debate. They are encouraged to have the confidence and tools to express their ideas and understand that everyone’s voice is important and ultimately become valuable citizens of the 21st Century.