Oracy and “Points of view”

Language development and vocabulary “float on a sea of talk.”

 

At Woodlands Primary School we have identified that “closing the vocabulary gap”, meaningful, quality talk and the ability to communicate effectively are key to maximising our pupils’ current learning success in reading and across all curriculum areas.

 

Oracy is a crucial life skill for ongoing education, future employment, maintaining positive relationships and building cultural capital:

 

“The complete sentence is the battering ram that knocks down the door to college.”

(Doug Lemov)

 

Oracy is fundamental to the progress and attainment of all children irrespective of background. Talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our children learn.

 

We have created a bespoke format- “Points of View”– to address the need to close gaps in our children’s vocabulary and to supercharge their wider conversational/communication skills. “Points of View” are planned sessions involving discussion, debate and a range of language games and other multi-sensory activities, with a focus on enriching talk through the entire Woodlands curriculum.

 

Our vision is to become a talk “rich” school and to elevate talk in all aspects of school life.

 

We will furnish our pupils with fundamental skills which enable them to listen carefully and actively, to speak confidently and articulately, and to have the means to challenge opposing viewpoints respectfully.

 

Initially, “Points of View” will be taught by a specialist to our EYFS and KS1 classes, with the intention that it will become embedded across the school, starting with an introductory whole school assembly to light the spark.

 

Positive social cues from peers help pupils feel more validated, motivated and successful because they know their words are important. Positive and respectful peer acceptance and response is crucial to building self-esteem as pro social cues develop pupils’ sense of identity and inclusion.

 

We display and continuously refer to age and stage appropriate talk scaffolds in every class, and model them effectively:

 

 

Our pupils are specifically taught “ABC” gestures and phrases, and enjoy using them:

 

Our Woodlands curriculum enables children to engage in both exploratory talk (the talk we use to explore and develop our thinking) and presentational talk (the talk we use with an audience to explain, inform or persuade).

 

We use the “Voice 21” four-strand framework (physical, linguistic, cognitive and social & emotional) to underpin our teaching/learning and to help our children to understand what good talk and listening “look like” as they progress through our school.

 

“Language opens doors. It unlocks the world of reading and the imagination, the excitement of writing, the capacity to explore new subjects and releases our potential to learn and grow as an individual.”

(Oxford Language Report)

 

We believe that, done expertly, oracy can permeate pupils’ lives, both within and beyond the school gates. This has enormous potential for closing vocabulary and reading gaps, and for addressing and lessening socio-economic disadvantages.

 

We recognise that society needs citizens who can engage thoughtfully and actively in the democratic process and to be vocal within their communities.

 

At the heart of our “Points of View” curriculum venture, and our whole school Oracy and Vocabulary enrichment projects,  lies our commitment to send into the world pupils who are informed, articulate and empowered.

 

We want our children to feel valued and to have a voice that matters and is heard.