September 2016 saw the launch of our new Oracy curriculum at Kings’ Forest School. Each week, classes are taught particular skills to improve their oracy skills individually, in pairs and in group situations.

Our aim is to enable the children improve their levels of oracy so that all pupils are able to communicate effectively and confidently in front of any type of audience.  These skills are being encouraged in every area of our curriculum as good communication skills can enhance every type of learning. The children are encouraged to explore ideas through talk; challenge each other’s opinions and develop their own reasoned arguments, as well as talking in full sentences with a clear and confident voice.

The four key strands of the curriculum cover:

  • Physical aspects – how we use our voice and body to communicate
  • Linguistic aspects – how we structure what we say and choose appropriate vocabulary
  • Cognitive aspects – staying focused whilst speaking and when listening to others, asking appropriate questions and explaining opinions using reasons
  • Social & emotional aspects – working with others, listening and responding, increasing confidence

Over the year, children will undertake a number of different projects in order to develop a whole range of oracy skills:

  • In terms 1 and 2 the children focus on their understanding of what skills are needed to develop excellent oracy, including confidence building activities and the opportunity to speak in front of different group sizes.
  • In terms 2 and 3 the children prepare an individual presentation in which they will focus on the language of explaining and evaluating a topic which is pertinent to their class topic.
  • In terms 4 and 5 the children explore performance poetry and develop a range of skills linked to this and other drama activities.

In term 2, we celebrate the importance of oracy by having a ‘pens down day’ where writing is banned for the whole day! Instead, children explore a plethora of other ways in which to keep a record of their work and quickly realise the importance of clear and concise verbal communication.

The oracy curriculum is having a very positive impact so far; children and staff are much more aware of their spoken literacy and children are growing in confidence with speaking in front of big groups – especially in our weekly Pride of Kings’ Forest assemblies in which each child receiving an award is asked to speak in front of n tony the whole school, but all of the parents and friends who have come in to celebrate their success! An amazing achievement!

How can you help at home?
•    Encourage your child to speak in full sentences.
•    Encourage your child to give reasons for their choices.
•    Encourage your child to explain something to you as accurately as possible (the rules for a game, how to make a sandwich, how to solve a sum)
•    Encourage your child to read out loud using a confident voice and volume.
•    Encourage your child to make eye contact when they are talking.