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Oracy at Prince Rock

Oracy at Prince Rock

We aim to:


  • Give all children a voice.
  • Develop their ability to converse through high quality dialogue (back and forth)
  • Enable children to articulate what they know and understand
  • Enable children develop their knowledge across all subject, using the vocabulary they need to support learning
  • Enable children to share their thoughts, opinions and ideas with clarity and confidence
  • Put oracy at the centre of our curriculum and embed skills across all subjects
  • Develop children’s physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional skills.
  • Offer staff regular CPD in order to provide up to date knowledge and the required skillset to support children with their oracy skills.
  • Support children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
  • Provide environments that are conducive to good speaking, listening and communication.


In direct reference to National Curriculum and Ofsted expectations, we will ensure that:


  • Listen And Respond Appropriately To Adults And Their Peers
  • Ask Relevant Questions To Extend Their Understanding And Knowledge
  • Use Relevant Strategies To Build Their Vocabulary
  • Articulate And Justify Answers, Arguments And Opinions
  • Give Well-Structured Descriptions, Explanations And Narratives For Different Purposes, Including For Expressing Feelings
  • Maintain Attention And Participate Actively In Collaborative Conversations, Staying On Topic And Initiating And Responding To Comments
  • Use Spoken Language To Develop Understanding Through Speculating, Hypothesising, Imagining And Exploring Ideas
  • Speak Audibly And Fluently With An Increasing Command Of Standard English
  • Participate In Discussions, Presentations, Performances, Role Play, Improvisations And Debates
  • Gain, Maintain And Monitor The Interest Of The Listener(S)
  • Consider And Evaluate Different Viewpoints, Attending To And Building On The Contributions Of Others Select And Use Appropriate Registers For Effective Communication.


Intent of Speaking and Listening


In our school we endeavour to combat a language and vocabulary effecting the cultural capital of our children. We seek opportunities to develop the Oracy skills of our pupils and increase the potential for improving their knowledge of speaking and listening.


We intend for pupils to:

  • Be articulate speakers and good responsive listeners in a variety of situations.
  • Evaluate their own and others’ contributions through a range of drama activities.
  • Develop abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used.
  • Enjoy using language in different contexts and have the confidence and ability to do so.


Implementation of Speaking and Listening

In our English lessons, teaching through books embraces the children developing and using their speaking and listening skills. We do this in a range of ways:


  • Stories, songs and poems
  • Reading aloud
  • Telling learnt stories
  • Imaginative play and role play
  • Describing events, observations and experiences
  • Hot seating
  • Drama
  • Giving reasons for actions
  • Explaining ideas and opinions in discussion
  • Reflecting and responding to others
  • Planning for writing
  • Predicting and investigating in small groups
  • Presentation to different audiences



Teaching of Oracy

At Prince Rock, we aim to ensure the children at our school are exposed to high-quality, language rich talk through explicit teaching and dialogue with adults and peers. In order to support these, we use a range of interactions to engage, scaffold and extend:


  • Thinking out loud and modelling new language (in multiple contexts) for children
  • Paying close attention to what the children say and answering
  • Rephrasing and extending what the children say to clarify points
  • Providing models of accurate grammar (in particular past tenses and plurals)
  • Validating the children’s attempts at using new vocabulary and grammar by rephrasing what children say if necessary
  • Asking a range of closed and open questions
  • Explaining why things happen using accurate language linked to the subject area
  • Deliberately connecting current and past events which are familiar to them
  • Extending children’s vocabulary and explaining new words
  • Building on their newly acquired words and making connections through word associations, synonyms and antonyms
  • Connecting one idea or action to another to build links
  • Helping children to articulate ideas in well-formed sentences through opportunities to practise with peers and adults


When children are introduced to new vocabulary, they are provided with opportunities to gather these words through whole class word banks and complete ‘word fields’ to further extend. Working word walls and banks allow for key language to be revisited, discussed and built upon in subsequent lessons.


For example:

Park – grass, habitats, insects, wildlife, environment, flowers, pollination, spacious


In order to support speaking and listening skills, we use talk rules to support the children with their understanding of what good listening looks like, how to talk to a partner or in a small group and how to share thoughts within a larger group. We focus on developing 9 talk moves which are in line with Voice 21 and are as follows:


Each term, a class will focus on developing their talk skills through the use of groupings in order to gradually develop their ability to communicate effectively and in a range of ways.










Pairs / Trios



Pairs / Trios
























Curriculum Progression

The intention of our oracy curriculum is to support the oracy development of children in all subjects and areas of learning. The skills are applicable whichever subject you teach. To be secure with the understanding of subject content, it is important that pupils are able to talk about what they are learning and use talk as a tool to develop their understanding. Within each English unit, an oracy objective will be provided and the children will develop their oracy skills linked to this and their needs. Below is a table of progression for the primary age range.


Year group

Strand of Oracy




Social and Emotional

EYFS Nursery Birth to Three

Watch someone's face as they talk. Try to copy adult's speech and lip movement. Copy your gestures and words. Use the speech sounds p, b, m, w.

Use intonation, pitch and change in volume when talking.
To babble, use single words during play.

Start to develop conversation, often jumping from topic to topic. Develop pretend play. (Blank Level 1 and 2)

Start to say how they are feeling using words as well as actions.


Three- and Four-Year olds

To be able to produce voice in order to articulate words.

To build up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences.

To use talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences. (Blank Level 3)

Use talk to organise themselves and their play e.g. let's go on the bus, you sit there and i'll be the driver.
To start a conversation with an adult or a friend and continue it for many turns.

EYFS Early Learning Goal

To use intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others.

To be able to put 4 to 6 words together to make a sentence, with some immaturities (e.g. me want more juice)

Be able to express a point of view and debate when they disagree with an adult or a friend, using words as well as actions.

To be able to follow verbal directions/instructions without being shown.

Year 1

To speak audibly so they can be heard and understood


To use a range of sentence types


To recognise when they haven’t understood something and ask a question to help with this


To take turns to talk, listen and respond appropriately in two-way conversations


To use gestures and non-verbal skills to support meaning

To use sentences containing an increasing complex vocabulary of adjectives, prepositions, verbs and conjunctions

To increasingly use the language of opinion and argument

To listen to others and be willing to change their mind

Year 2

To use speech that is consistently clear and easy to understand


To use vocabulary appropriate to the topic at hand


To ask questions to find out more about a subject


To take turns to talk, listen and respond appropriately in groups


To use the appropriate tone of voice

To use sentence stems to signal when they are building on or challenging others’ ideas

To offer reasons for their opinions

To adapt ideas, suggestions and opinions based on what they have heard

Year 3

To consider position and posture when addressing others

To make precise language choices and use specialist vocabulary to convey meaning


To present somebody else’s point of view


To speak with confidence when addressing a group/specific audience


To deliberately vary tone of voice in order to convey meaning

To show understanding by rephrasing the language of others

To summarise key points from discussion

To invite those who have not spoken in to a discussion

Year 4

To develop fluency in presentation or when offering a response

To use complex grammar and sentences effectively to communicate in different ways to clarify, summarise, explain choices and plan

To reflect on their own oracy skills


To maintain discussion by making relevant comments of by asking questions


To use pauses for effect in presentational talk

To infer meanings, reasons and make predictions using supporting evidence

To consider the impact of their words on others when giving feedback

Year 5

To project their voice to a large audience


To use language demonstrating a deeper empathy and understanding with fluency and accuracy

To draw on knowledge of the world to support their own point of view and explore different perspectives


To listen for extended periods and then summarise and recount ideas


To interpret more subtle, non-verbal communication and adjusts language accordingly

To show increased competence at expressing opinions

To argue their position with well-structured logical reasoning

To demonstrate increased awareness of the listener’s needs

Year 6

To speak fluently in front of an audience


To vary sentence structures and length for effect when speaking


To construct a detailed argument or complex narrative, also seeing things from a different perspective


To use humour appropriately and effectively


To have confidence and an evolving idea of stage presence


To be comfortable using idiom and expressions accurately and appropriately

To spontaneously respond to increasingly complex questions, citing evidence where appropriate


To be able to read to a group and respond accordingly e.g. if everyone looks disengaged, moving on or changing topic, or if people look confused stopping to take questions

To consciously adapt tone, pace and volume of voice


Monitoring of Oracy





Book monitoring

  • Evidence of support tools to support and challenge (i.e. sentence stems/vocabulary banks)
  • Evidence of oracy-based tasks to support development of skills

English & Assessment Team

Monitoring of Oracy assessments

Monitoring of progression (teachers to highlight skills completed)

Monitoring of planning

Monitoring of groupings

Sharing of best practice

Lesson observations – show use of talk moves and talk rules


Ongoing formative assessment

Progression grid highlighted to show coverage of strands

Oracy objectives added to English units

Completion of groupings each term

Display talk moves and groupings poster

Summative assessment points (three times a year)

Modelling of quality teaching and speaking and communication skills (as outlined above)


Modelling of quality teaching and speaking and communication skills (as outlined above) inside and outside of the classroom and when completing interventions.


Assessment of Oracy

Oracy assessed using both formative and summative assessment strategies. Assessment for learning is used throughout individual lessons to inform future planning and to identify elements that need to be addressed at later points.


Within each term, children are assessed using the table of progression above. The skills for each year group are assessed, however if pupils are working below their year group, previous year group skills are used. A ‘Rag Rating’ is given against each strand of the Key Performance Indicators, under the headings of: Physical, Linguistic, Cognitive, Social & Emotional.


Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)

During the first several weeks of reception, children are assessed and identified by a language screening programme (Language Screen). Using this information, children which children are in greatest need of targeted language support will be targeted and receive intervention with a trained teaching assistant. NELI is designed for children aged 4-5 years and combines small group work with one-to-one sessions delivered by trained teaching assistants, targeting vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening and phonological awareness. At Prince Rock, we focus on small group sessions which are tailored to the needs of the children. Following the completion of NELI, children complete an exit assessment. If appropriate, NELI will also be completed in Y1 for those children who are at risk of falling behind.


Blank Level Questioning

At the beginning of the school journey, children in the EYFS are also assessed using Blank Level Questioning in order to ascertain their ability to understand simple to abstract questions. Once this is completed, high quality teaching and planning ensures children develop their ability to progress within the levels.



If a parent or member of staff have a concern about a child's speaking, listening or communication skills or progress, a meeting will be set up to discuss these concerns. Sometimes, it is necessary for a member of the SEND team to also become involved. The SEND team is led by the Pastoral Assistant/INCo and is supported by the SENCo and FLO (Family Liaison Officer). The whole team is also supported by the SEND Governor. 


Once initial concerns are shared and discussed any additional support is planned and put in place. This will often be a short-term target intervention to begin with and a graduated response will be put in place supported by a robust assess, plan, do and review cycle. If further support is required at a more specialist level, beyond the level of a targeted intervention then referrals to outside agencies can be discussed and actioned. This would include a potential referral to a Speech and Language Therapist, Communication Interaction Team or an Educational Psychologist.


The class teacher is always the first stop for any support that is additional to or different from that of the other children. Their responsibilities would include:

  • Identifying, planning, delivering and managing any additional help a child may need.
  • Writing pupil progress targets/Individual Education plan targets and reviewing these once a term.
  • Liaising with the SEN team to ensure targets and support are appropriate and achievable.


  • Prince Rock Parliament
  • GD Reading club – opportunities to discuss books that have been read and opinions
  • Singing club – project voice, expression, perform
  • Plays – performance, drama
  • Assemblies – Speak to an audience, read aloud, poetry performance
  • LAT links – meet pupils and adults from other settings