Talk is the sea in which all else floats” James Britton

Oracy is at the core of all that we do at Huntingdon Academy. Simply, oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a vital tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. We see our oracy curriculum as not only the key to developing children as communicators, but also a pedagogical vehicle for delivering our highly effective curriculum.

Oracy is…

  • Engaging with others ideas
  • Reasoning together
  • Listening to understand
  • Changing people’s minds
  • Telling compelling stories
  • Developing arguments
  • Expressing yourself
  • Speaking up for what you believe in

Oracy Summary

At Huntingdon, we believe spoken language to be essential in the development and achievement of our children across the curriculum. We strive to develop spoken language skills through the taught curriculum, the hidden curriculum, playtimes and lunchtimes, extra-curricular activities and the whole ethos of the school. Children are taught how to be effective communicators through oracy projects that feature skills such as storytelling, debating and presenting. Good oracy skills support wider literacy skills; improvement in oracy is also linked to improvements in reading, writing, and overall attainment. 

Respectful and productive relationships between all who form part of the school community are crucial aspects of our oracy ethos. We place a high priority on supporting the development of good speaking and listening skills amongst our pupils. Correct spoken language and development of vocabulary is fundamental to learning. Speaking and listening play a large part in a child’s progress in all curriculum areas and teachers plan to develop these skills in a wide variety of ways. We aim to develop and encourage fluent speakers, with rich vocabulary, who are confident to operate in a wide range of situations.  

Oracy Framework

As a Voice 21 Oracy National Hub School with utilised the oracy framework to ensure all pupils develop their skills in all 4 areas of oracy.

Understanding oracy – Voice 21
Voice 21 – Oracy Framework

Skills within this framework are woven throughout all subjects within our curriculum and opportunities for both exploratory and presentational talk are planned for explicitly. Lessons are talk-rich and opportunities for partner and group talk are carefully built into each lesson plan. Teachers use targeted questioning and assessment for learning tools, which ensure all children are able to fully participate and every voice is valued. Subject specific vocabulary is provided in lesson plans in order to support children in working on collaborative projects, group discussion and debate or oral presentations. Every classroom also promotes subject-specific vocabulary acquisition through displaying key vocabulary on working walls and actively encouraging children to use these key words in their verbal communication.

A range of purposeful opportunities are used across the curriculum to encourage learning through talk and learning to talk including:

  • Presentations
  • Discussions
  • Hot Seating
  • Exploring a Text through Performance
  • Oral Fluency Tests in reading and book reviews
  • Collaborative discussions around maths reasoning
  • Debates
  • Group and Partner Work
  • Role Play

This approach is embedded and expected in every lesson at Huntingdon Academy.

Oracy Progression

In order to plan effectively for progression, staff at Huntingdon use Year group progression maps for each of the strands.

Progression Map Example