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What is Oracy?


Oracy means, in its simplest form, the ability to speak well.


Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. It is to speaking what numeracy is to mathematics or literacy to reading and writing.  In short, it’s nothing more than being able to express yourself well. It’s about having the vocabulary to say what you want to say and the ability to structure your thoughts so that they make sense to others.

Oracy at Shirley Manor


We are still at the beginning of our Oracy journey at SMPA, but it promises to be an exciting and worthwhile one!  Our main focus is VOCABULARY - we want to improve the range of words all our children use, especially when using subject specific vocabulary in curriculum lessons.


How will we do this?


We are developing the use of Dialogic Teaching, which means using talk more effectively in lessons, for our teaching and learning. It involves ongoing talk between adults and children, rather than just teacher talk. It is proven to engage children more in their learning, by working together and not being afraid of making mistakes.


All teachers at SMPA are being trained in the use of Dialogic Teaching and Oracy, so we can provide children with the tools they need to speak well in a variety of situations - to reason, discuss, argue and explain to name a few.


All classes videoed a talk session then watched it back and analysed it. (The general consensus was that we don't always listen well!) They then developed their own set of Talk Rules (see below) that must be followed whenever we are talking together. We have been playing a number of Talk Games to improve our Oracy Skills and we are already seeing an improvement in speaking and listening skills!!

How can you help at home?

Seven ways to improve Oracy at home.

The Four Strands of Oracy