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.
Our Oracy journey is still relatively new at SMPA, but it is proving successful and worthwhile! Unfortunately, the pandemic stalled our progress somewhat but we are striving to continue the improvement of our pupils' oracy skills. One focus is VOCABULARY - we want to improve the range of words all our children use, especially when using subject specific vocabulary in curriculum lessons. We provide children with a range of stem sentences to do this whenever they answer a question or join in a conversation.
We continue to develop 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. Children are less afraid to speak in class now, than when we started the project as they have a range of tools to help them contribute. They also know that their peers will not laugh or point out their errors. Instead, they help each other to ensure their spoken words make sense - they offer a better word or phrase to improve an answer and point out the bits that impress them.
All teachers at SMPA have been 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.
Each class has developed their own set of Talk Rules 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!!
It is a delight to see improved Oracy skills throughout school. This is an ongoing journey in which the skills need to be practised weekly, to ensure our learnt skills are not forgotten.