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Welcome to our English Oracy page

Oracy framework image(1)

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Reading and writing float on a sea of talk’

Britton, J. (1983)


At St Stephen’s, we aim to equip all our learners with the skills to talk and listen effectively to one another.                    Oracy gives every child the opportunity to find their voice; to articulate their ideas, thoughts and feelings clearly and coherently and develops understanding.  Effective communication helps every child to fulfil their potential and thrive in school and beyond, regardless of their background.

“A strong focus on oracy, the ability to talk fluently and accurately and express ideas develops a pupil’s confidence, self-esteem and communication skills”. (Ofsted)

Four Strands of Oracy

Part of our Recovery Curriculum has been about developing communication skills after Lockdown.  We identified it as an area of high priority and set about improving this.  Catch-up funding was used to fund the Nuffield Early Language Intervention programme (NELI).  We also use other intervention programmes where children have been identified.  (Wellcomm and Time to Talk,).

Children are taught oracy skills throughout the curriculum.  They experience a range of talking styles from exploratory talk to presentational talk.

At St Stephen’s we use the oracy framework that was developed by The University of Cambridge and Voice 21.  This framework breaks oracy into four strands.

  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Linguistic
  • Social and Emotional
4 Strands colour explained image

The framework allows both staff and children to understand what makes good spoken communication. 

Children with additional needs are encouraged to take a full and active part in spoken language activities.  Children who find communication difficult will be supported by a member of staff in order to scaffold their responses.         

Some children have access to weekly sessions of speech and language with programmes set by speech and language therapists. 

The National Curriculum for England sets out the objectives for spoken language. They are the same for all year groups.  However, the content is adapted and developed year on year in our progression map taken from Voice 21.

National framework key objectives image

Quality discussion

At St Stephen’s, we achieve good quality discussion and communication through:

Quality discussion image

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Quality discussion & inclusion

Each class understands the expectations of a quality discussion and draws up their own criteria based around what good communication looks like, sounds like and what you need to be like to take part in good quality discussion. This is continuously revisited throughout the year

Quality discussion bubble image

Throughout the school, the development of oracy skills is taking place continuously and our teachers use talk skilfully.  Language rich discussions and experiences are built into daily teaching sequences.

Oracy & key skills

The development of oracy supports our shared language of metacognition.  By using our Key Skills, children develop language that enables them to talk about their learning and consider which tools and thought processes will support them best in achieving a successful outcome.  It helps them to monitor, purposefully direct and review their learning and decide whether they have used the most suitable strategy for the task they are undertaking.

Key skills oracy imageKey skill oracy characters

Talk Tactics EYFS & KS1

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Talk Tactics KS2

Talk Tactics EYFS & KS1

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Groupings support talk for different purposes.  Groupings are chosen to suit the purpose of a discussion and the number of children involved.  By working in different groupings, the children learn to collaborative effectively and take part in high quality group discussion with many different children preparing children for life beyond primary school.

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Critical skills tools, allow children to have a bank of ideas about how they can organise a group discussion.  We want all children to have a voice and these tools enable all children to select ways in which they can contribute and share towards the group.

Language Stems (supporting pupil voice)

Our children are encouraged to speak in full, coherent sentences when sharing their ideas and using spoken language.          We have created a bank of different language stems, which our children have access to in their classrooms.


Language stems eyfs


language stems ks1

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Language stems ks2

What can Parents do to support their children’s oracy?

  • Talk to your children whenever you can! It’s true that in busy households it’s becoming more and more difficult for families to spend quality time talking in a reflective way about what everyone’s been doing. Mealtimes can often be the best time for families to get together like this or even a journey in the car.
  • Help your children to develop their vocabulary by suggesting better words they might have used in your conversations, in a constructive and friendly way!
  • Encourage your children to take part in activities that involve presenting to an audience, such as parents, grandparents or for an outside club.
  • Discuss topical subjects of concern to them.  These will obviously differ as your child gets older but you will be surprised what is going through their minds. 
  • Sing nursery rhymes, songs, read poetry, play games, tongue-twisters and Scrabble to name but a few.
  • Encourage them to take part in social activities to broaden their experience of using talk, for example, drama groups, making and performing music with others, and taking part in voluntary or community work.
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Oracy Progression Map

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oracy progression map image
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