The Oaks is one of only nine National Stage 3 oracy Hub schools in the country. We have worked with Voice 21 to develop our teacher’s skills regarding the teaching of oracy.
Oracy is the ability to express oneself clearly and fluently through speech. The ability to communicate effectively. At The Oaks, we believe that oracy is a vital life skill for all. Through developing children’s speaking and listening skills, we empower them to become more confident, equip them with the skills to use & decode challenging vocabulary, and find their voice.
A lack of articulacy, eloquence and communication skills is one of the biggest barriers to future employment.
Ultimately, we want the children to be great speakers and communicators. We want them to have the words and the ability to get across what they want to say in an articulate and appropriate way and to speak well in different situations.
At The Oaks, each classroom is rich in talk. Teachers plan purposeful, structured and scaffolded opportunities for talk. Children are explicitly taught speaking skills and encouraged to challenge ideas, motivate each other, build upon ideas and summarise discussions. We aim to create a range of opportunities for our students to develop confidence in talk, such as:
Oracy assemblies in phases, giving children the opportunity to speak in front of a larger audience of peers.
Discussion roles are taught. These are: builder, challenger, summariser, motivator, balancer and questioner.
Talk partners in classrooms. Children share and develop ideas with their talk partners in every lesson.
Want to find out more? Follow these links!
What can you do at home?
Talk to your children whenever you can! In a busy household, it can be difficult 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.
Help your children to develop their vocabulary by suggesting better words they might have used in your conversations - in a friendly and constructive way!
Oracy activities to try out!
How many? Ask a question about a specific quality and see how many your child can think of! For example: How many animals can you name that hatch from eggs? How many vehicles with four wheels can you name? How many things can you name that are cone shaped?
I’m thinking of… Start by saying “I’m thinking of something…” and name a feature of the object or thing, for example, “I’m thinking of something that is blue.” The other players are welcome to make a guess or ask a question until they can work out the correct answer. Encourage them to use challenging, specific vocabulary too!
Who am I? Similar to the previous game, focus on a book or film character instead of an object.
What’s better? Ask for their preferences between two things - ask them if they can explain why they prefer one to the other! For example: What’s better, apple or banana? What’s better, cheese or chocolate? What’s better, the beach or the city? What’s better, space or the ocean?
Odd one out: begin by naming three things and ask children to choose which is the odd one out and explain why. You can make this as simple or as challenging as you’d like. For example, with “train, bus, hair” it’s easy to identify the odd one out. With “platypus, cobra, horse” this may be more challenging. You could make this a phonics challenge with similar sounds, using words like “chop, chicken, ship” or even a maths challenge with numbers, like “21, 63, 78”.
Heads and tails: choose a category and say a word. The next player would have to say another word in that category that starts with the final letter of the previous word. How many can you get? For example, if the category is zoo animals: zebra, aardvark, kangaroo, octopus...