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Oracy Strategy

‘Good listeners believe they can learn something from everyone.’

Charles R Swindoll


‘Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.’

James Britton


‘It is my perspective that the most important thing you learn in school is how to communicate.’

Phil Beadle

Research Considered:

  • Voice 21 – The four strands

  • EEF Guidance (KS1 and KS2)

  • Chartered College of Teaching Oracy CPD Session

  • Robin Alexander (rote/ recite/ retrieve/ instructional or exposition/ discussion)         dialogue

  • Tower Hamlets - progression in language structures

Learning to Talk

The Oracy Framework  

This is what we use to focus on teaching the composite parts of oracy. The oracy framework is split into 4 strands: physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional 


As a school we all work on the same strand at the same time:  

  • Autumn 1 – Social and Emotional 

  • Autumn 2 – Physical 

  • Spring – Cognitive 

  • Summer 1 – Linguistic 

  • Summer 2 – All of them – focus on where we need more practice. 


We have broken the 4 strands down into progressive steps for EYFS, KS1 and KS2.  


In FS1, we develop the children’s talk through all teacher led sessions giving feedback and regularly reminding the children of how to be a good talker focusing our feedback on the focus skill.  


In FS2, we develop the children’s talk through all teacher led sessions giving feedback and regularly reminding the children of how to be a good talker focusing our feedback on the focus skill. In addition to this all children engage in a formal oracy small group session to develop their talking capabilities.  


In Y1 to Y6 each week all children work on a skill selected from the school strand, but personal to the class/cohort of children. Y1-Y6 have a 10-minute dedicated session, playing a game to develop that skill. This is then followed later in the week by a 20 minute discussion session.  


These posters are displayed in classrooms to communicate the Oracy Framework to pupils: 


Whole Class Discussion

Children are taught how to have a respectful discussion. We use the following discussion guidelines posters to support pupils to remember how to behave appropriately within a discussion. Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 focus mainly on exploring and understanding what ‘giving proof of listening is’, whilst KS2 begin to focus on wider behaviours of positive engagement within a discussion.

We have 3 roles that children can take during a discussion:

  • Instigate: Present and idea or open up a new line of inquiry.

  • Build: Develop add or elaborate on an idea.

  • Challenge: Disagree or present an alternative argument.


We have progressive talk tactic posters displayed in all classrooms, with stem sentences to support the children to formulate their sentences when taking on these roles:

Children take part in weekly discussions around a topic that promotes one of our 4 school values: Aspire, Wellness, Include and Achieve. These discussions follow a set structure of:  

  • Hook  

  • Input 

  • Discussion question 

  • Oracy Skill 

  • Discussion 

  • Feedback 

Learning Through Talk

‘Talk that demonstrates Learning’ 


‘Talk that aids learning’ 

My turn, our turn, your turn (rote/ recite/ retrieve) 


Rhyme, chanting and repetition (rote/ recite/ retrieve) 


Sentence Stems (instructional or exposition) 


Think, Pair, Share (instructional or exposition) 


No hands Up questioning (instructional or exposition) 


Whole Class Discussion (discussion) 

Feedback after the think, pair, share. 


Informal presentation of personal information and interests. 


Opportunity to present some learning from the wider curriculum. 


Parental performances. 

My Turn, Our Turn, Your Turn 

Rehearsal influences the attention and storing of information in memory, but one caution — it does not help construct meaning or relate the information to what you already know. Thus, rote repetition is most useful for exact information, such as the alphabet, spelling, sight words, times tables, etc. 

Rhyme, Chanting and Repetition 

Songs and chants are also used to enhance learning so that pupils can recall new skills quickly and with excitement. Repetition creates long term memory by eliciting or enacting strong chemical interactions at the synapse of your neuron (where neurons connect to other neurons). 

Sentence Stems 

This technique gives pupils the opportunity to respond in the form of a complete sentence to effectively communicate. Sentence stems provide scaffolding to help pupils get started in speaking or writing without the added pressure of thinking about how to correctly formulate a response. 

Think, Pair, Share 

The Think-Pair-Share activity gives them the opportunity to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts.  It helps pupils to think individually about a topic or answer to a question. It teaches pupils to share ideas with classmates and builds oral communication skills. It helps focus attention and engage pupils.  

No Hands Up Questioning 

By developing No Hands Up strategies in the classroom it has enables all pupils to be constantly focusing on the tasks in hand. Pupils are unable to switch off even for a moment as they are likely to be asked a question at any point in the lesson linked to the content, subject or conversation that has taken place. 

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