At St Bernadette’s Primary School we pride ourselves on encouraging all of our pupils to become confident and articulate speakers through a variety of spoken language activities. These include performance poetry, debates, our class assemblies and Year 5/6 production.
We recognise that Spoken Language is not an isolated area of the English Curriculum. It is a fundamental part of our pedagogy that shapes the teaching and learning at our school to help children develop cognitively, socially and linguistically. This is also reflected in our learning environments which are designed to inspire and cultivate a respect for oracy. Confidence in this area is essential to be successful in all areas of literacy.
Staff at St Bernadette’s are dedicated to being role models of correct
spoken language, modelling effective Standard English at all times. In line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and National Curriculum, our Spoken Language curriculum, embedded from Reception to Year 6, will enable children to:
*develop into confident, articulate speakers who are able to express themselves and their ideas clearly and coherently
*increase their awareness and use of vocabulary through the provision of language-rich learning experiences
*share their learning in an engaging, informative way through presentations, performances, drama, discussions and debates
*listen attentively and respond appropriately to adults and peers through using correct registers for effective communication
*maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
*use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas across the whole curriculum
*speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of standard English
*gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
*consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others during class debates.
Staff at St Bernadette’s have high expectations for spoken language for all pupils regardless of background, ability or needs and are dedicated to being role models of effective Standard English at all times.
From school entry, we work closely with Speech and Language Therapists. These may include the Nuffield Early Language Intervention scheme (NELI). Interventions can be based on recommendations from Speech and Language Therapy reports (SALT); these are for pupils who have specific communication and language needs. At St Bernadette’s, we understand that an unaddressed delay in language skills can lead to underperformance throughout primary school and beyond.
First and foremost, our classrooms are rich in dialogic talk which ranges from effective questioning to constructive peer discussions as well as teachers using talk skilfully to develop and encourage critical thinking. As soon as children enter St Bernadette’s, we place an impetus on developing their oracy skills. We value the importance of vocabulary by making it a priority in every lesson: teachers encourage and model the use of new vocabulary in spoken and written language in addition to recording new vocabulary on the class working walls to support future use. This also provides opportunities for children to revisit and retrieve new vocabulary so that it becomes embedded in the long term-memory. As well as providing opportunities to explore vocabulary through talk and reading, we plan for the explicit teaching of vocabulary across the curriculum.
Subject leaders have selected word lists for every topic; they build in complexity each year so that pupils can build upon their skills and knowledge.Through our daily reading lessons and Talk for Writing opportunities, provision of role play and drama opportunities enliven and enrich children’s understanding of character and relationships. Consequently, we nurture children’s speaking and listening skills through a variety of approaches such as exploratory play and daily story time.
In the Early Years, through promoting a love of storytelling and books, as well as facilitating high quality adult interactions, we provide children with the opportunities to explore language and vocabulary in a range of contexts. Children are excited and enthusiastic to use their enriched knowledge of words and take this back into their play and learning both within and outside of the classroom environment. Adults are tuned into spotting the teachable moments, to draw out ambitious vocabulary from high-quality texts. Not only do we strive to develop Spoken Language skills through the curriculum, but there are many opportunities for children to develop their oracy skills outside of the curriculum. These include performance opportunities, for example:
our class assemblies, performances, Masses, Christmas productions and our Year 5/6 summer term production where children are able to perform to a live audience.
In a safe and supportive environment, children flourish into confident communicators, performers and presenters who can talk successfully in order to express themselves and their opinions with clarity. Children recognise that through speaking and listening, misunderstandings can be addressed and
they are able to establish positive relationships inside and outside the school. We aim that by the end of KS2, all of our children have made considerable progress from their starting points in EYFS.