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‘reading and writing float on a sea of talk’


The ability to speak eloquently, articulate ideas and thoughts, influence through talking, collaborate with peers, and have the confidence to express your views are vital skills that support success in learning and life in general.

By embedding oracy in all aspects of the school’s culture and weaving it throughout the curriculum, we can demonstrate the deliberate and explicit teaching of speaking and listening supports progress and achievement.


The word oracy was first introduced by Andrew Wilkinson in the 60s, in direct response to the growing importance placed on literacy and numeracy skill development.


Through verbally elaborating on each other’s idea, building on the contributions of others, and questioning the basis of each other’s thinking, our children will actively engage in and monitor their own learning, deepening their understanding of concepts and ideas.

The cognitive benefits of oracy are reflected in the robust evidence that quality classroom talk has a measurable impact on academic attainment (Alexander 2012). These benefits include greater retention of subject-specific knowledge, vocabulary acquisition, and reasoning skills and can be found across the curriculum.

Our Year 5 Debating Team - Runners up in Heat 1 and through to the Final!

What does Oracy look like in the Classroom?

Try some fun topics for talking at home: 


Would you rather...


eat hot dogs or

burgers for the entire year?


Would you rather...


be able to make 1 wish that comes true for yourself 

or make 10 wishes come true for other people?


Topics for meal time conversations...


What is the longest time that you have been without sleep?


What survival skill do you have or have learnt about?


For more ideas like these see: 


Would You Rather Game book by Riddleland

The Art of Children's Conversation Cards by Keith Lamb and Louise Howland

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