Oracy at Caludon

Our Vision and Aims:

Effective speakers and listeners are empowered to understand themselves and the world around them.

  • To develop learning to talk, and learning through talk.
  • For students to have opportunities to participate in dialogue which encourages them to articulate, justify and expand their ideas and have opportunities to share, develop and consolidate their understanding through talk.

Why is Oracy so important? 

Because it: 

  • Improves academic outcomes
  • Underpins literacy and vocabulary acquisition
  • Supports and develops mental health and well-being 
  • Enables young people to access employment and thrive in life beyond school
  • Develops citizenship and agency: 

According to a recent study, the average spoken contribution of a student per lesson is just four words. In order to become quality communicators, our students need to speak confidently and clearly and, as staff, we can help to shape this by modelling and teaching key habits and structures to enhance oracy. In order to support our students in their future development, we should all be creating opportunities for oracy within our lessons and tutor times.


We are a Voice 21 school, which means we are investing in Oracy on a whole-school level to achieve some key benchmarks. 

These are:

  • Setting high expectations for oracy
  • Valuing every voice
  • Teaching oracy explicitly
  • Harnessing oracy to elevate learning
  • Appraising progress in oracy

Within these, we will be championing and embedding proven, effective strategies such as the oracy discussion roles and Talk Tactics to develop effective oracy in lessons, tutor time, and around the school. 

What are we doing as a school to promote effective oracy?

  • Having a dedicated Leader for Oracy
  • Making it  key school priority and part of each faculty’s action plans
  • Focusing on quality first teaching including explicit teaching of oracy skills
  • Creating an oracy rich curriculum
  • Planning clear opportunities for students to develop their oracy skills though enrichment and interventions
  • Investing in staff training for quality CPD 
  • Developing a CODE for learning, and holding CODE assemblies and lessons in which dialogue (D in CODE) is a central element
  • Building literacy and oracy into dedicated curriculum time focusing on learning and the transferability of literacy skills
  • Collaborating with other schools in the Castle Phoenix trust to share and develop good practice

My Voice

Oracy is the cornerstone of communication which is why we have ‘My Voice’ as our central, whole-school strategy to giving students a voice to speak, be heard, and develop their communication skills in all areas of the school. 

What does effective practice look like?

  • using ‘My Voice’ as a mantra for ensuring students feel heard and have time to speak
  • using a Talking Point to encourage learners to share their ideas about an engaging topic linked to your subject
  • encouraging paired and group discussion through Think-Pair-Share
  • using questioning strategies to help students’ answers become fully developed
  • using oracy sentence starters as unstucks and speaking to each learner every lesson
  • using the Voice 21 Talk Tactics and group discussion roles 

Our Oracy non-negotiables:

  • Speak clearly and confidently 
  • Keep it formal (limit your use of ‘like’, ‘basically’)
  • Use appropriate vocabulary for the context 
  • Use interesting and sophisticated vocabulary 
  • Use full utterances in your responses (no one-word answers, aim for full sentences)
  • Ask for things politely and use manners
  • Engage in conversations with people around the school 
  • All staff to model effective oracy

We are very excited about the journey we are embarking on with oracy. Our vision and aims are ambitious, but we know we will make a real difference to our learners’ lives if we can develop their communication skills.