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 ‘Don’t let your voice sound like all the other noises today. Be loud, be clear and make a difference’


Mary Riesberg


Subject Intent:


Pupils at Smithills School have an opportunity to improve their physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotive oracy skills through the ability to communicate effectively and confidently in front of any given type of audience.  These skills are explored, developed and encouraged throughout our curriculum model, which equips pupils with good communication skills which therefore further enhances their wider curriculum of study. Pupils are encouraged to explore a range of methods and ideas through talk; challenge each other’s opinions and develop their own reasoned arguments, as well as being able to communicate, through speech, in front of an audience, with a clear and confident voice. Oracy at Smithills School is empowering - giving pupils the skills to develop a voice and speak out about things that matter to them. The oracy curriculum is fully inclusive, enabling all pupils to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points and barriers to learning. Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps and to allow pupils to meet their targets.’



We built the oracy curriculum with the intent that pupils will:

  • Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum through engaging with a wide range of physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotive themes, topics, skills and techniques that provides our pupils with an opportunity to speak with confidence, clarity and fluency.

  • Our study of selective themes, topics, skills and techniques, within our knowledge rich curriculum, creates a resilient pupil who recognises the value of listening and be confident with their own opinions and to be able to express them to others.  

  • Be literate and adapt their use of language for a range of different purposes and audiences through sustaining their own communication, logical and constructive arguments and respond to others appropriately.

  • Concentrate, interpret and respond appropriately to a wide range of listening experiences; be open-minded, to value the contribution of others and to take account of their views.

  • Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement through a range of practical and theoretical elements within oracy.

  • Appreciate the diversity of languages, dialects and accents in the school and value the experience and contributions of children with a wide variety of linguistic backgrounds.

  • Develop their cultural, moral, social, mental development through experiencing the wider context of literature. Themes. topics and current affairs.

  • Be prepared for life beyond the school by equipping our pupils with creativity, confidence, resilience, curiosity, teamwork and social skills to support with dealing with modern day issues and challenges.



Subject Implementation:


Pupils are assessed on their physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotive contribution of their own and others work. To support our success criteria set within each lesson we have adopted the Oracy framework from Voice 21, looking at the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional skills plus adopting the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts grading criteria for Public Speaking, Reading for Verse and Prose and Devising Drama.

  • Pupils are expected to approach the subject with a high level of self-discipline, maturity and are encouraged to embrace an environment that is rich in talk, in which questions are planned, peer conversations are modelled, and scaffold and the teacher uses talk skilfully to develop thinking.

  • Pupils are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop confidence in talk and learn how to analyse talk in action.

  • The oracy curriculum empowers pupils with the belief that their voice has value, developing the ability to articulate thoughts so others will listen.

  • Pupils are constantly encouraged to engage with productive talk, ensuring that any potential useful information is shared and evaluated, which leads to creative solutions to problems, talk to get things done and talk to reason together.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop pupils independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAM.  Tasks are set in lessons and at home and supported by knowledge organisers, which are linked to schemes of learning.  Lesson power points, activities and resources are made available to support learning. Teachers will engage with pupils through feedback on progress which will enable them to improve and extend their learning.


Subject Enrichment:


The enrichment opportunities for oracy are not discreet but are integrated amongst other subject areas within school to complete the holistic development of all pupils. Through providing these opportunities we can further develop pupils who can form discussions, think critically, reason together and develop the vocabulary to express their knowledge, views and understanding.

A rich and varied enrichment program that supports our oracy curriculum includes:

  • Regular trips to the see recorded/live drama events

  • Opportunities to take a part and attend mock trials

  • Opportunities to prepare and sit external exams for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Public Speaking, Reading for Verse and Prose and Devising Drama.

  • Participate in school performing arts productions and school events

  • Listening and responding to recorded/live guest speakers

  • developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning

  • providing on and off-site subject or topic related experiences



Subject Impact:


In oracy we focus on improving providing a platform where pupils learn to talk confidently, appropriately and sensitively. Pupils will have the opportunity to explore rote learning, recitation, instruction, discussion and dialogue in response to a variety of texts, themes, topics and stimuli, all of which cause pupils to think and respond. Through communication and the use of appropriate vocabulary pupils will be able to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate. With this wealth of experience pupils will be able to develop a range of strategies that helps them to think, learn and make sense of the world.

Oracy Curriculum Map

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Knowledge and Skills

Pupils studying oracy at KS3 develop a range of knowledge, skills and techniques through exploring physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotive skills. This learning not only prepares them for their other subjects and their studies at KS4 but also provides them with a wealth of transferable skills that are pivotal to their life beyond school. Pupils are taught how to engage with and develop their voice, language, body language, creative thoughts, physical, emotional and intellectual capacity through a varied range of texts, media sources and their own writing.


Year 7:

Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • How to present themselves when delivering a piece of spoken text

  • The fundamental aspects of using our voice through fluency, pace, tonal variation, clarity and projection

  • Punctuation and its place within a piece of text and delivery

  • The fundamental concepts of informal and formal language

  • The social and emotional aspects of delivering speech, listening, having a conversation, discussion and debate

  • The fundamental aspects of body language and how they support the meaning of text

  • The importance of grammatical correctness of speech


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Exploring posture and a range of gestures and how these supports the speaker and how they help to engage the listener

  • Talking at different speeds to allow for process and trailing and implementing variations in emphasis, volume and pitch to suit the needs of the situation

  • Exploring and experiencing language that is meant for social and formal situations.

  • Exploring talk within a speech, conversation, discussion and debate situation.

  • Transferable skills: 5 C’s – communication, co-operation, concentration, confidence and critical appreciation.

  • Knowing how to constructively critically appreciate own and others talk


Year 8: builds on the foundation laid in Year 7.


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • How voice can be used to engage and persuade

  • How choice of content can covey meaning and intention

  • The situations and requirements of informal and formal language

  • How body language can enhance the meaning of speech and the interaction between speaker and audience

  • How social and emotional aspects can guide or manage interactions, self-assurance, flair, listening and responding

  • How to structure and organise talk

  • How to appropriately use rhetorical techniques such as metaphor, humour, irony and mimicry


Pupils will develop their skills in

  • Exploring ways of communicating and projecting voice, pupils will explore tonal variation to emphasise, change volume and pitch to enhance the meaning of their speech.

  • Exploring and demonstrating spoken language that demonstrates clarity in response to a topic/subject matter. Pupils will engage with, write about, make judgement, evaluate and demonstrate spoken language that fully supports all listeners with the required level of detail and understanding regarding the topic/subject matter.

  • Exploring a range of methods where pupils will experience selecting and organising the content of their talk so that it is appropriate, relevant, clear and comprehensible to listeners in relation to a formal or informal situation.

  • Exploring and demonstrating appropriate and relevant body language that supports talk.

  • Exploring appropriate methods of interacting, presenting and maintaining interpersonal communication through talk.

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