What is Oracy?

Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. Hardwick Primary School is a Voice 21 school as we believe spoken language to be essential in the development and achievement of our children across the curriculum.

In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching children to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them.

At Hardwick Primary School, everyone is respected, included and each voice is valued. We will support every member of our school to have the confidence and emotional intelligence to communicate effectively, build positive relationships and prepare for their next steps in life.​

Not only do we feel it is important to teach children to learn to talk, we also believe that children learn most effectively through talk. We encourage talk in all our lessons to allow children to collaboratively discuss ideas, thoughts and judgements. Children take responsibility for their own learning through talk and discover new information in pairs, trios, circles, and a variety of other groupings.

What are the benefits of an Oracy education?

Oracy increases confidence, empowering children with the belief that their voice has value, developing the ability to articulate thoughts so others will listen. Research has shown that structured talk in class benefits children’s confidence and self-esteem.

Oracy improves academic outcomes, developing learners who can think critically, reason together and have the vocabulary to express their knowledge and understanding.

Oracy Fosters well-being, supporting children to build successful relationships, talk through issues, express feelings and resolve conflicts. The fact that well-being is supported by talk, whether that’s talking through a problem with a friend, or using talk to build strong relationships in the first place, is well supported by the research literature.

Oracy equips students to thrive in life beyond school helping them to progress, access employment and engage in civic life. Discussion and debate are central to democratic life - the oracy skills needed to discuss complex or emotive issues with honesty and compassion are crucial. Oracy is also important for children to thrive in employment, with businesses frequently emphasising the value of teamwork and communication skills.

Oracy narrows gaps enabling disadvantaged students to fulfil their potential

Children from economically advantaged backgrounds, on average, start school ahead of their disadvantaged peers in terms of language and communication skills. Without intervention, these gaps grow, as pupils with the strongest language skills make the most progress in all areas of the school curriculum. In contrast, a high-quality oracy education can help to narrow this gap, breaking the link between a child’s start in life, and their future success.