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St Michael With St John Church of England Controlled Primary School home page

St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!


Oracy Rationale


Pupils at SMSJ are taught to: 

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • 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
  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.


Spoken language is fundamental to learning. From the first days in school, speaking and listening play a large part in a child’s progress in all curriculum areas and teachers plan to develop these skills in a wide variety of ways. We aim to develop and encourage fluent speakers, who are confident to operate in a wide range of situations.

Pupils should have a range of planned oracy experiences (this is not an exhaustive list), which include:

  • drama;
  • circle time;
  • talking partners;
  • listening to stories;
  • guided reading;
  • preparation for writing;
  • giving and receiving instructions;
  • paired/collaborative work;
  • problem solving in maths;
  • presentation of learning;
  • plan, do review sessions;
  • working walls to develop vocabulary.

It should also be recognised that there are opportunities for children to develop their oracy skills outside of the curriculum. At SMSJ this is promoted through:

  • assemblies, including class assemblies;
  • school council and other pupil voice activities;
  • phase and year group productions;
  • participation in local events


For the current academic year, termly oracy judgements are made using the oracy progression of skills document.