At Dukesgate Academy we believe spoken language to be fundamental to the achievement of our pupils. We understand that communication and language are the roots underpinning success in reading and writing and that good communication skills can enhance every type of learning. This is why we ensure that all our children have many opportunities to fully explore their communication and language skills.
Oracy underpins our work across the curriculum as pupils develop the skills to reason, discuss, debate and present their learning in a variety of contexts with increasing skill and confidence. Our pupils are encouraged to explore ideas through discussion, to format their own reasoned arguments, to challenge each other’s opinions, to develop critical thinking skills as well as talk in full sentences with a clear and confident voice. It is our intention to provide an environment that is rich in talk and ensure that, by the time they leave Dukesgate, all our pupils are able to communicate effectively and confidently in a range of different situations, for a variety of different audiences.
The explicit teaching of oracy skills are embedded into lessons across the curriculum through games and activities. The skills that the children are taught will progress throughout their time at Dukesgate and focus on:
Linguistic skills - knowing which words and phrases to use, and using them.
Physical skills - making yourself heard, using your voice and body as an instrument.
Cognitive - the deliberate application of thought to what you’re saying.
Social and emotional skills - engaging with the people around you; knowing you have the right to speak.
Teachers plan for talk across the curriculum and to elevate speaking beyond the classroom. Pupils have a range of planned oracy experiences across all curriculum areas, which include drama and role play opportunities, presentation of learning, talk partners, paired/collaborative work, giving and receiving instructions, asking and responding to questions, listening to stories and visiting speakers, sharing experiences and ideas, explaining their reasoning, and experimenting with words and vocabulary. Not only do we strive to develop spoken language skills through the taught curriculum, but there are many opportunities for children to develop their oracy skills outside of the curriculum, including class and whole school assemblies, School Ambassador meetings and other pupil voice activities, playtimes, lunchtimes, school productions and extra-curricular activities. We also engage in wider opportunites to enable children to present, incuding StorySlam, The Student Leadership Project and work with the Lowry Theatre with drama as a focus.
Respectful and productive relationships between all who form part of the school community are crucial aspects of the school’s ethos. As a staff, we therefore foster good communication amongst ourselves and with our pupils, parents, carers, and with the wider community.
Our oracy curriculum enables children to speak with confidence, clarity and fluency, while adapting their use of language for a range of different purposes and audiences, including the use of Standard English. It emphasises the value of listening and the ability to concentrate on, interpret and respond appropriately to a wide range of listening experiences. Our curriculum teaches children to value their own opinions and be able to express them to others, sustaining a logical argument, while also being open minded and taking account of the views of other, valuing their contributions and respond to them appropriately. It develops in children the necessary skills to present their ideas and share their learning in an engaging, informative way through formal presentations. At Dukesgate Academy we believe that the ability to do all these things is a vital skill that supports success in learning and in life generally.