How did we do? Understanding the impact of oracy across Voice 21 Oracy Schools

Understanding the progress that Voice 21 Oracy Schools make whilst they are part of our membership is vitally important. In order to gauge the extent to which they are meeting our Teacher and School Oracy Benchmarks and feel confident introducing oracy into their classrooms we regularly gather data to ensure our membership is effective and impactful. 

In our most recent Oracy Survey we asked teachers from all Voice 21 Oracy Schools at Stage 1 or 2 of the membership this summer to share their insights. As we continue to support more schools across the country to deliver a high-quality oracy education we plan to use this data to inform the support we offer our schools and teachers. 

Key findings 

We asked teachers a series of questions to understand the extent to which they felt that the teaching and learning in classrooms has improved as well as the wider context of the school and learning environment. Teachers rated these statements from strongly agree to disagree.

Teachers at Voice 21 Oracy Schools think they, their school and their students’ oracy has improved.

Below are some of the key highlights from the data: 

  • 70% of teachers agreed that oracy has improved students’ engagement in school 
  • 70% of teachers agreed that oracy has contributed to students’ academic attainment 
  • 69% of teachers agreed that oracy has supported students’ wellbeing 

This insight into the impact of introducing oracy across a school is highly positive. As we know from a recent report by the EEF, oral language interventions are now ranked joint second for their impact on student outcomes. In order to develop learners who can think critically, reason together and have the vocabulary to express their knowledge we need to invest in oracy.

Our data tells us that the benefits of working with Voice 21 are wide-ranging. Becoming a Voice 21 Oracy School means that not only do students’ outcomes improve but they are also equipped with vital skills they need in life and can find their voice in the classroom. The House of Lords ‘Skills for every young person’ report published last week highlighted the compelling evidence on the value of oracy & the detrimental impacts of the current lack of oracy provision in education.

We also found that 79% of teachers said they are more confident in “my ability to support all students to participate in and benefit from oracy in the classroom.” Not only this but 77% said they have improved as a teacher of oracy. 

We understand that becoming a Voice 21 Oracy School is a commitment: to transform the teaching and learning across your school. But this data highlights the ambitions and determination of school leaders and teachers to embed oracy as an essential facet of an effective education in their school. Through our consultancy, online community, courses and wider membership benefits we are proud to see the hard work the teachers put in is paying off and we look forward to supporting all of our schools to continue to embed oracy in their classes and schools.

As we continue to work with each of our Voice 21 Oracy Schools in the new year we will use this data to ensure we can provide the most valuable support for all of our schools. We know that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that 1.5 million children are at risk of not being able to speak or understand language at an age-appropriate level. Now is the time to support the voices of young people, regardless of their background, across the country to learn how to talk and learn through talk. 

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