Uplands Infant School

Shazeeb participated in the Voice Leicester Pioneers Programme and began the Voice Leicester Oracy Leaders Programme in the summer term 2019.

What initially motivated you to pioneer oracy teaching and learning in your school?

I went to the Voice Leicester Oracy Project launch event and was immediately drawn to the purpose and values behind the project. I work in a school that is located in a high deprivation area of the city and where 95% of the children are EAL learners. Based on the 2016 Deloitte report “Essential skills for humans in the machine age” I felt it was vital we develop our children’s oracy skills so they are equipped for their future and are not at a disadvantage because of the circumstances they were born into.

What were your “aha” moments when beginning to introduce oracy into your classroom?

I was used to children working with talk partners but there were always some children who felt too shy to participate. Since introducing the talk trios, those children have been happy to listen to the other two children and then summarise. In some cases they also built on the ideas of their peers. By providing children with sentence stems, they’re more confident in their responses because they do not have to think about how to begin their sentence.

Oracy Pioneer's Post: Uplands Infant School
Voice Leicester Oracy Pioneers Programme 2018-2019

What have been your best successes?

My class did a whole school assembly on the importance of oracy and finding your voice and how it is interlinked with our school’s ethos and values. This showcased to the school the importance of oracy and I received positive feedback from other teachers who wanted to develop oracy skills in their classroom too. Children feel confident to express their feelings with each other and are beginning to resolve conflicts on their own.

What was the impact on your students and your teaching been?

All the children wrote a brilliant recount of their trip to the zoo. This was because of the vocabulary they developed in the group discussions they had prior to writing the recount. In groups of five, the children looked at photos from the trip and they had to use their talk tokens to share their recollections of the trip. (The talk tokens helped reign in the dominant characters in the group) I also used the “feed in the facts” strategy to allow the children to share facts about the animals with their peers. The children are developing their maths mastery skills because they are using their oracy skills to reason why something is correct or incorrect or the strategy they should use to solve a problem.

What resources are your go-to’s?

I found the children respond best to visual cues and statements.

What plans do you have to develop oracy further in your own teaching practice and across your school ?

I have broken down the four strands into a progression of skills from nursery to year 2. This gives each year groups specific skills to develop and to build on the previous year’s teaching. I am creating an ideas bank of activities and games to develop the four strands. I will be creating an assessment sheet for teachers to use to assess the progress of their children’s oracy skills. Since going on the oracy pioneers program, it has changed my teaching practice. I am using the strategies taught to enable the children to take the lead in their own learning. The pioneers program has helped me discover my own vision and educational philosophy which is to develop children’s oracy by teaching them the skills to talk and for them to learn through talk.

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