I have seen a growth in students overall

Oracy at Madani Schools Federation

A group of young boys engage in discussion over a table.


Madani Schools Federation, a secondary girls and secondary boys school federation in Leicester, has worked with Voice 21 over the past two years through an area wide project led by Voice 21. 

“Before doing oracy I wasn’t so confident sharing my viewpoint with the rest of the class, but now.. it really just helped my confidence and I’m able to speak in front of a large group of people now.” Madani Girls School student 

“It also expands your understanding on topics. You have one understanding of a topic, but when you talk to people and you ask for their opinions, you have a better understanding of a whole topic, and most of the time you are able to provide better answers.” Madani Girls School student

Below, Riyaz Laher, Headteacher, shares some background to why they began working with Voice 21 and some of the impact that they have seen.

Where did you start: 

“We chose to have a focus on oracy because we believe it can feed into the whole curriculum and will yield far greater results, both direct metrics, and the roundedness that we want for our students. 

The beauty of oracy for us was that it not only refined the curriculum, but it also links to the curriculum pedagogy of our staff, in terms of really unpicking ideas and really stretching all learners in their thinking, their understanding of lessons and in terms of listening. So it has really helped to move lessons on.” 

What impact have you seen: 

“A recurring theme that I would find with our students was lacking the confidence of being able to express themselves. Some high attaining students were “hiding” in lessons through a reluctance to really engage, and what I have seen, through the approach of Voice 21, is that it creates a buy-in of all students to really interact and listen to each other. I have seen a growth in students overall, rather than just those students who would ordinarily be proficient in speech. It has instilled a mindset that oracy is for all students” 

What does this look like in your classroom:

“With the whole school focus on oracy it’s really made the teachers job a lot easier, because I found that they’re really aware of each other now. I find that in terms of making sure that everyone’s included in a discussion, students are able to recognise when some hasn’t been included and they ask each other questions. Whereas before, as a teacher, I had to be aware of that with every discussion that was going on in the room. Students now, with the oracy focus, students know that listening is just as important as expressing their own points” Kathryn Philips, Geography teacher

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