Oracy October is back!

This year’s theme is ‘Speaking like a Specialist’ and explores what high-quality talk looks like in different subject disciplines.

We want teachers to use the month to encourage students to talk like subject experts, raising their understanding of oracy by challenging them to speak like specialists in different areas of the curriculum. What does it mean to speak like a scientist? How does this differ from speaking like a historian, or to the expectations of high-quality talk in English or maths? While most of our communication skills can be universally applied, talk in different subject areas and disciplines has varying purposes. Raising students’ awareness of these differences supports them to become flexible and resilient communicators.

To enable this, over the month of October we will be hosting a series of 6 free webinars and are publishing a resource for schools: ‘Speaking like a Specialist’. You can find more details on both of these below.

Speaking like a Specialist resources

The resource contains 7 different challenges in which students can explore a different mode of specialist talk: speaking like a scientist, sportsperson, citizen, mathematician, artist, historian and performance poet. For each of these modes of talk, we’ve highlighted the work of a different specialist in that subject – including people like Stephen Hawking, Frida Kahlo and Katherine Johnson.

You can these challenges to encourage students to consider the purpose of talk in different school subjects. As the month progresses, share how your students are getting on with us via social media, using #oracyoctober #speakinglikeaspecialist.


What does high-quality classroom talk look like in Science?

Tuesday 4th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Caroline Smith – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Maria Rossini – Head of Education, British Science Association

Josh Fenby-Taylor – Impact Officer, Voice 21

What does high-quality classroom talk look like in Art?

Thursday 6th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Rachel Ratcliffe – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Verity Babbs – Art Historian and Writer

Laura Davidge – Assistant Headteacher, Crab Lane Primary School

What does high-quality classroom talk look like in English?

Tuesday 11th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Hannah Greason – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Louise Richardson – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Barbara Bleiman – Co-Director, English and Media Centre

Stephanie Quick – English Teacher and Oracy Lead, Brooklands Middle School

Vicky Thorpe – Key Stage 2 Teacher, South Lake Primary School

What does high-quality classroom talk look like in Humanities?

Thursday 13th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Jessica Lanham-Cook – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Katherine East – Lecturer in History, Newcastle University

Grace Barron – Programme Lead, Voice 21

Victoria Billcliff – Geography Teacher, Salendine Nook High School Academy

What does high-quality classroom talk look like in Maths?

Tuesday 18th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Kathleen McBride – Learning Design Lead, Voice 21

Beth Worlock and Naomi Cave– Maths Leader, Torriano Primary School

Abby Cotton – Maths Hub Lead, Boolean Maths Hub

Where next for oracy? The Oracy Association, Voice 21 Oracy Centres of Excellence and the future of oracy education.

Thursday 20th, 3:45 - 4:30pm

Beccy Earnshaw – CEO, Voice 21

Simon Thompson – Principal, Pendle Primary Academy

Chair (TBC) – Oracy Association steering committee

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