Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language.  In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them.

The Oracy Framework

Through a high quality oracy education students learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom, which has been planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable them to learn the skills needed to talk effectively. 

The deliberate, explicit and systematic teaching of oracy across phases and throughout the curriculum will support children and young people to make progress in the four strands of oracy outlined in the Oracy Framework. 

The Oracy Benchmarks

Developed by Voice 21, the Oracy Benchmarks provide a framework to identify, guide and empower teachers who are developing and refining their oracy practice, whether within their own classroom or as part of a school-wide approach.

The Teacher Oracy Benchmarks define excellent classroom practice for oracy. Teachers create the culture of their classroom and based on the needs of their students they make choices every day about what to teach and how to teach it.

The School Oracy Benchmarks articulate the strategic decisions to be made by school leaders to ensure every child in their school receives a high quality oracy education. They reflect the key levers for change available to a school’s leadership, including the steps needed to create the conditions to enable every teacher to meet the Teacher Oracy Benchmarks.

The case for oracy

On entry to school, disadvantaged children’s spoken language development is significantly lower than their more advantaged peers

These gaps grow as children move through school. Widening from just a few months aged six, to five years’ difference by the age of 14.

On leaving school, children with poor verbal communication skills are less likely to find employment and more likely to suffer from mental health difficulties.

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