It goes without saying that what works in one context will not necessarily work in another but, with that in mind, we have outlined some ways to raise the profile of oracy in your school or classroom, all requiring varying levels of commitment
If your school does just one thing to promote speaking skills, then dedicating one lesson a week to oracy is the measure to adopt.
The aim of the year seven Oracy Curriculum is to introduce students to specific oracy techniques e.g., speaking roles in a group, question types, understanding pitch and tone which are then used by students across the wider school context.
The Oracy Curriculum is based on four key units of work which are covered throughout the year during weekly lessons. Each unit of work provides students with a different context to which they can apply the skills they have acquired.
The aim of the units of work is to introduce students to specific oracy techniques (e.g., speaking roles in a group, question types, understanding pitch and tone) as well as provide them with multiple contexts to which they can apply all their skills.
As well as the Oracy Curriculum which is taught through discrete oracy lessons, oracy can be used as a means of unlocking potential in all subject areas.
Promoting speaking skills across all subjects reinforces techniques for the students such as talk protocols but more importantly acts as a tool for learning, ensuring that the teachers of other subjects see the benefits of high quality oracy in their classroom.
This provides a showcase for the students’ new skills as well as raising oracy’s status in the school.
This is important when there is a lack of formal oracy exams, it sends a message that oracy is important to the school as a whole.
Embedding oracy into school culture can simply be a process of transforming existing models (assemblies, tutor time etc) rather than implementing wholly new structures and it therefore shouldn't be viewed as being prohibitive.
A good understanding by all staff of the framework’s four elements drives metacognition, provides a frame for feedback and critiquing as well as a basis for preparing for or executing any oracy task. It provides a common language for the school to use.