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Spoken Language

Spoken Language at St Anthony’s

Our aim is to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills. At St Anthony’s we want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening. We believe that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.

Approaches to Speaking and Listening

In line with the National Curriculum, we believe that speaking and listening is fundamental to children’s development and that confidence in this area is essential to be successful in all areas of English. The main strands to speaking and listening are:

  1. speaking;
  2. listening and responding;
  3. group discussion, interaction and debate;
  4. drama and performance of poetry.

The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers, therefore, ensure these oral skills are directly taught, modelled and sensitively encouraged in whole class and small group settings. Opportunities across the whole curriculum are planned for and developed.

Children play an active part in presentations, group discussions, debates and drama activities which are planned for regularly by class teachers. Pupils are supported to develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading and to prepare their ideas before they write. They are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. We follow the guidance and ideas from the key learning documents to support the teaching and learning of speaking and listening. There is progression in the skills taught. Key questions are planned into lessons to probe the children to further explain their understanding of concepts and their own ideas before the writing process begins.

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum states that pupils should be ‘taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently in Standard English’ “Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.” (NC 2013).

At St Anthony’s we believe that children need to able to express themselves orally in an appropriate way, and this is an essential skill that children need as they go through life. It is fundamental for the children’s development across the whole curriculum and permeates all areas of the primary curriculum. Children need to be absorbed in the quality and variety of language by adults, this is vital if children are to develop their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We will ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.

How? Where? When? Why?

The children at St Anthony’s are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Ways in which we support this include:

Words for Life


Spoken Language Progression 202223