King Richard III Infant and Nursery School

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Oracy at King Richard III


Language development is an area of key importance to our pupils. We use this as our driving force to improve children’s spoken language and vocabulary, which has a positive impact on all wider subjects.

As a starting point for their reading and writing skills, children need to be able to voice their ideas and understanding in an effective way. Oracy underpins the literacy national curriculum, and therefore is key to ensuring children meet their full potential in this area.

Many of our pupils start at our school without the oracy skills expected for their age and with English as an additional language. We strive to develop their spoken language skills through our oracy based curriculum rich with vocabulary and opportunities to practise speaking.

We aim to give children their own voice as we believe this is vital for their future success and well-being. We strive for all children to be confident to express their own opinion and ideas in a respectful and supportive environment. We see oracy as part of the school’s pedagogy, not a stand-alone lesson or subject and we expect it to be threaded through daily school life. By the time children leave King Richard III, our hope is that they can speak clearly to an audience, to articulate and express their thoughts and ideas and conduct and participate in respectful discussions.



Every subject has carefully planned vocabulary banks using a tier system, and teachers are expected to teach all of the terms within them to the children, to enhance their understanding and wider vocabulary. This allows staff to plan and assess effectively. Teachers are actively encouraged to incorporate discussion points into all subjects and lessons, and have been given CPD on different groupings and strategies to best facilitate the learning.

In the classroom, every class has a set of talk tactics with the skills involved to become an excellent listener and an expert speaker. This is referred to as a starting point for all discussion based activities, alongside a voice levels chart that shows the different styles of talking for different audiences.

In Key Stage 1, we also run targeted ‘Talk Boost’ interventions for those identified as having delayed language skills. This intervention runs three times a week for 10 weeks and has five key focuses: Constructing sentences, vocabulary enhancement, listening skills, story-telling and conversational speech. The interventions take the form of a series of short speaking and listening group activities facilitated by a member of staff. This helps to narrow the gap between these children and some of their peers.


At King Richard III, the use of oracy strategies in our teaching has had a profound impact on our students, empowering them with the ability to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions effectively. In the children that leave us to go to junior schools, we have observed increased self-confidence, improved communication, and enhanced social interaction. We believe that by developing strong oracy skills, we can help our students narrow the gaps that many of them have in vocabulary, setting the foundation for a lifetime of successful communication and engagement with the world around them.


As a Leicester City school, we've taken part in Voice 21 training about Oracy (Speaking and Listening) across the curriculum. 


Language and Communication, 'Oracy' and Voice 21 approaches are at the heart of everything we do.