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Speaking and Listening


This school values, and seeks to develop, children's spoken language skills. The ability to express oneself orally, in an appropriate manner, is an essential life skill.  Our aim is for all children to be able to use spoken language effectively to communicate and understand the world around them.


“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” (Tony Robbins)

 At Barrowby C of E Primary School it is our intention for children to:

  • Express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations;
  • Participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others;
  • Speak audibly and confidently before an audience (for example when leading class and whole-school worship; when performing in school plays).
  • Use a wide range of appropriate ambitious and subject specific vocabulary to convey their understanding.


Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to voice their ideas in small group and class discussions, as we recognise that sharing and explaining concepts with peers enhances learning. Oral rehearsal for sentence structure is a key aspect of all writing and grammar lessons.  Staff model the use of higher-level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus throughout the school and in all subjects. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context; on the subject curriculum planning and on displays. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work.

Our Reading lessons encourage pupils to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words through the use of rich and varied texts carefully chosen to develop reading skills and language acquisition. Staff model correct grammar in speech and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language. Children are given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing regularly.

Drama is used across the curriculum to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities. Each class leads worship once a year for parents and the whole school.  Each year group participates in a production to develop oracy and public speaking skills.

For children with SENd and/or speech and language difficulties careful support is provided to aid the development of key speaking and listening skills in relation to need.  These might be addressed through Speech and Language Therapy referral, support and intervention.


In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into confident communicators who illuminate the goodness in each other by listening, speaking with kindness and empathy and explaining with clarity and confidence.  Children recognise that speaking and listening can lie at the heart of conveying character, and that through communicating effectively, misunderstandings can be addressed and relationships enhanced.

The quality of children’s work will be enhanced through the use of ambitious and appropriate, subject specific vocabulary to convey their understanding.