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Wrington Primary School

English - Spoken Language

"We are speakers and listeners..."


At Wrington CofE Primary School we recognise how important it is for children to develop strong spoken language skills.  Effective communication underpins all aspects of teaching and learning, and wider school life.  As an essential life skill, we aim for our children to become confident, fluent communicators with strong relationships, who are able to express their opinions, articulate their feelings, share their ideas, solve problems and listen and respond appropriately in a variety of situations.    Throughout their time at our school, we provide pupils with varied contexts for talk and we teach children how to match their style, volume and level of formality to the audience and purpose.  


The teaching of this subject is fundamental to our school vision:

‘Our vision is for our school community to nurture compassion, integrity, curiosity, wisdom and a lifelong love of learning, founded on Christian values, as we grow and flourish together’


Our aim is for our children to be able to:

  • Communicate effectively, speaking with increasing confidence, clarity and fluency
  • Be audible to others, and adapt volume as appropriate
  • Participate in discussions and debates in a variety of contexts
  • Listen to the views, opinions and ideas of others with increased interest
  • Use talk effectively in order to solve problems and challenges
  • Ask questions to clarify understanding and build new knowledge
  • Build on the ideas of others or challenge appropriately
  • Articulate ideas and thoughts clearly with appropriate tone and vocabulary, recognising audience
  • Respond to questions appropriately
  • Retell stories and poems with increasing complexity
  • Ask questions with increasing relevance and insight
  • Have an interest in words and their meanings
  • Listen carefully in discussions and make insightful contributions
  • Learn a range of drama strategies and conventions


Children performing in a lesson



In order to achieve our aims, children are provided with a broad range of opportunities across the curriculum to practise their speaking and listening skills.    As a school, we follow The Literacy Tree English curriculum, which supports teachers in planning a range of text-based activities to support the development of spoken language, such as debates, discussions, drama and role-play.  These skills are applied and practised across the curriculum in other subjects. 

Throughout their time at Wrington CofE Primary School, children are also offered a wide range of opportunities to present and perform within their classes and to larger audiences.   Below is an example of the activities that children experience during the time at our school. 

Class-based Activities

  • Circle time
  • Show and tell sessions
  • Class debates and discussions
  • Book buddies (paired with other classes)
  • Guided reading groups and book sharing sessions
  • Group challenges and paired work
  • Drama and role play sessions
  • Celebrations of learning


Wider School Experiences

  • Annual class collective worship service to parents
  • Performances and presentations for Church services (eg Easter, Harvest, Pentecost)
  • EYFS and KS1 Nativity to parents and the wider school
  • KS2 Christmas production at Wrington Memorial Hall
  • Mark making week choral speaking performance
  • Open the Book weekly child participation service
  • Global goal enrichment afternoons (cross-phase groups)
  • Annual Eisteddfod


Further Opportunities

  • School Council events
  • Pupil voice discussions
  • Year 6 school tours for parents
  • Annual Rotary Youth Speaks competitions
  • Year 6 Leavers’ service presentations
  • Pupil leadership roles (eg Young Leader’s Award in Years 1 and 5)



At Wrington CofE Primary School, we recognise the importance of teaching children new vocabulary in order to broaden their understanding and to enable children to enjoy the confidence and freedom that this knowledge can bring.    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

We support pupils’ developing vocabulary through:

  • Reading and sharing high quality texts in class, and encouraging a love of words and language.
  • Expanding children’s vocabulary through providing specific vocabulary teaching, such as through our ‘Word of the Day’ sessions in each class where a word is discussed, as well as exploring synonyms and antonyms.
  • Our Twinkl spelling scheme, which provides opportunities for class discussions of word meanings, spelling patterns and word derivations.
  • Introducing specific tier-three topic-related vocabulary to children in our knowledge organisers and in subject lessons.
  • Studying Classics in KS2, children are taught word origins and etymology.


To encourage children to continue to practice their spoken language skills at home, children are given a weekly oracy task / discussion task as part of their weekly homework. 


Easter Service




Teachers use ‘Assessment for Learning’ strategies to make on-doing daily assessments of children’s spoken language skills.  This information may be obtained through observations, questioning, marking of children’s work, pupil feedback and informal tests, and is used to inform teacher planning and pupil’s next steps.   Teacher and pupil feedback may be written or oral, and is used to address any misconceptions and move children on in their learning.   Pupils are also taught to reflect on their own learning, through the use of success criteria check lists, and through peer marking techniques (eg two stars and a wish).

Children’s achievement in spoken language is formally assessed annually against National Curriculum 2014 age related expectations and is communicated to parents through the children’s annual school report.