At Cubitt Town Primary School, we want all of our children to be effective communicators, who are able to find their voice and are not afraid to use it. Spoken communication (oracy) skills are taught throughout our curriculum and our classrooms are talk-rich environments.
We are incredibly proud to have been awarded two awards in July 2022 to recognise the outstanding oracy at Cubitt Town. First, we have been awarded the Tower Hamlet Oracy Hub Silver Award, which noted that as a school we "Lead the way for our Oracy Hub, with oracy embedded throughout the school day for all."
Second, we have been designated as a Voice 21 Centre of Excellence for Oracy, one of only seven schools across the country to receive the award! Our feedback report stated that "Oracy is used as a pedagogical tool to elevate learning across the curriculum" - the full report can be read here.
Read more below about what an oracy school looks, sound and feels like:
Oracy in lessons
All children are expected to talk in all lessons and teachers provide resources and scaffolds to help them do this. We learn through talking in all subjects and become better at reading, writing, maths and all other subjects because we regularly discuss our learning. Children are helped with talking sentence stems as well as the talking roles - instigator, clarifier, prober, challenger, builder and summariser. We talk in pairs, trios and small groups throughout the day, and learn to become as skilful at listening as we are at talking.
We do all of our assemblies in circles so that we are facing each other throughout. Assemblies are a time to discuss, debate and converse, and as much as possible children do the talking. We focus on a particular theme or stimulus, which could be a short story, a video or a philosophical idea. We then talk in trios and as a whole group, developing our speaking skills in front of an audience. No more sitting in rows and listening to a teacher at the front!
Oracy around the school
From the moment we arrive in school children politely greet adults and each other. In the playground we use our voices to resolve conflict and calmly discuss any problems that arise with our lunchtime supervisors. Also, during lunchtime, we have a different discussion point each day to talk about around the table.
Tower Hamlets Oracy Hub
Over the past year, we have brought together schools and teachers across our borough to form a hub which works on creating and sharing oracy lessons, resources and ideas. We have all been trained by the fantastic Voice 21 oracy charity, and meet each term to help improve oracy learning in Tower Hamlets.