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Oracy Day at St Clement Danes

On Thursday 28th June, Year 7s experienced a day where all learning was underpinned by speaking and listening.  The aim was ‘Learning to talk; learning through talk’ and teachers planned and delivered innovative lessons across the curriculum.  Highlights included maths lessons discussing the statistical probabilities of success for different teams in the World Cup, debates designed to deepen and challenge students’ viewpoints in history and geography, student presentations in many subjects and learning l’art de parler in French through song, chant and interviews.

In a very different kind of assembly, students were asked to participate actively by moving into different groups, sharing stories in trios, discussing topics and finishing by listening to feedback in a strong circle.  One student said, “I liked the assembly as it wasn’t a usual one where you would sit down and listen in silence – you got a chance to have a say in it, which I thoroughly enjoyed” and another said “It was a time for me to reflect and communicate with others”.

Over 200 students responded to a survey, with the vast majority enjoying the activities on the day.  One said, “I enjoyed it very much and thought it was interesting and engaging.  I also think that it helped my learning”. Overall, 78% would like more opportunities to learn speaking skills in school.

Some students found the day challenging as they are less confident; we want to work with all the students by giving them opportunities to find their voices and give them strategies to make their voices heard, confident, meaningful, kind, positive, like-changing, remembered, unique, recognised and all the other responses which the students shared on the day.

If you want to find out more about oracy and what we are doing in school, you can follow @SCDOracy on Twitter.

Nicola Spencer

Whole school oracy coordinator