‘We want every child at Biddenham to find their voice – metaphorically and literally’

Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. At Biddenham School we have worked closely with Voice 21 and the University of Cambridge to continue to develop a rigorous oracy curriculum that is introduced in year 7 and is embedded as you grow as an individual, and through the school oracy is a moral cause. One of the biggest barriers for young people to get on is a lack of eloquence. Employers put good oral communication at the top of their requirements for employees. Yet we rarely teach it systematically in schools.

​Whilst research has found that good oracy leads to higher order thinking and deeper understanding, on average a child in a deprived area speaks no more than four words a lesson.

​Our aim as a school therefore, is to elevate speaking to the same status as reading and writing. We have developed a framework for oracy with the University of Cambridge, which breaks down oracy into four distinct strands:

  • ​Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Linguistic
  • Social and Emotional

At the heart of good oracy is the dialogic classroom. A classroom rich in talk, in which questions are planned, peer conversations are modelled and scaffolded and the teacher uses talk skilfully to develop thinking. At the heart of our school values we believe it is important to provide ‘real experiences’ to develop talk and learn how to analyse and talk about talk. At Biddenham School we have evolved a series of opportunities:

  • First Give in conjunction with the Harpur Trust, presentations in year 7 performing to their class and then an audience from the community.
  • Up for Debate in conjunction with PiXL, for students to develop an understanding of debate and put their skills into practice in attending regional finals in London after battling it out in front of their class and year group.
  • Student Forum – opportunities for students to have a say on school life in an open forum.
  • Philosophy for children – gives students opportunities to discuss moral issues in depth through teacher questioning and student inquiry projects.
  • Ample opportunities to deliver assemblies to their peers.
  • Sports leaders activities – leading and instructing students from our feeder primary schools.
  • Take part on student panels when interviewing teaching candidates who aspire to work at Biddenham.

​All teachers at Biddenham School are oracy teachers. There is an understanding across all subject areas of how talk aids teaching, analysis and higher order thinking.

At the heart of each subject specialism is an understanding of how talk aids analysis and understanding of that subject and we are continuing to develop this as one of our three main areas to grow at the school.

You will leave Biddenham feeling confidence to find your voice

Enhanced KS3 Curriculum


Curriculum Support



Academic Curriculum