‘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:
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:
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