“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oracy is the ability to communicate effectively. At Biddenham we have worked closely with Voice21 and the University of Cambridge to continue to develop a rigorous oracy curriculum that is introduced to students in year 7 and is embedded as they grow as individuals. Through the school, oracy is a moral cause.
One of the biggest barriers for young people to progress 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:
Social and Emotional
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.
All teachers at Biddenham are oracy teachers. There is an understanding across all subject areas of how talk aids teaching, analysis and higher order thinking.