Oracy – Curriculum

At Hill Farm, we define oracy as:

Learning to talk, Learning through talk and Learning to listen

Our explicit curriculum – learning to talk – has been designed by carefully selecting and integrating various types of talk across different year groups, ensuring that students are exposed to a diverse range of oracy experiences.

In early years, emphasis is placed on exploratory talk, where children are encouraged to ask questions, share idea and engage in collaborative problem-solving activities. Through a vocabulary-rich environment teeming with dialogue, storytelling and playful exchanges, we cultivate a deep appreciation for language from the earliest stages of a child’s journey. This emphasis on talk not only fosters linguistic dexterity but also nurtures social-emotional skills, developing empathy, collaboration and self-confidence. Our curriculum choices are reflective of our commitment to developing children’s oracy skills. For example, in Reception, our children learn to write through The Drawing Club approach by Greg Bottrill. This approach – which emphasises the importance of creativity, expression and communication in children’s development – opens the children’s eyes to a magic world of stories whilst enriching their language skills, developing their fine motor skills and engaging them in mark making.

As children progress through school, we introduce more structured forms of talk such as persuasive speeches, debates and discussions. As a school, we have developed a comprehensive whole-school explicit oracy curriculum aimed at equipping our students with the essential skills for effective speaking and listening across various contexts and audiences. By breaking down oracy into four key strands – physical, linguistic, cognitive and social-emotional – we have established a shared understanding of how oracy skills progress over the years, leading to clearly defined learning objectives for each year group.

All children work towards an explicit oracy outcome every half term – be it book talk, a discussion, a debate or a speech to name a few – focusing on specific skills leading up to their outcome. These oracy outcomes are intentionally linked to the text and writing objectives covered in their English lessons; we believe that this approach ensures that students can apply their oracy skills in context, deepening their understanding and engagement with the curriculum and is, importantly, centred around a shared experience that all children are familiar with.

The oracy unit of work will be delivered over a series of lessons, each focusing on a small step of learning from the progression map. For instance, in Year 3, students will enhance their ability to maintain proper posture and positioning while addressing an audience (physical), experiment with tone, volume, and pace (physical) and cultivate confidence in speaking before a group (social and emotional) all in preparation for delivering a persuasive speech.

Oracy Progression Map


Oracy Statements