Reading and Writing float on a sea of talk.” – James Britton

Spoken Language, the skills of speaking, listening and responding, are at the core of our curriculum. The 2014 National Curriculum highlights how spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing.

At Millfields we plan a range of activities and experiences to develop pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Over time, they develop their capacity to explain their understanding of books and share their ideas before they write. Writing is taught using the teaching approaches in Talk for Writing which emphasises the importance of retelling, discussing and accessing texts through drama. Please see the Writing Page for further information.

Our children will be assisted in clarifying their thinking through probing questions and to address any misconceptions. They are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate. We regularly discuss stimulating topics for children to debate in class as well as topical issues. Pupils are actively encouraged to listen and learn by sharing ideas with others.

Talk partners are used extensively throughout our school, together with a range of planned learning opportunities that encourage pupils to explore language. Children are regularly encouraged to share their views and develop their listening skills so they can effectively communicate in a range of situations and to a range of audiences. They have the opportunity to work in groups of different sizes - pairs, small groups, larger groups as well as a whole class.

As our pupils progress and develop their skills, they are able to take turns and participate more effectively and constructively in conversations, discussions and debates. At Millfields we focus on developing our pupils’ vocabulary; ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts and a wider range of topics, and enhancing their knowledge about language as a whole.

There are a range of spoken language opportunities that allow our pupils to focus on developing key skills. These start in EYFS with star of the week and culminate in Year 6 with the Rotary Public Speaking Competition. All of our pupils participate in annual events that promote and celebrate Spoken Language. 

In the Autumn term, during quarter one, they are involved in our annual Poetry Recital. In front of their class, they all perform a poem they have learnt at home. The finalists share their poems in a special celebration assembly, which is timed to coincide with National Poetry Day.

At the beginning of the summer term, during quarter three, the children all prepare presentations based on a topic they are passionate about and interested in. In a format similar to the Poetry recital, these are shared in class before finalists share in a celebration assembly. 

Spoken Word Leader - Mrs Rachel Smith

Spoken Word Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore

Part of the Languages team.