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Voice 21 Oracy Project

Voice 21 Oracy Project

Voice 21 logo.png

During 2018-19, teachers from schools across Berkshire, including 12 Wokingham schools, trained with Voice 21, leaders in pedagogy, to develop high quality oracy teaching. 

Voice 21’s approach to oracy is that it is 

‘not about one-off competitions, short term interventions or extra-curricular clubs, but the sustained and comprehensive commitment to verbal literacy in every classroom, so that all students can find their voice.’


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The pan-Berkshire Oracy Leaders Programme led by Voice 21 was commissioned by Local Authority officers from Bracknell, Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham who work collaboratively to support schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

Participants in the programme have become specialists in oracy, with the knowledge and expertise to develop this innovative pedagogy both in their own classrooms and at a whole-school level. They have planned and delivered an ‘impact project’ in their classrooms, which has enabled them to hone their understanding of oracy in practice.

They have evaluated current oracy provision in their schools through observation and analysis, and then used these findings to develop a whole-school action plan. They have led in-house oracy CPD and staff development to embed oracy across their whole school.

Below is a booklet showcasing the work in their classrooms, and providing wonderful examples of what can be achieved through the power of the spoken word. Teachers will find inspiration in the booklet for oracy activities and oracy-focussed units of work from Foundation Stage to KS4. 

Thoughts about the project from Wokingham teachers and students

Teachers:

'I was surprised at the impact oracy had on a topic that I have taught many times before. Adding an oracy outcome and teaching with oracy in mind rejuvenated the topic and significantly increased the children's engagement.'

'I was surprised how much impact the oracy tasks had on the children’s writing. Their writing was more natural, more confident, and full of ideas and vocabulary!'

'The oracy exhibition brought me to tears… Children who at the start of the year wouldn’t have the confidence to answer a question in class, were confidently presenting their learning on the Victorians.'

'I was amazed at the high level of engagement and also the speed with which oracy skills were developed.'

'I was so pleased to see how quickly the students adopted and internalised the four strands of oracy and I was blown away by the quality of their presentations.'

'For the first time I’m expecting the majority of children to reach ‘exceeding’ in the speaking aspect of communication and language.'

Students:

‘Lessons are so much more fun; we find out things for ourselves and everyone is joining in.’

‘Talking about the pictures really helped me understand.’

‘I loved the assembly – I was so proud – I can’t wait to do another one.’

‘I loved this because it made me feel really independent. I enjoyed all of the talking parts as it made our writing easier to do.’

‘I love learning about geography now!’

‘When we were given roles, people thought more about what they were going to say and how they would start and finish their sentences. They joined in more.’

Voice 21 ongoing partnership

The Berkshire partnership with Voice 21 continued during 2019-20. Teachers involved in Year 1 continued as part of a Berkshire Oracy Leaders Network, and teachers new to Voice 21 joined a Berkshire Oracy Pioneers programme. Another 12 Wokingham schools joined the project in 2019-20.

Plans have now been made to continue the Berkshire partnership with Voice 21 during the academic year 2020-21. If you are interested in your school participating this year, please contact Emily Waddilove for further information. Places must be booked by 29th September 2020. emily.waddilove@wokingham.gov.uk 

For further information about Voice 21, see https://voice21.org/