Beckfoot Trust is an organisation that links a group of local Bradford schools together so that they can collectively improve the life chances for young people within their schools. Our aim is to create a group of truly remarkable schools each with a genuine comprehensive intake. They will be wonderful places for young people to learn and grow up in. We want to make a difference. We want to create something special.




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Children & Learning

Oracy at Priestthorpe

What is Oracy?

Oracy is the ability to express yourself clearly and communicate with others effectively through spoken language. 

Oracy involves embracing different speaking skills, such as:

  • Discussion: exchanging ideas with others
  • Instruction: telling someone what to do, or explaining facts
  • Dialogue: having a conversation with someone, listening and showing an interest in what they say

Oracy and speaking and listening skills in the National Curriculum

Oracy may not be officially assessed by SATs, but it’s an important part of the National Curriculum, and not just in English.

‘Spoken language is a requirement across the curriculum because it helps students to express and explore ideas before they commit them to paper, supporting the development of reading and writing,’ Billie explains.

‘More than this, talking through an idea, problem or finding enables pupils to share their thinking and learn from each other.’

Voice 21Voice 21 Partnership

This year, Beckfoot Priestthorpe Primary is working in partnership with Voice 21 to promote Oracy and develop the skills of every child.

The aim of the project - 

Develop a whole school culture of oracy

We work in partnership with schools committed to building and embedding a culture of oracy. As a Partner School, we will work alongside you to raise the tide of talk in your school. Whether this is through innovative curriculum design, inspiring whole-school oracy showcases, or refining pedagogy in classrooms, we support you to identify your strategic priorities for oracy development and help you to deliver against them.

What does Oracy look like at Beckfoot Priestthorpe?

 Oracy Activity Ideas for the Classroom

General Classroom Routines

Talk rules in place in every classroom

Talk partners

Directed questioning

Following instructions

Peer teaching/modelling

Working in groups

Recap social enterprise activities to whole class

Show and tell

Picture News assemblies

Watch Newsround and discuss the news

Weekly weather watch – long term forecast

Presenting Home/School projects

Children’s leadership group meetings

Play leaders

Year 6 / Reception children buddies


Core subjects


Maths problem solving

Collaborative writing

Reciprocal Reading lessons

Reading aloud/daily morning reading with parents

Reading the class book – questioning and discussion


Drama ideas

Freeze framing/Q&A

Hot seating

Acting out a story

Conscience alley

Feedback in character

Statue Speaker/Speaker’s Corner

Green screening

Mock trials

Chat shows

Public meetings

Create a Vlog







School performances -shows

Class assemblies

Persuasive speech


Group performances of poems

Public Service Announcements

Cookery Show

PowerPoint presentation

Video diaries


Continuous Provision

Role play corner

Small world

Block play

Sentence stems for play


Interaction with the public

Interview a visitor

Skype someone from another place

Open Days – showing visitors around


Language development

Play ‘I spy’


Play Guess who?

Matching games

7 ways to promote oracy at home

Try these techniques to help your child become a more confident communicator, in school and at home.

1. Read aloud to your child

Reading aloud to your child, well beyond the age they can read for themselves, combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within one activity that helps children build their vocabulary, learn to express their thoughts, and understand the structure of language,’ says Billie.

2. Record a video diary

Many kids aspire to being vloggers or YouTube stars, so encourage them to start a video diary, either to chart their everyday life or to record special occasions like birthdays and holidays. For safety’s sake, keep these within the family rather than broadcasting them online.

3. Play word games

Games like 20 Questions, Guess Who? and I Spy are great for helping children use descriptive language and think critically about what they’re saying.

4. Talk about their day

Ask your child, ‘What did you do today?’ and they’ll often claim they can’t remember, so find different ways to talk about what they’ve been up to. Eating your evening meal as a family is a good way to encourage conversation, while older kids are often more chatty in the car, where they feel less like they’re being interrogated. You could also try our tips for asking the right questions to elicit information.

5. Phone a friend (or relative)

Persuade your child to take a break from text and WhatsApp and develop their speaking skills by making an actual phone call. ‘Encouraging them to speak to different family members on the phone or on a video call will build confidence,’ says Billie.

6. Go on a nature walk

This is a great pre-phonics activity for young children, who can be encouraged to listen carefully to the sounds they hear – from traffic to birdsong – and describe them. They can also describe the natural sights they see, such as trees, animals and birds and the sky.

7. Sign them up for a club

Joining extracurricular clubs is a good opportunity for your child to converse with different people outside the home or school environment. Many of them also involve taking instructions (such as being coached in sporting techniques or to complete science or art projects), and introduce them to different vocabulary relating to their new hobby.