Speaking and Listening at St. Patrick’s
At St Patrick’s we believe language provides the foundation of thinking and learning and should be prioritised. Our intention is for children to be able to express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen and respond appropriately in a range of situations.
We give opportunities for the children to participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others. We aim for every child to be able to communicate audibly and confidently in front of an audience.
High quality adult-child interactions are crucial and sometimes described as talking with children rather than just talking to children.
We use a wide range of explicit and implicit approaches including planning the teaching of vocabulary, modelling and extending children’s language and thinking during interactions and activities such as shared reading.
We use collaborative activities that provide opportunities to learn and hear language and also provide opportunities for wider learning through talk. Skills such as social awareness, relationship skills and problem solving are developed, as well as knowledge.
We promote high quality dialogue in the classroom, between the teacher and the pupils and between pupils, to support pupils to develop their thinking and use of language.
We extend pupils’ vocabulary by explicitly teaching new words, providing repeated exposure to new words, and providing opportunities for pupils to use new words. New vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum within medium term plans for each subject.
Each year group has carefully planned and mapped out opportunities alongside progressive statements linked to the National Curriculum.
These purposeful speaking and listening activities support pupils’ language development. Purposeful activities include:
- collaborative learning activities where pupils can share their thought processes;
- reading books aloud and discussing them, including use of structured questioning;
- pupils articulating their ideas verbally before writing;
- debates and presentations;
- PSHE discussions and reactions to current affairs.
In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop their speaking and listening skills and confidence which allows them to communicate with others effectively. They learn to express their ideas verbally, to discuss and debate issues with others, listening and responding to alternative views. They learn that their choice of language and sentence structure must be varied to reflect the purpose and audience of their conversation. These skills are invaluable to our children in the modern world.