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The word 'oracy' was invented in 1965, in an attempt to give spoken language the same status as written literacy and numeracy.


Almost 60 years later, despite much progress having been made in terms of our understanding of oracy, speaking and listening skills remain largely underdeveloped in schools, where reading and writing still rule the roost.


This is frustrating, because there is a wealth of evidence that teaching children how to speak and listen effectively leads to a range of positive outcomes, including:


  • Improved attainment in measures of subject knowledge

  • Improved outcomes among young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

  • Improved learning among bilingual learners

  • Enhanced social and emotional outcomes

  • Increase future earnings

This is what you might call a win-win. Win. Win-win! 


People often define oracy as 'speaking and listening skills'. But learning how to speak and listen with confidence in a range of contexts - from small talk to delivering a knock-out speech - is far more important than simply 'learning a skill' like riding a bike or learning to juggle. 

Learning how to speak and listen effectively is transformational. It makes you walk an inch taller. It changes the way you see yourself and the way that other people see you. It changes what you might do in the future. And it makes you much more likely to be a happy, healthy human being.


Each school, department and teacher has different strengths and areas for improvement. For this reason, The Oracy Curriculum Is not a one-size-fits-all approach.


Instead, we work with teachers, leaders and support staff and pupils to develop and sequence a bespoke curriculum for oracy which combines taught lessons with embedded elements across the curriculum, and which meets the needs of your school at this point in time.


Using the Oracy Skills Framework as a curriculum map, this bespoke training package might cover a range of areas, including: 


  • Talk rules

  • Talk goals

  • Talking points

  • Questioning

  • Pupil groupings

  • Teaching listening skills

  • Dialogic teaching and learning 

  • Philosophical inquiry

  • Formal structured debates

    • British parliamentary debate

    • Balloon debates

    • Short-form debates

  • Presentational talk

  • Ancient rhetoric: the language of power 

  • How to have more productive, enjoyable meetings

This training package works well in combination with the Making Change Stick programme. This can be completed either as a facilitated programme, or through an online course.



Our oracy training packages are suitable - and highly recommended - for all teachers, leaders and support staff.


We also run a one-day 'Language of Power' workshop for groups of up to 30 pupils (age 8-18). Enquire here for more details.



We operate a scale of fees depending on the size of the school. Hit the button below to receive a quote - or book in for a free 30-minute consultation with Dr James Mannion.

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