Children Heaping Hands


We believe that every child has the potential to become a confident and articulate speaker and have strong, effective listening skills. These are essential skills for future success. Opportunities to develop and hone children’s oracy and listening skills are embedded not only in the English curriculum but also across the wider curriculum. Topics can include discussions, debates, performances and presentations. Children practise speaking for a variety of purposes and audiences, adapting their language appropriately as well as their intonation, tone, volume and actions and are able to work individually or in small or larger groups with peers or older or younger children.


Please click the link to see the expectations for Communication and Language for EYFS: https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf


Please click the link to see the expectations for Speaking and Listening for KS1: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study#key-stage-1---year-2


Please click the link to see the expectations for Speaking and Listening for KS2: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study#years-3-and-4-programme-of-study



Our intention is for children to:


  • actively listen to others

  • express their opinions, articulate feelings and listen to and respond appropriately in a range of situations

  • use a wide-ranging vocabulary to express themselves effectively

  • participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, valuing the views of others

  • speak audibly and confidently before an audience (for example when presenting in a group to the class or when performing in school plays).




The teachers have worked in collaboration to ensure Speaking and Listening is embedded throughout our curriculum due to its cross-curricular nature and importance as a life-long skill. Our holistic approach in the teaching and learning of speaking and listening skills, alongside focused, discrete lessons enables each child to progress year on year.


Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to voice their ideas in small group and class discussions, as we recognise that sharing and explaining concepts with peers enhances learning. All staff model active listening and have high expectations upon the children’s listening skills. The children are supported and encouraged to demonstrate the behaviours associated with active listening, for example, eye contact, social cues. Circle time, story time and restorative practice provide key opportunities to reinforce these skills.

Whole class reading sessions encourage pupils to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. Staff model correct grammar in speech and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language. Children are given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing regularly. 

Drama is used across the curriculum to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities.

Children in Reception perform a nativity play each Christmas; KS1 and KS2 children also perform Christmas productions.


Key Vocabulary

Staff model the use of higher- level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work.


Independent learning

The pupil voice at Bardsey Primary School is strong and the children feel empowered to share their views, thoughts and feelings. For example, through School Council, Class Councils and class debates. The children are given opportunities to present in small groups, for example, to share research in a Foundation Subject. During vocabulary and whole class reading sessions, the children are encouraged to apply their skills independently and develop the ability over time to make their point and find evidence to back it up.


High Quality Resources

The teachers have worked collaboratively to devise a long-term plan of texts which provide stimulating, wide-ranging and engaging materials to inspire and motivate speaking and listening. All classrooms display key vocabulary effectively and model referring to this language. We also use Vocabulary Ninja resources to ensure we teach vocabulary in different ways. Interesting objects, photographs, current affairs, film clips are some of the creative resources utilized to encourage speaking and listening.


Outdoor Learning

Across all key stages, children have a range of opportunities to take their learning outdoors and to explore outdoor environments which aim to inspire their speaking and listening. For example, Welly Wednesdays in EYFS often inspire the sharing of ideas and the building of dialogue.


Curriculum Enhancements (visits, visitors, themed weeks/days)

School visits and visitors into school are used to inspire, inform or give purpose to teaching and learning of speaking and listening. ‘Hooks’ for learning, for example, at the beginning of a topic often generate lots of talk and discussion.



Continuous training to ensure teacher skill and knowledge is developed to teach the subject with confidence and accuracy. The Subject Lead will effectively seek courses that link to key actions for the development of speaking and listening and then effectively feedback to colleagues. 






  • In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into confident communicators who illuminate the goodness in each other by listening, speaking with kindness and empathy and explaining with clarity and confidence. 

  • Children recognise that speaking and listening can lie at the heart of conveying character, and that through speaking and listening effectively, misunderstandings can be addressed and relationships enhanced.

Leadership, Assessment and Feedback


The subject leader will work in collaboration with teachers to monitor progression in Speaking and Listening.


Feedback to speaking and listening activities, for example, a debate or piece of drama can be written, however, it is often verbal and occurs ‘in the moment’. Photographs, video clips or video recordings can be effective ways to gather evidence of learning and make assessments. Vocabulary work lends itself more to written feedback, self or peer marking or whole-class feedback.

For the full document including the progression map click here