Earlier this week the Ouse Valley Branch was delighted to welcome Professor Neil Mercer, Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Cambridge and Director, Oracy Cambridge, in conversation with Ellen Punter on the subject of: ‘Why oracy skills are vital to children’s development’.
Some local school heads and teachers, who work with the branch to embed oracy into their curriculums and take part in ESU competitions attended alongside members. This event underlined the branch’s focus on oracy and on the importance of closing the learning gap, especially now, after such a long period of remote learning.
Neil’s and Ellen’s conversation covered areas such as: children being ‘born into dialogue’; teachers developing their oracy skills in order to teach children/young people to discuss effectively in groups; pertinent facts/figures on the impact of oracy in the classroom on children and young people’s: reasoning, critical thinking, attainment, skills for life. As well as some of the main outcomes from scientific research that should inform good practice in schools, vocational colleges and universities.
‘There was just not enough time to cover everything we would have liked to but we did our very best to engage and inform our audience in our conversation, Professor Mercer’s knowledge and insights were just fascinating! He gave all in attendance ‘food for thought’ especially regarding how everyone has a responsibility, in our immediate relationships too, to make the time to encourage oracy skills in children/young people of all ages,’ said Ellen.