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Home > Oracy in Action

Embed a culture of oracy in your school with our fully sequenced, evidence-based oracy programme

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Oracy in Action

What is Oracy in Action?

Develop your whole-school oracy provision and give your pupils the tools to communicate for a brighter future

Oracy in Action is:

  • A complete oracy intervention for KS1 and 2 developing vital speaking and listening skills in an engaging and enjoyable format with direct links to the National Curriculum and Ofsted
  • Comprehensive lesson plans with adaptive teaching flexibility
  • All supporting materials and resources
  • Training & teacher support
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Watch the video to find out more about Oracy in Action.

Following our pilot programme, 89% of pupils engaged with Oracy in Action state they are ‘better at listening to the opinions of others’  and 75% ‘feel more confident expressing themselves out loud’.

Just £375 for 12 weeks of lesson plans, resources and content

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Alice Discover Your Voice Participant

Why use Oracy in Action in your school?

Oracy in Action is a complete oracy intervention for primary schools, enabling you to deliver a sequenced, evidence-based speaking and listening programme across your school. Developed with leading practitioners with direct experience teaching oracy and leading school improvement , Oracy in Action provides your school with a series of lessons to kickstart meaningful talk in the classroom.

During the Oracy in Action programme, pupils will learn:

  • Why it’s important to give reasons for our opinions
  • How to form basic arguments
  • The use of facial expressions and body language
  • Active listening
  • Developing skills in reasoning and evidence

The module culminates in the capstone activity: Balloon Debate

Unit 1A: Introduction to Oracy (6 lessons)
In this unit we introduce children to the basics of what oracy is, why it’s important to give reasons for our opinions, how to form basic arguments, the use of facial expressions and body language and active listening.

Unit 1B: Effective argumentation: Make your case (6 lessons)
In this unitwe expand on the skills learnt in Module 1A, expanding skills in reasoning and evidence, and leading to a full balloon debate.

Containing complete lesson plans with all supporting resources and guidance, Oracy in Action is an easy to use, tried-and-tested approach to oracy provision suitable for all teachers and Teaching Assistants to use, out of the box.

Building on the English-Speaking Union’s century of oracy education provision, advocacy and research, Oracy in Action gives schools the tools to deploy dialogic teaching techniques throughout their curriculum.

Designed in a modular format, Oracy in Action can be used across a curriculum, or as part of an extra-curricular or intervention group. With differentiation built into the programme, there is flexibility to allow for each school to deliver the programme in the way that suits their setting best. There is no ‘one size fits all’.

With explicit links to the National Curriculum, and supportive CPD and additional teaching resources and guidance, Oracy in Action is the perfect way to boost your oracy provision.

Have a question or would like more information? Get in touch with us on education@esu.org or by calling 020 7529 1565

A structured and progressive approach to teaching oracy – Oracy in Action school, 2022

Find out more with our pre-recorded

introductory webinar

Why oracy?

Oracy is to speaking what numeracy is to mathematics or literacy to reading and writing. Oracy is being able to express yourself well and having the vocabulary to say what you want to say and the ability to structure your thoughts so that they make sense to others.

The benefits of oracy (speaking and listening) skills go far beyond academic achievement and employability. Being able to communicate effectively develops a whole range of social, emotional and interpersonal skills, including self-confidence, self-awareness, resilience and empathy. Having the skills and confidence to speak up and believe in yourself has also been shown to enhance our sense of happiness and well-being.

The Oracy All Party Parliamentary Group report (2021), which the ESU contributed to as part of the Oracy Network, also highlighted the devastating impact of the pandemic on spoken language skills development, especially for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds. They found that ‘Two thirds of primary teachers (66%) and nearly half (44%) of secondary teachers say school closures during the pandemic had a negative effect on the spoken language development of pupils eligible for free school meals.’

And yet, more than three quarters of teachers (77%) think oracy is vital for overall attainment across the curriculum (Oracy APPG report, 2021).

We want to help your school to close the language gap, develop strong oracy culture and provision within your schools, in a way which works for you, and ultimately help improve social mobility. We believe that all children should have the opportunity make their voice heard – and Oracy in Action will enable you to do just that.

A group of primary school pupils (a boy and three girls) sitting around a table and playing debating games for students
"A structured and progressive approach to teaching oracy"

Teacher from Oracy in Action Pilot School

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