On Friday 30th June, the ESU hosted the inaugural International Oracy Symposium, which brought together teachers and educators primarily from the UK and US, but also welcomed a handful of attendees from elsewhere, including India, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. The afternoon featured facilitated discussions from: Harriet Goodman (SAPERE), who spoke about Philosophy for Children (P4C); Andrew Fitch (Highbury Grove School), who discussed strategies for whole school oracy development; Leela Koenig (ESU), who considered how and why one might want to debate difficult topics in the classroom; and Ameena Khan-Sullivan (ESU Mentor), who offered practical solutions to integrate oracy in varying subjects across the curriculum.
The afternoon provided an excellent opportunity for all attendees to share their own experiences and offer advice on best practice. Discussions highlighted how oracy skills can be developed across curriculums, and have an impact on much more than merely improving young people’s presentation skills in English and Drama, for example.
One of the key messages from the day was the importance of equipping teachers with the necessary skills and impetus to integrate oracy into their lessons, whilst not detracting from, but in fact complimenting, the skills taught to students to prepare them for assessment.
More information will be available at esu.org/blog