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St Joseph's Catholic

Primary School, Withnell

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'A person's words can be a source of wisdom, deep as an ocean, fresh as a flowing stream'.

Proverbs 18:4

Speaking; listening; group discussion and interaction permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. The first stages of each English unit involves many opportunities for pupils to interact with each other as they gather ideas, build techniques, skills, understanding and vocabulary. Children are encouraged to engage in activities such as improvisation, role play and the performance of scripted drama. Techniques such as hot-seating and freezeframing are used to develop thinking.


At St. Joseph’s spoken language is developed from EYFS and beyond. We want our children to be able to express themselves with confidence, as we believe that it is central to their learning. Children’s developing use of language underpins success across the curriculum and lays the foundations for active involvement in society. We nurture children’s spoken language skills through a variety of approaches. We develop these skills so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life. These skills are being encouraged in every area of our curriculum as good communication skills can enhance every type of learning. The children are encouraged to explore ideas through talk; challenge each other’s opinions and develop their own reasoned arguments, as well as talking in full sentences with a clear and confident voice.


Developing Language Storytelling, rhymes, poems and class novels are used to engage pupils both within the English lesson and beyond. These provide children with quality examples, language and inspiration to support their learning. Each term children learn a poem to recite off by heart. Pupils will build on the oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years. Opportunities will be made for children to work in groups of different sizes including pairs, small groups, large groups and whole class. They will be taught to take turns, listen to others and know when and how to participate constructively in conversations and debates. Teachers will support the development of a broad, rich and varied vocabulary in order to discuss a wide range of topics and concepts. Pupils will receive constructive feedback on their spoken language and listening skills in order to help them improve their overall language knowledge, skills and understanding. Children are taught to debate, make speeches and to participate in discussion

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