Spoken Language


St. Sebastian’s we believe the inclusion of spoken language in the primary curriculum is of paramount importance as it plays a central role in fostering comprehensive development among young learners. Firstly, spoken language serves as a foundational skill for effective communication. By engaging in spoken activities, students learn to express themselves clearly, articulate ideas, and engage in meaningful conversations. This not only enhances their communication skills but also contributes to cognitive and linguistic development, promoting critical thinking and linguistic proficiency. Furthermore, spoken language activities, such as group discussions and presentations, provide opportunities for social interaction, fostering the development of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. Building confidence and self-esteem is another significant outcome, empowering students to navigate social and academic challenges with assurance. Proficiency in spoken language is not only a valuable asset in future academic and professional pursuits but also actively contributes to literacy skills development by reinforcing the connection between spoken and written language. Emphasizing spoken language in the primary curriculum thus creates a well-rounded educational experience, nurturing skills essential for effective communication, social integration, and overall success in various facets of life.


At St. Sebastian’s we focus on high quality talk (‘oracy’). We support our students to expand their vocabulary, speak audibly, challenge their peers respectfully, and be thoughtful listeners throughout the curriculum.   This is supported through by the Pupil Talk Pledge and special talk prompt cards to help pupils practice phrases such as, “I am wondering if…”, “I disagree because…”, “In conclusion…”.  

Implementing talk strategies throughout the curriculum using structured Kagan approaches significantly enhances the learning experience for students. Kagan structures are cooperative learning methods designed to promote positive interdependence, individual accountability, and simultaneous interaction among students. By using Kagan strategies teachers ensure:

  1. Active Engagement
    • Kagan structures emphasize student interaction, ensuring that every student actively participates in discussions. This fosters engagement with the curriculum content, as students are encouraged to share their ideas, ask questions, and collaborate with their peers.
  2. Communication Skills Development
    • The structured nature of Kagan approaches provides a framework for students to practice and refine their communication skills. Whether through Think-Pair-Share, Round Robin, or other structures, students consistently engage in meaningful conversations, enhancing their ability to express ideas clearly.
  3. Collaborative Learning
    • Kagan structures promote collaborative learning by encouraging students to work together towards common goals. This collaborative approach cultivates a positive learning environment where students support each other's understanding of the curriculum material.
  4. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
    • Many Kagan structures involve problem-solving and critical thinking components. For instance, structures like Rally Robin and Sage-N-Scribe require students to think critically about the content and articulate their thoughts to their peers, fostering a deeper understanding of the curriculum.
  5. Classroom Community
    • Implementing Kagan structures builds a sense of classroom community. Students learn to appreciate the diverse perspectives of their peers, creating a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where everyone's contributions are valued.
  6. Individual Accountability
    • Kagan structures incorporate individual accountability, ensuring that each student actively participates and takes responsibility for their learning. This helps in monitoring student progress and understanding, allowing teachers to provide targeted support where needed.
  7. Confidence Building
    • Through structured Kagan approaches, students regularly practice speaking in front of their peers in a supportive environment. This contributes to confidence building, as students become more comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas in various contexts.
  8. Transferable Skills
    • The skills developed through Kagan structures are transferable across subjects and real-life situations. Students learn effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills that can benefit them in future academic endeavours and professional settings.

By embedding structured Kagan approaches throughout the curriculum, educators create a dynamic and interactive learning environment that not only enhances understanding of content but also nurtures essential life skills in students



The impact of good oracy skills in primary school is profound and extends across various aspects of a student's development, contributing to academic, social, and personal growth. Here are some key impacts:

  1. Communication Proficiency:
    • Good oracy skills enhance a student's ability to communicate effectively. This proficiency extends beyond verbal expression to include listening skills, enabling students to comprehend and respond thoughtfully to others.
  2. Academic Achievement
    • Oracy skills are closely linked to academic success. Students who can articulate their thoughts clearly and engage in meaningful discussions are better equipped to participate actively in class, understand complex concepts, and express themselves in written assignments.
  3. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
    • Developing oracy skills encourages critical thinking and the ability to analyse information. Students learn to express and defend their opinions, contributing to a deeper understanding of subject matter and fostering effective problem-solving abilities.
  4. Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem
    • Regular opportunities to practice oracy build confidence in students. Whether through presentations, debates, or group discussions, students become more comfortable expressing themselves, leading to increased self-esteem and a positive self-image.
  5. Social Interaction and Emotional Intelligence
    • Good oracy skills promote effective social interaction. Students learn to navigate various social contexts, understand different perspectives, and communicate respectfully. This, in turn, contributes to the development of emotional intelligence as they learn to manage their own emotions and empathize with others.
  6. Preparation for Future Success
    • Strong oracy skills are a valuable asset in both academic and professional settings. Individuals who can communicate persuasively, collaborate effectively, and present ideas coherently are better prepared for success in future educational pursuits and careers.
  7. Cultural Awareness and Diversity
    • Oracy activities provide opportunities for students to share and appreciate diverse perspectives. This helps in building cultural awareness, fostering an inclusive environment where students learn to respect and understand the richness of different cultures and backgrounds.
  8. Life-Long Learning Skills
    • The development of good oracy skills goes beyond the classroom, instilling life-long learning skills. Students become adept at expressing themselves in various situations, adapting their communication style to different audiences, and continuously refining their ability to learn from and communicate with others.

In conclusion, the impact of good oracy at the primary school level is far-reaching, influencing not only academic success but also social and personal development. By nurturing effective communication skills early on, schools set the foundation for students to thrive in both educational and life endeavours

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St Sebastian's RC Primary School

Douglas Green (off Norfolk Street), Salford M6 6ET
what3words: /// call.logic.swing
0161 921 1625
[email protected]


Caroline Doyle | Headteacher

Jannine Platt | Deputy Headteacher and SENDCo

Helen Cooper | School Business Manager

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