Good spoken language skills underpin literacy development and support thinking and reasoning skills crucial to learning across the curriculum. Language development steadily builds on the solid foundations that are established during the early years. Children learn language by hearing good examples around them every day. Their attention, listening, understanding, vocabulary, speech, grammar, storytelling and conversations all develop further in terms of skills, knowledge and complexity as they mature. Building relationships and emotional development also rely on the ability to effectively communicate. Many children and young people at risk of under-achieving have weaker language skills; a focus on spoken language can help to reduce this gap in attainment. Spoken language skills develop in a supportive environment where opportunities and encouragement to talk and listen are provided and where adults take time to listen as well as talk.
The Spoken Language Programme for Years 1-6 follows 12 statements that build on the EYFS curriculum where children will be taught to:
1. Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
2. Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
3. Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
4. Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
5. Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
6. Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
7. Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
8. Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of standard English
9. Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
10. Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener/s
11. Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
12. Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication
Support that can be provided at home to help scaffold and accelerate children's development includes:
- Modelling for children what is meant by ‘good listening’
- Giving children the time to understand what has been said to them before expecting a response
- Developing the expectation that children should understand what they hear and if they don’t they should have the skills and confidence to ask for clarification
- Talking about new words when they arise and helping children to make links with words they already know
- Modelling good communication skills by speaking clearly and in sentences that aren’t too long and complicated
- Encouraging every-day exposure to precise and increasingly ambitious vocabulary choices
- Breaking down the skills needed to work in a group and giving children opportunities to practise these skills
If you would like further guidance about how to support your child's spoken language development, please see your child's teacher and/or Miss Haji and Mrs Emery.
Racism Racism: pop-up-performance by year 6
Children's Own Poetry
Pop up Poets
We have relaunched our pop-up-poets in assemblies this Autumn term to coincide with Remembrance Day.
Some Key Stage 2 children chose a poem they had researched to learn and others chose to write their own based on shared animation and class discussion. Year 5/6 had only 20 minutes in which to write a poem based on their emotional response to shared stimulus, so we think they have done fantastically good job!
It can be really daunting to stand up and speak in front of an audience, so every child who elects to 'pop-up' in a whole school or key stage assembly should feel enormously proud of their achievement. We will share poems written by our pop-up poets on the Writing Wall of Fame section of our English page.
Well done Joss, Morven and Alys (Year 3) who wrote, learned by heart and recited their own poem 'Soldiers that Fought for Us' in our KS2 assembly (see our Writing Wall of Fame).
Well done to Daisy, Danielle and Sophie (Year 3) for bravely sharing their group poem recital with us in a whole school assembly.
Thank you for sharing your own Egypt topic poem with us Alys (Year 3) - it was brave to stand up and recite this alone in our Key Stage 2 assembly at such short notice!
Well done Emillie, Daisy and Allana (Year 5) who learnt and recited 'The Inquisitive Child' (Anon.) in our whole school Remembrance assembly.
Well done Eva and Logan (Year 6) who wrote and shared their own poem 'In the Meadow' in our whole school Remembrance assembly (see Writing Wall of Fame).
Well done Hermione (Year 6) who wrote her own poem 'The Many' and shared this in our whole school Remembrance assembly (see Writing Wall of Fame).
Well done Katie, Eilidh and Ellen (Year 5) who learnt by heart and recited 'Twas Madness' (Peter Atkinson) in our KS2 assembly. Not an easy poem to remember!
Well done Paige, Aggie and Freddie (Year 6) who learnt and shared 'For the Fallen' (Laurence Binyon) in our KS2 assembly.
Well done Hana and Emily B (Year 6) who wrote their own poem 'Why we Wear Poppies' and shared this in our whole school Remembrance assembly (see Writing Wall of Fame).
Betsan (Year 6) bravely popped up to sing a verse of Vera Lynn's 'White Cliffs of Dover' (unaccompanied!) in our KS2 assembly; we think she should think about a role in our end of year performance based on how hauntingly beautiful her singing voice is...
Thank-you for making us all smile Khalil (Year 5) when you recited 'When you Smile' with such a wonderfully big smile of your own!
Well done Scarlet and Betsan (Year 6) who shared 'there will come soft rains'.
Well done Katie and Ellen (Year 5) who made us all remember how beautiful winter can be when reciting 'I am Winter, King of Seasons'.
Thank-you Eilidh and Noah (Year 5) for leading us into Christmas by reciting 'Christmas Child'.
Well done Alex G and Harry (Year 5) and Grace (Year 6) and Danielle (Year 3) for adding some festive cheer to our Christmas Jumper Day whole school assembly with your Christmas themed poetry recitals.
We are all looking forward to hearing more from our KS1 and KS2 pop-up-poets and to watching some pop-up-performances soon as well.
We have so many wonderful poets popping up these days that it has become impossible to keep up and post every child's achievement here! We will continue to celebrate children's poetry in school and to hand out certificates in assemblies; we will post samples of their wonderful poetry in the block above.
Year 6 English Challenge
There once was a fellow named Paul
who went to a fancy-dress ball
he thought he would risk it
so he went as a biscuit
but a dog ate him up in the hall!
We were reminded at this years English Challenge of how much fun can be had with poems and limericks. Once learnt, these are often fondly remembered into adulthood. All children are invited to pop-up in an assembly, or their own classrooms, with any poetry they have learnt by heart and would like to share. Performance poetry is a valuable skill as well as an opportunity to speak in front of an audience. We also have some Year 5/6 pop-up-performers planned for assemblies soon, as children are keen to share their music and drama skills when retelling the Hindu creation story.
Pupil Governor Hustings
We are all very proud of our candidates for election this year. Their speeches made us proud not just because each Year 6 child was articulate, passionate and brave enough to stand up in a Key Stage 2 assembly to pitch to their peers, but also hopeful as theirs are the voices who will speak for us in the future. Good luck girls; you are all destined for great things! We will share election results as soon as all the votes have been counted.