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Chennestone Primary School

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Speaking & Listening

At Chennestone, we believe that Speaking and Listening is a fundamental life skill. English develops children’s ability to listen and speak, for a wide range of purposes. It is developed from Reception to Year 6 across the whole curriculum.  Speaking and listening involves more than analysing your ability to talk and hear other people.  It is about adapting language to suit the situation and linking your listening and speaking skills to be able to response to any argument.  By developing pupils’ vocabulary, we can offer them the vital academic tools for school success, alongside the capability to communicate with confident in a world beyond the school gates.


From Early Years upwards, we encourage children in the development of the skills they need; to communicate how they feel; to talk about themselves and experiences; to hold conversations with adults and other children; to develop their own narratives and form questions and demands to cater to their own needs.  There is a strong emphasis on adults modelling, speaking clearly in full sentences using Standard English.  Through using language and hearing how others use it, children become able to describe the world, make sense of life’s experiences and get things done.  They learn to use language as a tool for thinking, collectively and alone.


Children are enabled to express themselves creatively as they become immersed in the imaginative world of stories, poetry and drama. They are able to express their opinions on a range of real-life issues which are important to them across the curriculum.


Our Key Principles

  • To enable children to order their thoughts and express them clearly
  • To develop skills of oracy, giving the children confidence and understanding, equipping them for work and leisure
  • To express and justify their feelings and opinions with increasing clarity and effectiveness and respect the opinions of others
  • To communicate with ease in varied circumstances for different audiences and purposes
  • To increase the children’s command of Standard English
  • To encourage children to listen with concentration, in order to identify the main points of what they have heard
  • To encourage children to ask questions in order to extend their knowledge and understanding
  • To allow the children to prepare their ideas before they write


Speaking and listening permeates all areas of the curriculum. The children learn from early on, to plan their work, listen to the plans of others, recall and assess their work and to listen while others recall. It is only when speaking and listening skills have been developed that children can effectively work co-operatively and collaboratively.


Examples of Informal Activities to Promote Speaking and Listening.

  • Role play areas (EYFS and KS1)
  • Shared play (work) areas
  • Reading and maths games
  • Shared reading of information texts, atlases, etc.
  • Interactive displays
  • Child-initiated play in EYFS


Examples of Structured Activities to Promote Speaking and Listening

  • Focused activities in EYFS
  • Questioning across the curriculum – teachers use a range of questioning strategies to establish children’s current understanding and develop their learning.  Higher level questioning is used to elicit a deeper understanding
  • Listening to and participating in stories, poems, rhymes and songs
  • Group discussion – children discuss and interrogate new ideas in a small group or whole class setting.  They listen to and value each other’s ideas whilst taking on board feedback so as to improve their own explanations
  • Partner talk – children work in partners to discuss their ideas.  They are able to explain their ideas about texts they have read and orally rehearse and prepare their ideas they write
  • Modelled writing – teachers model writing and editing to demonstrate the high expectations they have.  They verbally ‘think aloud’ in order to make the writing process explicit and provide a rich and varied vocabulary for the children to utilise in their own work
  • Shared writing – teachers use the ideas from children to create shared pieces of writing.  This enables the children to see the writing process in action as well as having pride and ownership over a finished piece
  • Drama activities
  • Circle time
  • Show and share/tell time
  • Oral dictations (spellings)
  • Shared and guided reading
  • Opportunities to speak in front of an audience in school productions and assemblies


Many of these activities will be delivered as part of their English lesson. However other opportunities are given throughout the day to encourage and facilitate speaking and listening.

Explore Our School Values

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