Charlton School

Our Oracy Vision

 

Students at Charlton School will grow into eloquent and inspirational talkers. During their time at school, they will each develop the ability to present, debate and articulate themselves, in extra-curricular activities and around the school. Charlton students will find their voices and will use them to become powerful speakers.

 

Oracy

Communication lies at the heart of our community and as such, it is at the heart of our school. During the school day, the four strands of oracy are embedded into our everyday teaching and learning and educators challenge students linguistically, emotionally, physically and cognitively. By learning through speech, our students gain the ability to become disciplinary experts who express their ideas with clarity and sophistication. In Geography our students speak like geologists, in Science they adopt the vocabulary of chemists, in History they employ the language of historians, and in English Literature they express themselves in the language of the arts. Voices are valued at Charlton and each student who walks through our doors is given the opportunity to discover, develop and demonstrate them.

How do we develop ‘Outstanding Oracy’ skill in our students?

During their time at Charlton, each student will develop their ability to communicate effectively in both an academic and pastoral capacity.

In order for this to be achieved a thoughtful oracy package has been crafted so each student can not only evolve their oracy skills but also identify areas for development and track their progress.

Here are just a few examples of how Oracy is delivered at Charlton School:

  • Oracy strategies used to deliver ‘British Values’ sessions every week
  • GCSE qualification in Speaking and Listening by Year 11
  • Extra-curricular enrichment opportunities such as Mock Trial, Youth Speaks
  • Participate in a national debate through Votes for Schools delivered in form

High-quality teaching and learning which incorporates oracy

Vocabulary

The average student requires a reading age of 15 years and 3 months to access and understand their GCSE examinations. The average reading age for students taking their GCSE exams is 10 years of age. A study by Hart and Risley* found that the average number of words a child growing up in a professional family is exposed to is 46 million, a child from a working-class family on average is exposed to 26 million whereas a child growing up in a family receiving welfare support on average is exposed to just 13 million words.

 

Charlton School understands the barrier to learning students face because of the vocabulary gap and as such, prioritises the importance of vocabulary and the narrowing of said gap. One of the ways we do this is through the implementation of Bedrock, a digital vocabulary curriculum that teaches essential Tier 2 words, root words and academic verbs to students in Years 7-9.

Here are just a few examples of how vocabulary is delivered at Charlton School:

  • Regular Bedrock sessions delivered during English Lessons
  • Bespoke Tier 2 spelling tests for students in Year 7-9 giving exposure to over 540 words
  • Word of the Week linked to current affairs and thematic topics.
  • Tier 3 vocabulary explicitly delivered through high standards of teaching and learning.

Reading

Charlton School is proud to identify itself as a reading school and one in which the staff distinguish themselves as reading role models. In their first few weeks at Charlton school, all Year 7 students are given a baseline reading assessment; this allows us to monitor the reading ages of students as they progress through the school and allows for us to allocate texts of a suitable level. This reading test is then repeatedly administered to ensure that all students are making progress with their reading.

Current research from Renaissance Learning emphasises the importance and beneficial impact achieved from students reading for 15 minutes every day and for this reason, all students in Years 7-9 Drop Everything and Read for 15 minutes reading each day. This daily reading is spread across all subjects and is even joined in by staff. It is our belief that if we do not allow students sufficient time to read in school, we are not only restricting their knowledge and comprehension of the Tier 2 vocabulary that enables them to access GCSE exam questions, but they also risk potential disenfranchisement from the rest of the world in their future endeavours.

Here are just a few examples of how reading is delivered at Charlton School:

  • 15 minutes reading everyday for students in Years 7-9
  • 1 hour library lesson every fortnight for students in Years 7-9
  • Whole text study in KS3
  • Whole text study in KS4
  • Each classroom is equipped with disciplinary reading material
  • Students given pacing bookmarks to promote their metacognition and independent reading.