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.



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.

All students are expected to participate in whole class, group and paired discussion to generate ideas and refine their thinking. Questioning is targeted and incrementally challenging, to enable all to develop their oracy skills while thinking hard.

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
  • Participate in a national debate through Votes for Schools delivered in form
  • High-quality teaching and learning which incorporates oracy through questioning


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
  • Tier 3 vocabulary explicitly delivered through high standards of teaching and learning.


Charlton School is proud to identify itself as a reading school and one in which the staff identify themselves as reading role models. In e first few weeks of each academic year and during the second half of the spring term, all KS3 students take the New Group Reading Test (NGRT); this allows us to monitor the reading ages of students as they progress through the school and identify anyone needing support to develop their reading skills through intervention.

We have recently invested in and trained staff to deliver Lexonik Leap, a phonics development programme, alongside Lexonik Advance, for those with moderately suppressed reading ages. Intervention is targeted in KS3, with a view to maximising all students’ ability to access GCSE texts across the curriculum by the time they begin KS4.

Current research emphasises the importance and beneficial impact achieved from students reading for 15 minutes every day and for this reason, all students have the opportunity to enjoy a timetabled reading session each day. The focus is reading for pleasure, and to maximise accessibility to more advanced, high-quality texts, staff read to students during group sessions. Independent reading is also encouraged, with staff sharing their own reading preferences and modelling reading for pleasure alongside students.

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

  • A twenty-minute timetabled reading lesson every day for all year groups
  • An evolving selection of contemporary and diverse fiction in reading classes and the library
  • 30 minute library lesson every fortnight for students in Years 7-9
  • Whole text study in KS3 (Trash, Animal Farm, classic short stories)
  • Whole text study in KS4 (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, An Inspector Calls)
  • Pacing bookmarks to promote their metacognition and independent reading.