Enriching Language Through Oracy & Vocabulary

The intent of our curriculum is built around a focus on oracy and vocabulary, equipping children with the communication, presentation and interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the twenty- first century. Evidence shows that of the children who persistently experience poverty, 75% arrive at school below average in language development (Communication Trust, Talking about a generation, 2017).  A child in a low income household, over their early years of life, will hear 30 million less words. A typical child living in a welfare family will be exposed to an average of 600 words per hour, of which there is a ratio of 2 negative words to every positive. (Hart and Risley 2003)

Meadowside’s contextual information indicates that our children reside in an area that is within the highest 10% of deprivation nationally. Therefore we have created a curriculum filled with learning to talk and learning through talk, ensuring opportunities to acquire a rich and varied vocabulary, delivered in language-rich classrooms. Oracy is a set of teachable skills that are essential for life and is at the heart of our pedagogy.

Talk For Writing

Our approach adopts The Talk for Writing (T4W) method by Pie Corbett, enabling children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. T4W is a process that uses spoken activities to develop writing skills. First expanding and developing pupils’ oral language skills and then scaffolding and modelling the teaching of sentence, paragraph and text construction create quality writing.


Our aim is to overcome the vocabulary deficit for children by creating classrooms that are language rich, providing daily opportunities for the acquisition of rich and varied vocabulary.

With a focus on oracy we aim to equip children with the skills and abilities to live in the 21st Century, so that they can grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.

Word Warriors 

"Words unlock the doors to understanding"

Words empower children to make sense of the world around them. We recognise a wide vocabulary helps pupils to put their emotions into words, socialise with people, imagine and wonder.

Our aim is to overcome the vocabulary deficit for children by creating classrooms that are language rich, providing daily opportunities for the acquisition of rich and varied vocabulary.

Philosphy 4 Children 
P4C is a vital part of at Meadowside.   In P4C children learn to raise their own questions and build on each other’s ideas, thinking deeply about things that really matter to them. We are using this approach to teaching and learning to encourage critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

It is built on three principles:

–       children tackle profound philosophical questions developing oracy
–       children take leadership of the lesson
–       children learn respect and resilience to challenge other opinions.


Philosophy for children (P4C) is an opportunity for children to come together as a whole class on a weekly basis to provide a platform for discussion. These sessions allow every child to speak freely without feeling pressure in an inclusive atmosphere. It gives the children a chance to voice their opinions and listen to their peers in a structured and nurturing environment. The aim of P4C at Meadowside, is to develop children’s oracy and vocabulary, increasing confidence when speaking in front of a groups and to increase concentration span. P4C also helps children to become more critical thinkers and encourages them to transfer their philosophies into their written work. It is also a chance for children to raise topics that they are particularly interested in and are relevant to them.


P4C begins in reception, where children start to explore how to form questions and the appropriate language to use when having a conversation. A primary emphasis is on children learning when it is their turn to talk and actually listening to others. In KS1,  children are able to discuss topics that are related to other curriculum areas and have time to rehearse vocabulary and critically discuss upcoming issues. In KS2,  P4C develops to encompass world and current affairs as well as social issues that may have direct influence upon the children lives. By this stage, children are able to debate issues using their developing skills and language.


The impact of P4C is to help pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development equipping them to be thoughtful, caring and active citizens in an inclusive school and in a diverse wider society. It will also prepare them to enter secondary education with the ability to think and articulate their opinions independently.

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