The aim of our curriculum is to enable our pupils to be informed, articulate and empowered. Christopher Hatton is a ‘talk rich’ school, we equip children with the skills to listen actively, speak confidently and challenge ideas respectfully. ‘Hattoneers’ understand that they have the right for their voices to be heard.
We believe that Oracy (the ability to communicate effectively) is a central means of extending pupils’ linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development; it is key to the progress and attainment of all children. Talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our children learn. We want children to learn through talk and we want children to learn to talk. Talk is elevated in all aspects of our school life – be it the daily mental maths session, book groups, EYFS news or assemblies. Children are taught discrete Oracy skills as part of their learning journey. Children’s talk is supported through the use sentence stems, explicit vocabulary teaching and high-quality adult models. Additionally, Drama is a key tool in the teaching of Oracy through English.
We plan opportunities for rich, purposeful talk across the across all subject areas. Our curriculum enables children to engage in both exploratory talk (the talk we use to explore and develop our thinking) and presentational talk (the talk we use with an audience to explain, inform or persuade).
We use a four-strand framework (linguistic, physical, cognitive and social & emotional) to underpin our teaching and help children understand what good talk and listening ‘look like’ as they progress through the school.
Our expertise in this area is developed through working partnerships with The Unicorn Theatre, Oracy Cambridge and Voice 21, and through our contribution to the leadership of the Camden Learning Oracy Hub. In addition, our staff team regularly undertake collaborative projects and carry out active research through participation in the Camden Learning Hubs.
We believe that, done well, oracy can permeate pupils’ lives, both within and beyond the school gates. This has enormous potential for addressing social disadvantage and society needs citizens who can engage thoughtfully and actively in the democratic process. Perhaps most importantly, we want children to feel valued and have a voice.
Click on the picture below to link to the film made to demonstrate our collaborative research project funded through the Reeves Foundation as well as examples showing our practice in oracy.