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Speaking and Listening - 3 I's


At Hempstalls Primary School we recognise and highly value the importance of speaking and listening as part of our curriculum. We believe that effective oral communication skills are fundamental to our children’s development from the earliest years all the way to Year 6 and beyond, when developed it enables progress to be made in all areas of the curriculum. We believe that providing varied opportunities to listen to other people speaking aids the development of vocabulary, comprehension and English language skills. These important skills are the building bricks of literacy and learning and are a tool in empowering our children to use their voice with articulation and confidence when entering High School and throughout their adult life.

We build these skills throughout their school life giving our children opportunities to participate with different groups of children to present ideas with confidence, value the ideas of others, encourage and work towards every child being able to communicate audibly and confidently before an audience for example in assemblies, P4C (Philosophy for Children) sessions or school productions.


Across our concept led curriculum we understand and recognise the value of speaking and listening when planning our lesson sequences and carefully structure them so it sits at the forefront of the process. We nurture children’s speaking and listening skills and it is a valuable part of our children’s experiences with us from EYFS to Year 6, we expose our children to opportunities within their learning journey through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, story time, external visits, visitors in school, drama, hot-seating, philosophy sessions (P4C) and through the development of personal skills in PSHE. Philosophy for children (P4C) promotes an open forum for honest dialogue, where our children are encouraged to exchange ideas and opinions.

We develop these skills so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe and supportive environment, in all aspects and areas of their school life and into their future.

Our approaches to teaching and learning across the curriculum and throughout the school day encourage all pupils and provide opportunities for them to voice their ideas within small groups, in classrooms and within a whole school scenario. We recognise that these opportunities for independent speaking, group and class discussions give our children time to share and explain concepts and knowledge with adults and peers enhancing their learning and understanding. Staff are excellent role models and throughout the school day model the use of higher-level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s’ vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS to Year 6. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling.

Our creative writing approach, including Talk for Writing and use of drama gives our children the opportunity to practise choral speaking whilst expanding their vocabulary. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them to include them in their work. Opportunities are provided for pupils to share extracts of their work during English lessons, building an understanding of the impact that their piece has on the reader through the spoken word and using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features. Children are given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing regularly.

The teacher is the best model for speaking and listening and throughout all subject areas they use the I say you say technique to model how to speak and listen, modelling to the children a phrase, sentence or a few sentences using intonation, pronunciation and fluency. We also model the correct grammar in speech, for example using ‘we were’ instead of ‘we was’ and encourage children to reflect this in their use of spoken and written language.

Early Years

We begin in EYFS by exposing our children to stories and rhyme. Through enjoying rhymes, poems and songs, teachers build children’s strong emotional connection to language. The predictability of rhymes in poems and songs helps children to memorise and reuse newly acquired words and phrases. Identified pupils take part in talk boost working in small groups this helps to develop their speech, language and communication skills but improve social interactions with peers and adults.

Whole School Class Reading Sessions

Guided and whole class reading sessions encourage pupils to explore unfamiliar vocabulary expanding their knowledge of words and language. Staff model correct grammar in speech and encourage children to reflect this in their spoken and written language. They are taught new vocabulary in context and rehearse its use in the correct context by practising this orally they are building the confidence to use it in their language. The teacher models being a storyteller demonstrating expression, intonation, pronunciation and fluency using the grammar to guide the reading. The children then repeat chorally demonstrating what they have been modelled.


A nurture group is ran within school and children have the opportunity to develop these skills in a small group with adult support. They learn that their voice is an important tool and how to use it effectively to express their views and opinions. This provides an excellent opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills for those lacking in confidence and who have a particular difficulty with this area of development.


Drama is used across the curriculum to explore and engage the children in their learning through speaking and listening. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities. They practice speaking and listening skills as the characters, settings and roles they portray expressing feelings as another and empathy. Drama is used across all subjects to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities, embedding the use of topic specific language repetitively they rehearse.

We have a variety of school performances and recognise the importance of this in our pupils development. Children become characters and speak aloud to a large audience, starting in EYFS with a nativity play each Christmas and in Years 1 and 2 where they also perform a Christmas production. The children in Year 6 put on a leavers’ production in the summer term with the support from the rest of KS2. Throughout the year there are also many other opportunities for this such as Harvest years 1, 3 and 4, Christingle for years 5 and 6 and other special events around the year.

Lamda - London Academy of Music and Dramatic and Art 

We have recently launched LAMDA for pupils in a selected year group to take part in working towards the LAMDA group Stage 1 group introductory qualification. They are working with a qualified instructor and are given the opportunity to develop basic communication skills and to engage in creative expression within a supportive environment.

They will, from memory, speak one poem from memory, audibly and clearly, demonstrating an appreciation of meaning and also access drama games through the process.

Shakespeare - Collaboration with the RSC

The designated RSC linked lead in school delivers CPD to all staff to enable every class to engage in rehearsal room techniques. This has given confidence in our teachers to use these as tools for speaking and listening and towards the learning journey as part of all subjects across the curriculum and in particular when we take part in a Shakespeare week annually, unpicking the language, learning the new vocabulary and engaging in the plays themselves. The work also has enabled one selected year group to be part of the programme on a broader scale building those speaking, listening and performance skills and delivering a scene as part of our cluster group of schools at the nominated theatre.


In a safe and encouraging environment, our pupils develop into confident communicators who illuminate the goodness in each other by listening and speaking with kindness, empathy and clarity. They also speak loud and proud when sharing or communicating with others. They have the ability to recognise that speaking and listening lies at the heart of conveying character, and that through speaking and listening effectively, misunderstandings can be addressed and relationships enhanced. Pupils confidently use new vocabulary correctly demonstrating an improvement in their use of language; they speak clearly and confidently around others and listen well. This ability also improves our pupils’ attainment in all areas of the curriculum and the techniques used throughout school engage the disengaged and reluctant pupils that need these different learning experiences to hook them in.



HempstallsPrimary School
Contact Us
Mrs Shutt: 01782 950082Hempstalls Primary Schooloffice@hempstalls.staffs.sch.ukCollard Ave, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 9LH
The Creative Learning Patnership Trust