Speaking and Listening

The National Curriculum states that,

`Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They should be taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.’

We adhere to the belief cemented in The National Curriculum that, `Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.’

At Christ Church pupils are given a variety of experiences and activities to develop their confidence and competence in speaking. Listening skills are developed alongside speaking skills, enabling the children to comprehend, follow instructions, assimilate and listen for pleasure.

We ensure pupils have many opportunities to speak in front of an audience eg Services at Church, during assemblies.  We recognise the importance of drama and role play in developing the spoken word and these are used regularly throughout the school.

We have regular theatre companies in to model speaking, listening and performance.

Talk and drama are extremely important tools in the teaching and learning of writing.

It is essential that pupils have opportunities to explore ideas in this way in order for them to produce effective, high quality written work.  Drama is a core part of our English curriculum.


Did you know…

Early Communication facts.

By 22 months a child’s language development can predict can predict outcome at age 26.

By 2 years 75% of a child’s brain growth has occurred.

By ages 3 – 6 years a child’s narrative skills are a strong predictor of literacy skills at 8 – 12 years.

By aged 4 the difference in the number of words children from disadvantaged backgrounds hear is 19 million.

By 5 years a child’s vocabulary will predict their educational success and outcomes at age 30.


How do young children develop the skill of communication?

 The company of familiar adults who look and listen as well as talk with (not at) children.
 Personal face-to-face communication about what interests children have right now.
 Real people
 Hearing vocabulary in a meaningful context – we are mindful of the vocabulary gap and are creating opportunities to ensure children are
immersed in language.
 Peaceful times and places within the day
 The company of other children, with a supportive adult alongside or near.


Good talkers need;
Somewhere to talk (places and spaces)
Something interesting to talk about (experiences)
Someone to talk to (who is interested)
Some words to use (vocabulary)
At Christ Church we are mindful of creating a suitable environment where children can talk and ensuring we provide many opportunities to support this.


We also recognise the different types of listening:
 Informational listening (listening to learn).
 Critical listening (Listening to evaluate and analyse).
 Therapeutic or empathetic listening (listening to understand feeling or emotion).


At Christ Church we make a strong commitment to develop pupils’ communication skills.

To develop the skills of speaking and listening we use

  • Talking about stories/learning.
  • Guided reading sessions provide opportunities for speaking and listening
  • Role Play.
  • Peer feedback.
  • Forest Schools.
  • Show and Tell.
  • Talking about Homework activities.
  • Asking questions.
  • Talk partners .
  • Performance poetry.
  • Performing in our Harvest Festival, Christmas Nativities and Easter Service.
  • Summer Whole School Performance.
  • Writing and performing play-scripts.