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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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Pupils engage in a range of speaking and listening activities throughout the writing process to practise, rehearse and edit their writing. Our curriculum allows pupils to engage in different types of activities to hone on their performance oracy and their critical oracy skills.


We believe performance oracy to be an excellent tool for building confidence, developing memory and building empathy. These skills are developed through activities such as: performing poetry for an audience; reading aloud work to the rest of the class for peer assessment and remembering lines from a playscript for a performance.


On the other hand, critical oracy is talk that engages others, different ideas and the outside world.  We develop these skills through discussion, debate, enquiry and role play.  This is also a way for teachers to assess how children have engaged with and understood the text that they are learning since during these activities, the speaking, listening and thinking are done simultaneously.


SFDS Debate Week


During the Autumn term, all pupils are provided with the opportunity to develop their debating skills. Throughout 'SFDS Debate Week', pupils are provided with unseen debate motions and stimulus evidence sheets. Pupils then have a set amount of time to write their own debate speeches for either the 'Proposition' or the 'Opposition' side of the argument. 


A representative from each Year 5 class is chosen to participate in an Upper School debate competition in the school hall at the end of 'SFDS Debate Week'. The unseen motion is revealed to pupils with only a short amount of time for them to then prepare their speeches. 


"I felt really happy to be chosen to represent Class 12 because I really enjoy debating. Also, to be chosen was an amazing opportunity to develop my confidence and oracy skills. I no longer feel as shy about speaking in front of an audience." Lexie

Performance Poetry

Year 5 pupils get to analyse the poem 'Tyger Tyger' by William Blake before reciting parts of it themselves. The children have to: use intonation and pace; adapt their tone of voice and expression; project their voices at varying volumes to suit the poem and use a very good variety of facial expressions and hand gestures to emphasise points.

Discussing Brutus and Caesar with Oxford University Academics

Participating in a whole class discussion with two academics from Oxford University required our pupils to: use Standard English; vary sentence lengths appropriately; justify for a wide range of contexts; project the voice at varying volumes; enunciate words from beginning to end; establish natural eye contact; avoid use of gap fillers (e.g. 'erm'); use a range of connecting and contrasting phrases to make links; listen out for how to refer to points; use different question types when probing the academics and challenge respectfully, offering alternatives.

'We Are Writers' Book: SFDS Poetry Slam


As part of our World Book Day celebrations, every child becomes a published poet in the latest edition of our 'We Are Writers' book. Pupils write their own original poems and get to see their work in a book that they can cherish forever. 


To celebrate the launch of our latest 'We Are Writers' book, pupils explore performance poetry skills. Also, they have the opportunity to represent their class in the school hall during our annual 'SFDS Poetry Slam'. 

Other Oracy Opportunities