Being confident and articulate in both private and public speaking is an essential life skill

and is fundamental to students’ ability to develop their thinking in all curriculum areas. To encourage students to acquire and grow their speaking abilities, the Academy has developed a specialism in Oratory.

We inspire students to enjoy and explore language through debate, discussion, public speaking, drama and recitals. All forms of talk, from performative to discursive and competitive, are explored and developed through a range of bespoke activities and within curriculum lessons.  Our Oracy passport supports students to learn to be able to speak standard, formal English with clarity and confidence and to navigate which types of talk, tone and register are appropriate in any given situation.

At KS3 students take part in a Guided Reading session and a ‘Drop everything and read’ session every week. These sessions aim to develop a broad and varied vocabulary and to enable students to develop skills in fluency, articulation and expression. Grouped by reading age, and led by a member of staff, students read and review literature, challenging and inspiring them to develop their Oracy through reading and discussion with their peers.

Alongside the central academic curriculum, we run a tailored Oracy curriculum where students who struggle with a particular aspect of the spoken language will spend a series of lessons working on a personalised programme of vocal development according to their specific needs.

These classes are fun and engaging and help to build confidence, presence and maturity.

As well as our PSHCE days at MVPA, we also run two ‘Oracy Days’ a year where the focus of every class is a talk based activity aimed at developing a specific area of vocal communication, be it conversational skills, debating, presenting or explorative talk. We have an excellent working relationship with companies such as Debate Mate, Talk the Talk, and Speak Out who come to deliver training to students on these days.

It is clear to see the difference that a confident command of vocal communication makes for our students. Whether this is taking part in the poetry recital competition, Academy Production or the Speak Out challenge, representing a peer group in the Student Parliament, or simply being able to express thoughts, feelings and opinions clearly. Good Oracy underpins everything we strive to provide here at MVPA.