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Speaking and listening


Our Northcote Curriculum is designed with the intent to maximise potential of all of our pupils; intellectually, socially, morally, emotionally and culturally.  We take every opportunity to encourage a love for learning within all of our pupils, based around a resilience for learning and achieving greatness.  Most importantly we allow our children to learn in a safe and stimulating environment, where their views are valued.

Speaking and listening is central to the Northcote Curriculum and is developed from EYFS throughout our school, across the curriculum. We nurture children’s speaking and listening skills through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, story time, hot-seating, and now through collaborative learning in Science and RE. 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.


All staff in our school model the use of higher level vocabulary within their speech and expanding children’s vocabulary is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, through teacher modelling, in context. Contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work. This model is reflected in shared reading sessions, where children are given the chance to explore unfamiliar vocabulary and expand their knowledge of words. We are keen to 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. Children are given the chance to orally rehearse ideas for writing regularly.

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, embedded the use of topic specific language repetitively  they rehearse.

We now use ‘floor books’ for science and RE, which is also helping to develop our speaking and listening skills. Work is much more collaborative and children are given the time to share and discuss their ideas, before recording.


Speaking and listening give us the basic skills we need to communicate with the world around us. Children are given a range of  opportunities to develop these skills, in a safe and stimulating environment. The wide range of speaking and listening activities – which are weaved throughout our curriculum – help to develop ideas, vocabulary and confidence, as the more we talk, the more we pick up on different words that other people use.