The National Curriculum in England only has one page on spoken language and this covers the entire primary curriculum for Year 1 to 6. The curriculum specifies that pupils should be taught to:
- listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
- ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
- use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
- articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
- give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
- maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
- use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
- speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
- participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
- gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
- consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
- select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.
The non-statutory notes helpfully state that ‘the content should be taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils. But if you are are Year 3 or a Year 6 teacher, how do you work out what speaking and listening skills to teach?
This is why we’ve brought out Brilliant Activities for Speaking and Listening at Key Stage 2.
The book contains 21 activities for Years 3–4 and 25 for Years 5-6. The activities range from interpreting facts and figures and working out the correct order in wich instructions and information are given to discussing and debating issues, such a bullying, junk foods and attitudes towards keeping pets. There are also opportunities for role-play, hot-seating, retelling stories, and for responding to and interpreting poems. The emphasis is on activities in which pupils use exploratory talk in order to clarify their viewpoints.
The following sample activities are available on our website, so you can ‘try before you buy’:
- Giving instructions: how to draw a hopscotch design (Y3-4)
- Give your point of view on bad habits (Y3-4)
- Discuss and debate the relevance of mobile phones (Y5-6)
- Interpret the facts about how sound travels (Y5-6)