Main Street, St. Bees, Cumbria CA27 0AA

01946 822392

St Bees Village Primary School

Headteacher: Mrs Emma Sharp

Spoken Language



At St Bees Village School, we want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and generate a culture of children who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

We intend for pupils to:

  • become confident and effective communicators;
  • have the ability to express themselves as individuals, sharing their thoughts and feelings;
  • participate in discussions and debates;
  • listen and respond to both adults and peers appropriately;
  • be exposed to high-quality vocabulary and be encouraged to use this within their own speaking;
  • develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading;
  • orally prepare and rehearse their writing;
  • speak audibly and fluently, using standard English.





Children in the EYFS are provided with lots of opportunities to talk with others to develop their speaking and listening skills. Staff encourage children to interact with their peers and with adults. Through focus tasks, staff expose children to topic specific vocabulary which allows them to experience a language rich environment. Children will then often use this vocabulary within their own speech. Children are also taught to develop their confidence and skills expressing themselves through show and tell, EYFS performances Talk for Writing. Children have the opportunity to develop their listening skills in a range of situations, such as through story time where children can anticipate key events and appropriately respond to what they hear. Children are frequently given instructions to follow involving several ideas or actions. Staff encourage children to ask questions involving ‘why’ or ‘how’. EYFS staff also encourage parents to talk to their child during everyday activities such as preparing meals, tidying up, putting shopping away and getting ready to go out to support the development of spoken language skills from an early age.


Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

At St Bees Village School, we follow the National Curriculum to support our teaching of spoken language. We embed the teaching of spoken language throughout all areas of the curriculum. We see great importance in developing the children’s speaking and listening abilities as these impact on all areas of the curriculum, particularly underpinning reading and writing skills. We support children to listen when appropriate, and to contribute confidently to conversations. We help them to develop their skills in presenting work to the rest of the class, or simply explaining next steps to a friend. Children have the opportunity to take part in performances through class assemblies and end of term performances to develop their speaking and listening skills in front of an audience. Drama related activities used within our English lessons allow for pupils to explain thoughts, ideas and opinions, often linking to their reading and writing. Individual year group targets are recorded on a progression document which allows staff to plan and assess effectively. Children’s vocabulary is also developed through ‘word of the day’ activities in which they are encouraged to use these within their own spoken language.


Talk for Writing

At St Bees Village School we use Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing as a whole school approach from EYFS to Year 6. Talk for Writing units begin with oral retelling as the programme advocates that pupils should be able to say it before they can write it. Children are taught to use expression and performance techniques, such as actions, when retelling a story or non-fiction piece of writing.


Philosophy for Children (P4C)

At St Bees Village School, we use P4C from EYFS to Year 6 to promote high-quality discussion between our pupils. P4C allows rational and reasonable dialogue, supporting children to use spoken language to achieve greater clarity. In pairs or groups, children work together to generate questions for discussions. During the discussions, pupils have the opportunity to articulate their thoughts, listen to others and build upon what others have said using ‘I agree with’ and ‘I disagree with’. Children learn how to respond appropriately to their peers in a respectful manner. The main aim is to try to understand each other and alternative points of view.


SEN and Gifted and Talented

To support less able and extend more able pupils, differentiated activities are used. Children with learning difficulties will have provision for their particular needs through the use of an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Children who are not yet meeting age-related expectations receive additional support within class and in small groups out of class. Their work is differentiated to help scaffold their learning and ensure that they are given every opportunity to catch-up.

For those pupils who are exceeding, teachers provide challenge through differentiated tasks and expectations. Children are encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in other subjects.



We want our children to leave our school being able to:

  • confidently and effectively communicate in a range of contexts and about a range of topics;
  • articulate their ideas, thoughts and feelings, whether this be during formal or informal conversations;
  • use high-quality vocabulary when speaking;
  • maintain the interest of their listener;
  • listen to others and build upon their ideas during discussions and debates;
  • use oral rehearsal skills to support their writing;
  • use standard English.


We monitor the impact of the teaching of spoken language through formative assessment. Teachers monitor pupil progress using our St Bees tracking document to allow teachers to be aware of next steps and gaps within their knowledge.