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Austin Farm Academy

Austin Farm Academy

English - Speaking and Listening

At Austin Farm Academy pupils are 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
  • answer questions in full sentences
  • 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 audience
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication and tailor their communication to the audience
  • speak with grammatical accuracy
  • recite poems learned by heart with correct intonation to make the meaning clear
  • learn and recite language patterns from texts in English (story maps)
  • use sentence stems to fully explain understanding/point of view/meaning

These skills are embedded in our planning across all curriculum areas and so developed through a range of contexts.


Vocabulary acquisition, and importantly the meaning and use of new words in context, is part of all subject planning and words are taught explicitly as well as embedded in the lesson and medium term planning of subjects to ensure repetition and embedding in long term memory. Low stakes retrieval activities are used, where appropriate, to reinforce and assess vocabulary acquisition, where appropriate, as it is key to supporting understanding of new knowledge and supporting reading comprehension and development.

In Reading for Meaning sessions, children are introduced to a wide-range of vocabulary through a comprehensive range of texts. The vocabulary is explicitly taught before then reading it in context. 

History, Geography and RE are taught through the scheme, 'Opening Worlds". During these lessons, teachers use the 10 high-levarage teaching techniques to teach and embed learning of new vocabulary:

1. Pre-teach new vocabulary

2. Storytelling

3. Exaggerated pronunciation of new words, saying them clearly and carefully

4. Choral response (children need to hear themselves say the words)

5. Don't ask one, ask five

6. Secure fluency (fluency = accuracy + speed)

7. Be clear - what is core knowledge and what is supporting hinterland

8. Secure pace

9. Avoid guessing games


Oracy is embedded in our curriculum for all subjects and also for the wider curriculum. It starts with an expectation and with the support of how we interact with peers and adults: being appropriate and using standard English. It continues to be developed by embedding oracy activities and approaches into lessons. For example, this could be an oracy starter in English or could be through the use of talk partners and different discussion formations across many subjects. The opportunities to develop oracy skills are wide and span the full and wider curriculum.

Children discuss and agree a set of expectations which set out the guidelines for small group or whole-class discussion.