Oracy and Vocabulary

Mrs Ahmed is our leader for Oracy and Vocabulary Development

Mrs Umerji is our KS1 Oracy Champion and Mrs Simmonds is our KS2 Oracy Champion

The Importance of Teaching Vocabulary

Vocabulary is a strong indicator of reading success (National Literacy Trust, 2017). We know from research that the size of a child’s vocabulary is the best predictor of success on future tests. Children with a poor vocabulary at five are four times more likely to struggle with reading in adulthood (Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report, 2018). At Spring Hill, we also know that a good understanding of a wide range of vocabulary supports success across the whole national curriculum. Therefore, pupils are regularly taught new vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum.

Developing vocabulary occurs in two ways:

  • Through indirect instruction; using rich reading experiences to grow vocabulary ‘naturally.’ Paying attention to context to work out meaning and using background knowledge.
  • AND Through direct ‘robust’ instruction. Good vocabulary instruction involves…
  • Decisions about which words to teach
  • Decisions and expertise around how to teach these words 

Vocabulary learning is taught in a fun and active way across the curriculum and innovative ideas such as the use of digital technology used.

Teachers carefully select vocabulary they want to directly teach. Teachers plan direct instruction for tier two words, as they can have a powerful impact on verbal functioning and be applied to a range of different situations (Beck et al, 2013).



In January 2023 we start our journey as a Voice 21 School. You can learn more about the importance of Oracy here.

Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language.

In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching children to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. It is also a route to social mobility, empowering all students, not just some, to find their voice to succeed in school and life.

Through a high quality oracy education children learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom, which has been planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable them to learn the skills needed to talk effectively.

download (2).png