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Bolton Primary School

Caring - Inspiring - Enjoying - Excelling


Speaking and Listening at Bolton

Speaking and Listening at Bolton


Spoken language - We understand the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Pupils should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Pupils should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.

All pupils should be enable to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama/ role-play and through performances with audiences. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama or recite performance poems for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama, theatre and poetry performances.

Intent: It is our intention that Children at Bolton can express their opinions, articulate their feelings and listen and respond appropriately in a range of situations. That they can and do participate with different groups, presenting their ideas confidently and consider the views of others. They can speak appropriately with clarity before an audience in situations such as whole school assemblies and performances etc. We will always look for opportunities to expand children’s vocabulary and encourage them to elaborate when responding or explaining their thinking. We will model and correct grammatical language and standard English where appropriate.


Implementation: Approaches to teaching and learning encourage pupils to express their ideas in small groups and in class discussions. We recognise that sharing and explaining thinking enhances learning so we will plan for discussion and conversations pupil to pupils and to the teacher as much as possible. Staff constantly model the use of higher level vocabulary within their own speech; expanding children’s is a key focus from EYFS. Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, mainly through teacher modelling, in context and displays. We recognise that contextual learning helps children to understand new words and supports them in including them in their work.

Guided Reading sessions encourage pupils to encounter and explore new or unfamiliar vocabulary in shared activities. Vocabulary is the first of the VIPERS (reading domains) that we teach in Guided Reading sessions. Staff model correct grammar in speech 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 the curriculum to explore and engage children in their learning. This gives children the chance to embed vocabulary in shared activities. Each class performs a poem each term or similar for the whole school in an assembly and children are encouraged and volunteer to do ‘Children’s Assemblies.’ All pupils take part in a Winter Performance; older pupils get a chance to audition for main parts. Study of the play becomes part of the Literacy focus in December for Class 3 (Y5/6). Learning and singing the songs becomes the focus in music also.

Children take part in Class and School Council meetings, along with other workshops and P4C sessions. These experiences develop and allow quality experiences for speaking and listening with a clear theme or focus.

Jane Considine’s The Spelling Book is being used weekly in KS2 (beginning Sept 21). This philosophy is all about bringing the wonder of words to life and vocabulary and spelling retention. This builds on well to the phonic experiences in KS1/ EYFS.


Any children that have difficulties with speech & language or listening skills are identified early and supported appropriately.  


Impact: In a safe and encouraging environment, children develop into effective communicators and considerate listeners. They explain with clarity and confidence and listen with kindness and empathy. Children and staff recognise that speaking and listening lies at the heart of conveying character and that doing this effectively allows misunderstandings to be addressed and relationships to be enhanced.

At Bolton, we fully appreciate that the way we communicate with others and with ourselves determines the quality of our lives.

English at Bolton 2023 - 24