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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

More schools join oracy programme

22 September 2023

This term, a further 13 schools will join an award-winning programme to improve students’ oracy - their ability to build conceptual understanding and to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in spoken language.

The programme is part of a three-year partnership with the national charity, Voice 21. The partnership aims to improve academic outcomes and social mobility and to increase confidence and wellbeing by improving students’ oracy.

Schools taking part in the project offer students more opportunities to talk about their learning and ideas, either in small groups, or with their whole class. Students are also learning how to listen actively, assess the ideas being presented, and use talk to develop their own understanding.

The Voice 21 programme ran in 14 schools in the 2022-2023 school year. In July 2023, 450 Year-6 children who took part in the programme competed in the ‘Speak Up, Speak Out Jersey’ competition, and developed and delivered a TED-style talk. The judges awarded the first prize to Milli Renouf, a Year-6 Student at Samarès for her talk on ‘What equality means to me’.

An evaluation of the impact of the oracy initiative is taking place this term, which will produce consistent data on how the programme has affected academic outcomes and student levels of selfconfidence and wellbeing.

The outcome of this evaluation will be shared next year. However, there are indications that the programme is already having a positive impact.

Schools that took part in the programme have seen an improvement in pupils’ assessed levels of speaking and listening skills. They have also reported an increase in pupils’ confidence, vocabulary and articulation.

Some wellbeing teachers and Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) have also reported that vulnerable pupils who take part are better able to articulate their feelings and avoid conflict.

The Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner said: “I am pleased that more schools are able to benefit from this programme, which is already helping hundreds of students to develop their listening and speaking skills.

“Over the last year, I’ve visited several of the schools taking part in the programme and the feedback from teachers and pupils is universal: this programme is both enjoyable for pupils to take part in and having a real impact on pupils’ skills and confidence. I look forward to receiving the evaluation report, and to hearing from the schools who are joining the programme this year.”

A video about the ‘Speak Up, Speak Out Jersey’ competition is available online:

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