English - Speaking and Listening


At Abbots Ripton, we firmly support the core national curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  •  are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for pleasure and information;
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
  •  appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
  •  write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;

By the time children leave our school, we expect them to communicate through speaking, listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding.



We believe that speaking and listening underpins the development of reading and writing and so in all classrooms, and in an age-appropriate manner, pupils are provided with opportunities 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
  • 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
  • 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 listener(s)
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, building on the contributions of others.

Teachers in Reception spend time modelling responses and vocabulary, asking questions to assess a child's understanding. In KS1 and KS2, there are  opportunities provided to facilitate good spoken language across the school including asking questions and listening to responses, discussing feelings and emotions, sharing understanding of books, taking part in drama, role-play and through participating in class discussions and debates.

As part of our curriculum, we provide pupils with frequent opportunities to develop their spoken language in a pupil-led manner. For example, in Reception children share what is special to them and in Upper Key Stage Two, pupils have regular opportunities to both plan and deliver a class Collective Worship to their peers.

In all classes across the school, children will be actively involved in classroom learning, where they will be explaining or demonstrating their thought processes to the rest of the class. One example of this is in Maths, where a pupil could be explaining a  mathematical concept, whilst demonstrating it on the interactive whiteboard.

School plays, such as the KS1 Nativity and the KS2 Production, are examples of pupils developing their spoken language through drama.



Children in Reception are assessed at the end of the school year against the criteria for a Good Level of Development in the areas of Communication and Language: Listening, Attention and Understanding, and Communication and Language : Speaking. A good level of development in these areas, makes for a good transition into Year 1 and the demands of the National Curriculum.

As spoken language spans the entirety of the curriculum in KS1 and KS2, teachers will assess pupils by making observations in all subjects. Teachers will assess pupils’ spoken language against the criteria for their year group, using specific curriculum intentions.