Clover Hill Primary School

Spoken Language

Subject Overview

Long Term Memory

We encourage our children to be confident speakers and attentive listeners. These skills are taught, reinforced and built upon as the child moves through the school.  They are taught specifically through class discussions and debates but also subtly throughout the school day.

Real Life Relevance

It is important for children to understand the real life relevance and importance of being an effective communicator and active listener. We provide children with many opportunities to speak for an audience and to listen. We encourage children to select and use the appropriate vocabulary and correct grammatical structures when speaking.

Enquiry-Based Learning

Our children are taught through guided reading sessions and through class discussions how to ask meaningful questions to gain a deeper understanding.  We teach them to know the difference between rhetorical questioning and open ended/closed questioning and which is appropriate to use and when.


We want children at Clover Hill to:

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and 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 in 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 in Standard English
  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
    gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener
  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints building on the contributions of others
    select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.


How is spoken language implemented at Clover Hill?

Spoken language skills are taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupil.  The oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years is built upon with opportunities to revisit, practise and repeat learning which is key to deep understanding and having a mastery of skills.  Teachers look for links across subjects to help deliver the writing curriculum effectively in a way that will engage the children and stimulate interest. 

Pupils are taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance the effectiveness with which they are able to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences.  At Clover Hill, we provide pupils with opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – pairs, small groups, larger groups, whole class, whole key stage, whole school and whole school community.

Opportunities for children to develop their competence in spoken language:

  • class discussions
  • class debates
  • circle time
  • parent assemblies (one per term)
  • Christmas productions for families
  • Christmas carol service for families
  • end of year productions
  • awards night at Whickham School
  • visitors in school
  • special assemblies (Harvest, WBD)

We place a particular emphasis on:

– increasing pupils’ vocabulary when describing their immediate world and feelings

– developing a broader and richer vocabulary to discuss abstract concepts across a wide range of topics

–  enhance knowledge about language as a whole.


Constructive formative feedback is provided to pupils regarding their spoken language and listening skills, not only to improve their knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language at primary school right through to secondary education and beyond.

Pupils at Clover Hill have a wide vocabulary and are confident speakers.  They enjoy talking amongst peers and to adults in school and demonstrate excellent listening skills.