Speaking And Listening

At The Free School Norwich we aim to provide a supportive and enriching environment where all children develop the knowledge and skills needed to become effective communicators within and beyond the classroom. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. We enable them to not only communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes but also to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas therefore equipping children to be life-long learners.


We intend:

  • To ensure that all children become effective communicators within and beyond the classroom.
  • For our children to be able to speak clearly, fluently and coherently, to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions effectively
  • For our pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary for spoken language
  • For our pupils to rehearse their writing orally
  • For our pupils to use discussion in order to learn, to elaborate and to explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • For our pupils to develop competence and fluency in the arts of speaking and listening, presenting, sharing, participating and debating
  • For our pupils to gain the confidence to speak in front of an audience.


We aim to give our children confidence in themselves as speakers by showing them that we value their conversations and opinions. We also encourage a respect for the views of others. We are aware that as adults, we provide a model of speakers and listeners in our day-to-day interactions with them and with other adults in our school. We help them to articulate their ideas and provide purposes and audiences for talk within a range of formal and informal situations, in individual, partner, group and class contexts. We provide opportunities to perform to a larger audience, in assemblies and productions, where children’s efforts and skills are acknowledged by staff, parents, carers, visitors and peers. We provide a range of experiences where children can work collaboratively and participate in opportunities to reflect on talk and explore real and imagined situations through role play, hotseating, drama and discussions. We develop the children’s ability to listen with attention and understanding in all areas of the curriculum and where necessary, asking and responding to questions appropriately.



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.


Children need lots of opportunities to talk with others as they develop and practise their speaking and listening skills. This helps to build their confidence and improves their ability to communicate with other people. This is a really important aspect of learning to socialise and will help your child feel confident making relationships.

Everyday activities such as preparing meals, tidying up, putting shopping away and getting ready to go out, offer you chances to talk to your child, explaining what you are doing. They hear the way language is put together into sentences for a purpose.

Books are a rich source of new words for your child – words you would not use in everyday conversations appear in books. Children need to have a wide stock of words (vocabulary) to understand the meaning of books, so read aloud and share books as often as you can. They will enjoy it and it will be useful to them when they come across these words in their own reading later on.

Make time to listen to your child talking – as you meet them from school, as you walk, or travel home by car, in the supermarket as you shop at meal times, bath times, bedtimes – any time! Switch off the TV, radio, and mobile phones – and really listen! Show that you are interested in what they are talking about – look at your child, smile, nod your head, ask a question, or make a response to show that you really have been listening. Use puppets and toys to make up stories or retell known ones. Record your child telling the story and play it back to them.

Curriculum Progression