Curriculum Starting Points

What the Programme of Study says:

Key stage 2:

Pupils will learn to:

  • engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help*
  • speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
  • develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases*
  • present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences*

Key stage 3:

Pupils will learn to:

  • initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address
  • express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing
  • speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation

What the draft GCSE criteria suggest:

GCSE specifications will be cumulative and progressive in content and language. They will take account of the matters, skills and processes specified in the national curriculum programmes of study for key stages 2 and 3. They will also build on the foundation of core grammar and vocabulary outlined in the programmes of study for key stages 2 and 3, increasing the level of linguistic and cognitive demand.

In speaking, students need to (amongst other things):

• convey information and narrate events coherently and confidently, using and adapting language for new purposes
speak spontaneously, responding to unexpected questions, points of view or situations, sustaining communication by using rephrasing or repair strategies, as appropriate
• make appropriate and accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, with reference to past, present and future events
• make creative and more complex use of the language, as appropriate, to express and justify their own thoughts and points of view

What does this imply?
Some questions to discuss with colleagues:

  • To what extent do the new criteria at KS2, KS3 and KS4 imply a change in practice for us in our department?
  • How do we currently teach speaking?
  • Does our current methodology give students the ability to present ideas orally across multiple topic areas?
  • Are students able to manipulate language spontaneously when they speak?
  • Are students able to respond to unexpected questions?
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