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2 December 2019

Dear Parents/Carers


At Colonel Frank Seely Academy, we recognise the importance of speaking and listening in helping your child prepare for life beyond school. We know from the research that employers consider verbal communication and the ability to work with others, the most attractive employability skills, yet these are the most lacking in their applicants (UKCES survey)

We believe that every child at Colonel Frank Seely Academy should have a voice and should be given the opportunity to develop their language skills, which consequently will build their confidence to articulate themselves in different situations both in and outside of school.

Developing classroom talk has a wide range of benefits on students’ outcomes during school, and beyond. In particular, structured dialogue during lessons, where students are encouraged to participate verbally and given space and time to reflect upon and discuss complex ideas, is linked with:

Cognitive gains, including improved results in English, maths and science, the retention of subject-specific knowledge, and ‘transference’ of reasoning skills across subject areas (Jay et al., 2017);

Personal and social gains, including attitudes towards learning, enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence, and a reduction in anxiety (Hanley P et al., 2015); (Gorard et al., 2015), and;

Civic engagement and empowerment, increasing children and young people’s ability to debate issues, while also increasing understanding about social issues and ability to manage differences with others (Nagda and Gurin, 2007).

How can you help at home?

We believe that the work we do at Colonel Frank Seely Academy to develop student oracy can be hugely supported at home. Please encourage your child to talk about their learning with you and ask questions to challenge what they have shared with you. At school, your child will be expected to use a wide range of subject specific vocabulary and to use academic language; this will help them write with a greater level of formality. Please reinforce this expectation where appropriate at home when talking about their learning. An example of how you can help is to challenge the use of filler words such as ‘like’ being used too frequently.

We believe this to be one of the many ways we can help your child to be the very best they can be to prepare them for a bright aspirant future.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely

Mr J Gale







Colonel Frank Seely Academy