The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) and the national oracy education charity, Voice 21, have launched a fully-funded oracy programme for 100 primary and secondary schools in the North of Tyne – the largest of its kind in the UK.
An estimated 21,000 students across 100 primary and secondary schools stand to benefit from the deliberate and explicit teaching of spoken language (oracy) skills as part of Voice North of Tyne.
Teachers and leaders across the North of Tyne will receive high-quality professional development and support from Voice 21 to equip them with the knowledge and skills to embed oracy into their classrooms, curricula and wider school life, ensuring young people across the North of Tyne benefit from a high-quality oracy education.
According to the Department for Education, over a third of all pupils entering reception across NoTCLA started primary school this September below age-related expectations in early language and communication.
These children are more than twice as likely to come from lower-income backgrounds. Voice North of Tyne will increase access to high-quality oracy education for all children across the North of Tyne, equipping them with the oracy skills they need for success in school and in life.
NTCA Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Shy bairn’s get nowt’ – we all know that, don’t we? The ability to express yourself, to articulate your thoughts matter so much. Yet, most of our exams are written.
“This oracy project is about helping kids learn to express themselves, because that process of learning to articulate and express your thoughts also makes you better at understanding and hearing other people’s points of view – and don’t we need a lot more collaboration in the world?
“That’s why we have funded this project, Voice North of Tyne, with Voice 21 so that schools right across the North of Tyne so that kids here can learn to express themselves through the power of speech.”
Alice Stott, Director of Programmes at Voice 21 says: “We are extremely excited to embark on this significant partnership with the North of Tyne Combined Local Authority. We know how oracy can dramatically improve outcomes for pupils from the least advantaged backgrounds.
“We look forward to supporting schools in the North of Tyne region, empowering them to become oracy experts and in turn, helping to transform the life chances of their students through talk.”