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St Francis Catholic Primary School, Morley

Together in truth and faith we learn and grow as God's family.

Highcliffe Road, Leeds,
West Yorkshire LS27 9LX

0113 323 0554

Speaking and Listening

Teachers ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language. We recognise that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their vocabulary, grammar and understanding for reading and writing.  Pupils develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and poems, and to prepare their ideas prior to writing.  They are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves and to others and teachers will ensure they build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy misconceptions.  Pupils are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.

Teachers use a variety of collaborative activities to encourage exploratory talk and the use of different types of talking eg. developing, explaining, supporting, sequencing, providing a counter-argument, persuading and evaluating . These collaborative activities also help our learners to understand the importance of active listening. 

  • Pair or group discussions
  • Working together on shared tasks, e.g. matching, sorting, ranking
  • Activities with a competitive element/games, e.g. bingo
  • Drama and role play
  • Information exchange activities, including barrier games and jigsaw activities

Structures for teaching Vocabulary

 As a school we enhance the way we teach vocabulary by using strategies and ideas from the Word Aware program, which is a comprehensive and structured approach to promoting vocabulary development in all children. Children need twelve meaningful encounters of a word before they really know it. Word Aware promotes a method called STAR, which stands for Select, Teach, Activate and Review. This process ensures the children encounter the new words many times and many different ways. The key vocabulary is identified at the start of each unit of work and each lesson and is taught and engaged with in a clear and systematic way.


No Pens Wednesday 2018


 We love to mark make and write in different ways.  As part of no pens Wednesday, we explored making marks in different ways.  We used paint, chalk, shaving foam, sand, air drawing, hair gel, ribbons and many other sensory experiences to form our letters and marks.  

It was Autumn and we challenged ourselves to use sticks to write our names.  Have a look at our photos on Tapestry!


Year 1

As part of no pens Wednesday the children explored a range of poems about senses and seasons. We looked at different poems and read them to each other. We looked at the patterns in the language and discussed these. We noticed alliteration, rhyming words and repeated language to name a few.

Next we went outside on an Autumn walk. We looked for signs of Autumn and recorded these using photographs. We learnt some new vocabulary when identifying signs of Autumn and had lots of fun!

Year 2

We have been looking at how St Francis helped many people in his lifetime. We have discussed how it couldn’t have been easy for him to give up all of his possessions and money. After much thought, he came to realise that some things in life were more important than others. 

Year 2 were given a task to find out what they thought were the least important things in life and the most important  (following similar steps to St. Francis). The children worked in pairs discussing and debating reasons for their choices. The children made posters and shared their views on where they had positioned least/most important things in life with the whole class. Children communicated a mature understanding as they shared their views to their peers.

Year 3

 In Year 3 we retold the story of St Francis in small groups, and came up with our own St Francis poems. Later in the day, we worked in small groups to describe everyday objects or famous people without been able to say exactly who or what they were. The children had to remember every clue they had been given and piece them altogether.

Year 4

In our Science work we have been learning about teeth and digestion. To help us gain a better understanding of the parts of the digestive system we worked in teams to identify, name and label the different parts. Each team member was given ten seconds to view a labelled diagram of the digestive system before returning to their group to share the information with their team. The children had to work together to ensure all parts were labelled correctly. This involved speaking clearly, listening carefully and co-operating with each other.

Year 5

During our RE work we worked in teams to gather ideas and debate about the best ways to look after the Earth as God's stewards.  Each group elected a spokesperson, who presented a summary of the ideas of their group to the judging panel. The children demonstrated excellent team work and communication skills. By debating the different environmental issues we were able to gain a better insight into how to take care of God's creation.

Year 6

In groups we researched and gathered information about the different periods of the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic). Each group then sent an envoy to another group to explain and summarise what there group had learnt. The envoy then returned to their original group and fed back the additional information they had learnt. By sharing and explaining ideas that had been gathered we were all able to learn about the different periods of the Stone Age.