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Chalfont St Peter

Infant School

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Spoken Language Statement of Intent

Spoken Language at Chalfont St Peter Infant School


Spoken Language and Listening skills are central to our curriculum; these are developed from Year R and throughout our school. We nurture our children’s Speaking and Listening skills so that they are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and confidently, in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment.


We enhance children’s Speaking and Listening skills through a variety of approaches: exploratory play, story time, talk partners, hot seating, PSHE sessions and through collaborative learning across the curriculum. We develop these skills so that our children are capable of expressing their own ideas clearly and with confidence in an environment, where everybody’s views are valued throughout school life and in preparation for their future.


The National Curriculum and the EYFS 2021 Handbook reflect the importance of Spoken Language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken Language underpins the development of Reading and Writing. In addition, the EYFS 2021 Handbook sets out Communication and Language ELGs for:

  • Listening, Attention and Understanding
  • Speaking


The National Curriculum for English specifies content to be taught for:

  • Spoken Language



We develop our children's Speaking and Listening skills through a wide range of opportunities; story time, drama, role play, class presentations, assemblies, school productions, vocabulary lessons, use of pupil voice and stimulating classroom teaching. We value children's contributions during discussions and encourage all children to listen carefully and actively, valuing and responding to others viewpoints and opinions.  Subject specific vocabulary is embedded across the wider curriculum through teacher modelling, and our pupils are encouraged to use new words in their work. Pupils are regularly given opportunities to orally rehearse ideas for written work and discuss new vocabulary in lessons.  We recognise that the quality and variety of language our pupils hear and share is vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and comprehension.


By the end of Year R, children at the expected level of development for listening, attention and understanding will:


  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.


By the end of Year R, children at the expected level of development for speaking will:


  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.


The National Curriculum content for Spoken Language is taught at a level appropriate to the age of the pupils.  Pupils build on the oral language skills that have been taught in preceding years.


 Pupils in KS1 are taught to:


  • Listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
  • Ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge
  • Use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments
  • Use Spoken Language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
  • Speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play/improvisations and debates
  • Gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.



In a safe, supportive environment, children develop into confident communicators with the world around us. Children are given a range of opportunities to develop their language through development of the four key skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Speaking and Listening activities permeate throughout the whole curriculum and help the development of children’s ideas, vocabulary and confidence. Exposure to a wide range of language enhances children’s vocabulary and use of speech. At the end of Key Stage 1, our children will be able to speak clearly to a variety of audiences, express their thoughts and views, share their ideas and participate respectfully in and contribute to discussions.