Windsor Academy Trust, Trinity Point, High St, Halesowen B63 3HY

Elevating Classroom Engagement: The Power of Oracy in Education at Windsor Academy Trust

22nd November 2023

In our rapidly evolving world, the importance of oracy in education has never been more pronounced. Recently, we had the opportunity to explore this crucial subject with Paul Warwick, a renowned educator and advocate for oracy, in a session specially designed for Windsor Academy Trust.

Windsor Academy Trust's Focus:
At Windsor Academy Trust, encompassing seven primary and five secondary schools, there's a concerted effort to enhance pupil engagement and participation. Initiatives like the 'STAR' approach — focusing on sitting up, tracking the speaker, active listening, and response — have laid a solid foundation. However, the aspect of 'response' in classroom interactions is where we sought further development, a goal that aligned perfectly with Paul's expertise.

Paul Warwicks's Journey and Expertise:
Paul, with a background as a primary school teacher, deputy headteacher, and a lecturer at Homerton College, Cambridge and the University of Cambridge, has a rich history in education. His work spans scientific inquiry in young pupils, the role of technology in dialogic classroom pedagogy, and teacher development. As an Associate Member of Oracy Cambridge, Paul's dedication to improving spoken communication skills in students of all ages is inspiring and directly relevant to our goals at the Trust.

A Reflection on Our Session: Deliberate Practice and Strategies in Classroom Talk:
Our recent session with Paul was particularly pertinent to the needs of Windsor Academy Trust. It offered an in-depth look at deliberate practice and effective strategies to enhance classroom talk. We delved into how these strategies could be implemented across our schools, focusing on increasing pupil participation and confidence in verbal communication. This aligns seamlessly with our ongoing efforts to boost pupil engagement.

The insights gained in our 90-minute session with Paul were invaluable. His blend of thought-provoking theory and practical application provided us with new perspectives and strategies to improve oracy in our classrooms. His expertise in this field is a significant asset to our ongoing mission to enhance pupil engagement and participation across Windsor Academy Trust.

We are immensely grateful to Paul for sharing his expertise and guiding us in this important area. His session has not only enlightened us but also equipped us with practical tools to foster a more engaging and responsive classroom environment. We look forward to implementing these strategies and continuing our journey towards excellence in education.