Oracy and Epics

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RWSCurriculum Transparent

Intent and Vision

Our vision in Oracy and Epics is for all students to be able to express themselves verbally with confidence and with an awareness of the needs of their audience. In addition, by exposing students to the work of ancient bards we will foster an appreciation of ancient and worldly stories in order to improve the cultural capital of our students.

Key Concepts that Underpin the Curriculum

  1. Story telling
  2. Heroism
  3. Narration
  4. Target audience
  5. Physical – Use of voice including volume, tone and pitch
  6. Physical – Use of body language including eye contact
  7. Linguistic – Choice of audience appropriate vocabulary
  8. Cognitive – Structuring thought in a logical way
  9. Social and Emotional – Understanding the needs of the audience
  10. Social and Emotional – Working as part of a team

Key Features of Learning

We believe the best way of doing this is teaching students through an oracy framework. This framework draws on dialogic teaching methods to ensure that students are learning through talk and learning to talk in equal measure. As a result, our lessons are very interactive and rely on students discussing the plot, themes and consequences of the chosen epic. Each scheme of work culminates with a prepared speaking outcome to ensure students are able to apply their oracy skills to the new content and themes they have been exposed to.

How Does our Curriculum Shape Learners?

By studying Oracy and Epics, students are encouraged to be respectful of different cultures and beliefs and how to speak with a variety of people in a mindful, appropriate and mature way. Oracy requires students to consider the content and structure of their speaking and to choose appropriate vocabulary for the task at hand. By improving the students’ ability to articulate themselves through spoken language we should also improve their writing, as Britton (1970) suggests ‘writing floats on a sea of talk’.

The Learning Journey: End Points for Each Academic Year

Year 8

By the end of Year 8, students will have developed a greater appreciation for the role of stories within culture and how many cultures use tales to teach moral lessons or explain seemingly unexplainable phenomena. Students will have an understanding of stories from around the world and how all global cultures have stories as a common foundation. As a result, students will have been presented with stories from different cultures and learnt to respect their cultural importance. In addition, students will have further developed the four stands of oracy while preparing for the six speaking outcomes that underpin each scheme of work. Each speaking outcome will require students to apply their knowledge of the stories and oracy skills in a slightly different way, to broaden their experiences and audiences. For example, having studied the ‘Great Race’ for Chinese New Year, students will prepare a sports commentary and after considering women’s role in conflict the students will prepare and participate in a mock parliamentary debate. Year 8 culminates in the students writing their own epic and presenting it orally, as would have been tradition in the ancient world.

Year 7

By the end of Year 7, students will have an understanding of the role of a bard and the functions they perform for audiences throughout time. They will also have some understanding of Ancient Epics, including the role of deities, heroes and conflicts play in the narratives. Students will understand why speaking is important and the four strands of oracy they must consider when planning a targeted piece of speech: physical, cognitive, linguistic and social and emotional. Students will have some practice in adapting each of the four strands to different audiences in order to fulfil different speaking outcomes. In order to do this, they will plan and prepare for six different speaking scenarios based on the ancient stories they are studying. For example, writing a news report about a missing man to draw on Odysseus’ journey home from Troy or writing the ‘thirteenth’ trial of Heracles as a bedtime story for young children. By the end of Year 7, all students should have the confidence to speak publicly and articulate themselves in dialogic teaching methods.


Provision Maps

Y7 - Autumn 1 - What is Oracy and Epics
Y7 - Autumn 2 - What makes someone a hero
Y7 - Spring 1 - What happened in the Trojan war
Y7 - Spring 2 - Where is our missing man
Y7 - Summer 1 - Should gods be almighty
Y7 - Summer 2 - Mythical Freeze Frame
Y8 - Autumn 1 - Mythical creatures
Y8 - Autumn 2 - What is the festival of light
Y8 - Spring 1 - Who won the race
Y8 - Spring 2 - The Hare in the Moon
Y8 - Summer 1 - Women at War
Y8 - Summer 2 - Write you own myth