At QE, we place considerable importance on speaking and listening skills, including the encouragement of effective dialogue.

Speaking and listening well underpins higher-level thinking, supports high-quality written work, and builds the communication skills that are key for career success. Oracy (the ability to express yourself clearly and effectively) is one of the foundations of a good education.

As is always the case at QE, our classroom practice in this area is underpinned by evidence; carefully planned; and implemented and measured in a consistent, structured way. In our research and staff training, we draw on the work of leading academics and educationalists, such as those at Oracy Cambridge, based at the University of Cambridge.

We aim to ensure that our classroom culture encourages dialogue and discussion that promotes learning. Pupils should be able to:

  • Speak clearly to their audience, using concise and precise language;
  • Listen by focusing quietly on, and actively reflecting on, what is being said;
  • Think about what other people are saying by analysing and evaluating their ideas;
  • Engage by asking questions, sharing ideas, and reacting to the contributions of others;
  • Respect others by recognising the value of collaborative learning, and by working together through mistakes, misconceptions, and differences of opinion.

This classroom etiquette statement, summarised on a classroom poster, reinforces our high expectations and helps shape teachers’ guidance to the boys.

  • For more information, see our QE Update email on Dialogue for learning. Scroll down the email to: see the classroom poster; read examples of dialogic learning across a selection of academic departments; find out more about the importance of communication skills in careers (QE Futures); and learn about the many opportunities boys have to develop their oracy skills in extra-curricular activities through our QE Flourish