Oracy Culture Award

Oxford Spires is delighted to announce that we have won the English-Speaking Union’s Oracy Culture Award, 2022. This is the only national award which recognises and celebrates those schools placing oracy at the heart of their curriculum and each year one school is chosen as the secondary school winner. The ESU said that our range of oracy opportunities and the commitment to expanding the reach of programmes was “inspiring”.

External competitions are a big part of Spires, of course, and in the last five years, we have reached the regional final of the Mock Trial three times and the national final of the ESU Churchill competition twice. Year 7 and 8 students have an unbeaten record in the local New College Debate. Importantly, as students have witnessed and heard about each other’s successes, more and more have become involved, creating a virtuous cycle of widening participation. Last year, over half of the school participated in extra-curricular oracy events.

But it’s not just about extra-curricular work. Oracy is at the heart of what Spires does. From debates and “Dance Card” discussions in History, to using speaking frames and sentence builders in MFL to encourage students to use humour and express personal and unusual ideas, we put articulate speaking at the centre of our learning.

Ms Morris, Mr Hart and Dr Watson, who work in enrichment, are all keen to meet students who would like to participate in this year’s extra-curricular speaking. If your child would like to be involved, please encourage them to go along to one of the clubs, check their Outlook email or with their tutor for information, or talk to one of the enrichment staff.

Dr Jackie Watson – Head of Sixth Form, Careers and Enrichment