Having their voices heard is an entitlement for all children. At Tushingham, we give our children a voice through choice, opinion and expression of emotions, and from this they can develop and learn that they are all equal and important. We want our children to develop a strong sense of belonging and we foster and develop positive and respectful relationships where all children, and their opinions, are valued, supported and listened to. It is through listening and talking to each other that children in our school will expand their knowledge, refine their own ideas, and develop an understanding and a sense of respect for those around them.
At our school, we give our children many opportunities to express themselves and their opinions verbally through discussions, persuasive debates, poetry and drama. We are passionate about immersing our children in vocabulary-rich learning environments, in which words are explored, valued and enjoyed. There is a strong focus on the development of oral language in the earlier years, which is promoted through high-quality adult interactions. Children are excited and enthusiastic to use their new knowledge of words and they often take this into their play and learning environment. As children progress through our school, their verbal comprehension, auditory memory, sequencing and narrative skills are developed and these skills filter out through all aspects of our curriculum. As teachers, we consistently model ambitious vocabulary throughout the curriculum. We seize every opportunity to use rich language choices and we draw out high-level vocabulary from carefully chosen texts. Our Pathways units promote the three tiers of vocabulary to support our children in gaining a deeper understanding of words and encouraging them to use a wider vocabulary range of spoken words throughout the curriculum and into their everyday lives.
Children at Tushingham Primary School are happy and confident speakers and they share their thoughts and feelings openly. This has supported children to develop positive interactions and good communication skills with people around them, helping them to build relationships and develop friendships. Children's opinions are listened to and valued at our school and discussions and debates help them to have their voices heard. Children are encouraged to verbally rehearse their sentences before they write them and improvements in the grammatical structure and use of high-level vocabulary is now evident in children's writing.