← Back to search results

Voice 21

Voice 21 believe that speaking and listening skills are fundamental to success in both learning and life. That’s why they are leading a movement of teachers, schools and educators to ensuring all children and young people have access to high quality oracy teaching and learning. They believe that oracy, the ability to communicate effectively using spoken language, should have the same status as numeracy and literacy in the curriculum.

They work with teachers and in schools and areas, providing practical tools, tips and professional development programmes to get students talking in class.

Their ‘Oracy Leaders Programme’ strengthens a national network of leading oracy practitioners.

Tthe ‘Oracy Development Programme’ for teachers helps them to understand this innovative pedagogy and become oracy champions in their schools.

They also work in partnership with schools to develop expertise and embed oracy into classrooms and throughout school cultures.

Examples of Programmes Offered

  • Oracy Leaders Programme
  • Who’s it for?
    Suitable for middle or senior leaders, or teachers who are passionate about the impact of oracy on their practice and their students’ outcomes who want to help shape and lead school priorities

    Course overview
    Through this programme participants will:
    – Engage critically with the research surrounding good practice in oracy, applying this in your own setting to support the learning outcomes of your students.
    – Evaluate current oracy provision in your school through observation and analysis, then use these findings to develop a whole-school action plan.
    – Undertake an Impact Project to identify and develop best practice in your classroom and beyond.
    – Lead in-house oracy CPD and staff development to embed oracy across your whole school.
    – Join a wider network of educational leaders working at the forefront of a movement to raise the status of oracy in schools across the UK

    Programme duration
    One academic year; five face to face delivery days; ongoing support from Voice 21 team and Oracy Leader Alumni throughout the year

    How many people is this for?
    One participant per school (cohort of 30 leaders)

    Estimated cost
    – £1,500 upfront payment Secondary Schools
    – £1,250 upfront payment Primary Schools
    – Travel costs vary based on school location – although note that training is based in Cambridge and London and travel expenses are not covered by Voice 21

    Where and how is this delivered?
    – Five face to face training days based in London and at the University of Cambridge.
    – Participants also have access to our online platform which contains all course materials.

    Dates
    Applications open March 2019

  • Oracy Pioneers Programme
  • Who’s it for?
    Suitable for teachers who are looking to develop a specialism in oracy through improving their classroom practice

    Course overview
    Through this programme participants will:
    – Develop practical tools and techniques to support teaching and learning and evaluate the impact
    – Engage critically with expert theory and research
    – Lead change from their classroom by becoming a beacon of best practice

    Programme duration
    One academic year; three face to face delivery days; ongoing support from Voice 21 team and community

    How many people is this for?
    As many teachers per school can register as the school deems necessary

    Estimated cost
    – £600 for Primary School participants
    – £700 for Secondary School participants

    Where and how is this delivered?
    – Three face to face training days based regionally (Durham, Leeds, Peterborough, London, Black County, Bristol, Manchester).
    – Contact Voice 21 for more information.

    Dates
    Applications closed 14th Sept 2018
    Contact Voice 21 for information about the next cohort

  • Voice 21 Partner Schools
  • Who’s it for?
    Suitable for schools where oracy is a whole school priority with significant support from SLT

    Course overview
    Through this programme participants will:
    – Identify your whole school priorities
    – Draw up a whole school action plan for oracy and deliver against it
    – Leadership development for your designated Oracy Lead
    – Professional learning for all staff or for selected staff in your school
    – Follow-up support to ensure implementation is sustained and embedded.

    Programme duration
    One-three years’ commitment (depending on a school’s needs); specific delivery days and support based on needs of your school identified in an initial whole school audit

    How many people is this for?
    As many teachers per school as the school deems necessary

    Estimated cost
    Pricing ranges from £2500 – £4000 based on the size of the school

    Where and how is this delivered?
    Delivered in school with audit and follow up days attended by a Programme Lead from Voice 21

    Dates
    Open applications
    Contact Voice 21 for more information

Impact

Impact to date

Since launching in 2016, Voice 21 has worked with over 340 schools and 3,500 teachers across the country. Their work has been evaluated by the Education Endowment Foundation and Sheffield Hallam University and shows that their work is successfully fulfilling its aims in developing speaking and listening skills.

Impact measurements used

The impact of Voice 21’s programmes and partnerships is measured through consistent baseline, check-in and post-programme evaluations. These help them to understand where initial key concerns lie and where improvements are made.

For example: their Oracy Leaders Programme, participants initial application form captures current initiatives in school and proposed plans for future development. Successful applicants then complete an initial confidence survey at their first professional development day and receive check-in phone calls termly to supplement the two additional training days.

Each participant completes an Oracy Impact Project, supported by academics at Oracy Cambridge, University of Cambridge. These projects are showcased in a final presentation to the group at the end of the programme.

After completion of the programme, they join our network of Oracy Leads across the UK, continuing to feed in their best practice and learnings into the network and gaining opportunities to share their expertise with teachers and schools across the UK.

External assessment of impact

Their Oracy toolkit has been independently evaluated by the EEF in two trials. The first trial found the Oracy toolkit to be a ‘sound foundation’ and ‘useful tool’ to enabling both teachers and students to understand the skills needed to develop their oracy. It led to the funding of an additional pilot to assess the implementation of a Year 7 discrete oracy curriculum. The second trial has had preliminary positive feedback, the full report is set to be published in summer 2018.

Expertise

Programme design philosophy

Voice 21’s professional development programmes have been created by and for teachers, with expert input from leading oracy academics and senior leaders. This ensures they are at the cutting edge of new research and are practically focused to enable both teachers and senior leaders to embed our approaches effectively.

They do not believe in one off interventions but in sustained support from their team and their existing network of leading oracy practitioners and schools across the UK. They believe in cultivating best practice and nurturing and inspiring next practice. This means showcasing and learning from inspiring teacher practice and whole school approaches, and providing opportunities to challenge, explore and further research into innovative pedagogy.

Their programmes and partnerships are based on three core principles: Deep pedagogical knowledge, practical application and leadership.

  • Pedagogical knowledge includes: critical engagement with the research underpinning oracy; experience of what oracy pedagogy looks like in practice; and exploration into leadership theory and how this can support cultural change in classrooms and whole school settings.
  • Practical application includes: equipping participants with the frameworks, tools and techniques to embed oracy throughout their teaching; developing an in-depth understanding of effective oracy-based classroom practice and how to weave it throughout curriculum planning.
  • Leadership includes: support in leading whole-school change and evaluating impact both in the classroom and at a whole school level; and sharing learning and cascading frameworks, tools and approaches to other teachers.

From initial consultation phone calls, through to professional development days, reflection check-ins and end of year feedback, they provide consistent opportunities to reflect, evaluate and measure the impact of oracy at a classroom and whole school level.

Team experience and expertise

Becky Earnshaw Voice 21

Becky Earnshaw, Director – Voice 21

In 2012, School 21 in Stratford, East London opened its doors. Recognising the value of developing students’ speaking skills to support them in learning and in life, the school placed talk at the heart of every lesson and nurtured a whole-school culture of oracy.

The teachers and students found that this talk-centred approach had a pronounced effect on achievement across the curriculum as well as enhancing pupil’s eloquence, confidence, and wellbeing.

In 2014, supported by the Education Endowment Fund, the School 21 Trust worked with Cambridge University to develop an oracy curriculum and assessment tools to be shared with schools across the country.

With the backing of the Big Change Charitable Trust, Voice 21 was born.

Amy Gaunt Voice 21

Amy Gaunt, Director of Programmes – Voice 21

The Voice 21 team is made up of former teachers, school leaders, managers at educational charities and directors of large school networks. But what they all have in common is a passion for developing oracy.

Testimonials

Rippon Cathedral School, Darren Dudman, Headteacher

After much research I discovered the work of Voice 21 on developing oracy in schools. They are at the forefront of promotion of oracy skills and highly knowledgeable on the subject.

Voice 21 have successfully led very professional, bespoke training and support for the school. They have managed to challenge us but with a real empathy for the demands of everyday school life. Working in partnership with school leaders, they have provided training for individuals and the whole staff and rapidly raised our knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to oracy.

As a result the quality of pupil interaction and communication has improved rapidly and is impacting across the curriculum. We are looking forward to working with Voice 21 closely in the future

Plymouth Grove Primary School, Michael Cooke, Headteacher

Voice21 are very thorough in their communication. They are always very quick to respond to queries and is always willing to provide help and support if we require it. The training I have received has been engaging and enthusiastic and I’ve always felt well supported to go away and independently apply strategies. I have used lots of Voice21 resources for staff INSETS and I have also had opportunities to bring my children down to Voice 21 as part of their Oracy Exhibition Day

Huntington Academy , Rebecca Want, Assistant Headteacher

Not only have the Voice 21 team been incredible in their delivery of high quality CPD, I have felt the visits to the school to see practice, webinars and excellent communication links have made me feel very supported throughout.

I genuinely feel that the Voice 21 team are just as dedicated as the individual school leaders to making this approach work in each and every setting. I have enjoyed this [Oracy Leader] experience and I have been so inspired by their vision and research, that I have applied to train with them as a facilitator

Wellbourne CE School, Clare Wellbourne, Assistant Head

We have made a lot of progress with Oracy, none of which would have been possible without the support and involvement of the senior leadership team. It was effective planning for a lot of staff training at the start of the year, making sure that everyone understood the theory and had time to see examples of good practice. Visits from Voice 21 helped to give further inspiration at crucial points. Oracy is a substantially different way of teaching and the change should not be underestimated, but [being a Partner School] has been worth it.

Rippon Cathedral School, Darren Dudman, Headteacher

After much research I discovered the work of Voice 21 on developing oracy in schools. They are at the forefront of promotion of oracy skills and highly knowledgeable on the subject.

Voice 21 have successfully led very professional, bespoke training and support for the school. They have managed to challenge us but with a real empathy for the demands of everyday school life. Working in partnership with school leaders, they have provided training for individuals and the whole staff and rapidly raised our knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to oracy.

As a result the quality of pupil interaction and communication has improved rapidly and is impacting across the curriculum. We are looking forward to working with Voice 21 closely in the future

Plymouth Grove Primary School, Michael Cooke, Headteacher

Voice21 are very thorough in their communication. They are always very quick to respond to queries and is always willing to provide help and support if we require it. The training I have received has been engaging and enthusiastic and I’ve always felt well supported to go away and independently apply strategies. I have used lots of Voice21 resources for staff INSETS and I have also had opportunities to bring my children down to Voice 21 as part of their Oracy Exhibition Day

Huntington Academy , Rebecca Want, Assistant Headteacher

Not only have the Voice 21 team been incredible in their delivery of high quality CPD, I have felt the visits to the school to see practice, webinars and excellent communication links have made me feel very supported throughout.

I genuinely feel that the Voice 21 team are just as dedicated as the individual school leaders to making this approach work in each and every setting. I have enjoyed this [Oracy Leader] experience and I have been so inspired by their vision and research, that I have applied to train with them as a facilitator

Wellbourne CE School, Clare Wellbourne, Assistant Head

We have made a lot of progress with Oracy, none of which would have been possible without the support and involvement of the senior leadership team. It was effective planning for a lot of staff training at the start of the year, making sure that everyone understood the theory and had time to see examples of good practice. Visits from Voice 21 helped to give further inspiration at crucial points. Oracy is a substantially different way of teaching and the change should not be underestimated, but [being a Partner School] has been worth it.