On the 22nd September head teachers, teachers, academics and a group of children gathered at the Open University, Camden to discuss talking and listening and their role in learning. David Reedy began the session by outlining the current and past work of the Trust to in relation to oracy and linked to key research in the field and particularly Robin Alexander’s. Then Tracy Whittington, the headteacher of Beam County Primary, Barking and Dagenham, a CPRT Schools Alliance member, outlined the work that she had engaged in with David Reedy over the last eight years; exploring and developing good practice in dialogic teaching. Tracy’s clarity, the detailed strategies used in the school and the KS2 value-added performance data were remarkable- a real credit to all the staff at Beam County Primary.
The session then turned to the children from Brandelow Primary, Wandsworth who came with their teachers Peter Weal and David Jeffery. The young people had considered key issues around talk in the classroom and had some salient messages for both their teachers and for all who attended. They were confident, engaging and interested too in our responses.
Overall it was a highly successful session reminding those present that what really matters is the quality of talk that teachers are able to model and promote. Also that we need to reflect upon our own talk as professionals as well as attend to what the young people have to say.
Thanks to all involved a real highlight for the London Region Network.