‘The ability to express oneself fluently and grammatically in speech.’
Students across all of our partners have faced new challenges over the last few years, with a global pandemic causing situations and problems that students and staff alike will not have faced before. Studying virtually or from home has led to students missing out on developing key communication skills that are needed when applying to different forms of Higher Education, careers or even in every day life. The effect of this has been noticeable within schools, including New College Pontefract in West Yorkshire. Zoe Peters, the Progression Officer at the college, noticed this difference in students and was involved in arranging for More Oracy to come in and deliver three, one hour sessions to disadvantaged students who had low aspirations and low confidence in regards to Higher Education.
More Oracy is an organisation based in York that offers both in-person and virtual workshops, with an intention to be flexible to suit each schools learning and timetable requirements. They believe that ‘The ability to communicate effectively is an essential ingredient to both success in school and beyond. More Oracy workshops have an immediate and long-lasting impact on students’ confidence, skills and aspiration. An absence of oracy education hampers students’ future opportunities. We believe, More Oracy workshops can directly impact students’ progress and engagement in education, now and in the future.’
The sessions focused on giving students an opportunity to develop their Oracy skills in a safe learning environment, allowing students to reflect on their experiences, learn new skills and can enable students who historically fade into the background to have a voice and engage in their education.
After the sessions students were asked for feedback, with an overwhelmingly positive response. One student felt that the session ‘really challenged my confidence levels in a good way’ whilst another stated ‘I can’t believe I did a presentation with no notes!’ The safe environment created by Michael Doody, who was described as relatable by session participants, allowed the students to respond well to the activity stating ‘I don’t like speaking up, but I enjoyed the session’. The positive impact of these sessions on the students will have given them huge benefits and advantages when applying to Higher Education, with the increase in skills and ability to communicate proving invaluable in the years to come.
A description of Oracy can be found below:
and more information on the sessions that More Oracy offer can be found here: https://moreoracy.com/