Education Endowment Foundation:Voice 21: Oracy Curriculum, Culture and Assessment Toolkit

Voice 21: Oracy Curriculum, Culture and Assessment Toolkit

School21 and Cambridge University
Project info

Independent Evaluator

Sheffield Hallam University logo
Sheffield Hallam University
Developing a new pedagogy and curriculum focused on oral language skills.
Schools: 1 Grant: £382,000
Key Stage: 3 Duration: 2 year(s) 1 month(s) Type of Trial: Pilot Study
Completed February 2014

This page covers the first pilot of School21’s oracy programme. To read about the second pilot – click here.

This report evaluates a developmental project designed by School 21 and the University of Cambridge to improve Year 7 students’ oracy skills. The project involved developing an Oracy Skills Framework, which sets out the physical, linguistic, cognitive, and social-emotional oracy skills required by students for education and life. Other components which were informed by this framework are:

  • a dedicated Year 7 oracy curriculum comprising weekly oracy lessons;
  • oracy in every lesson;
  • building a whole school oracy culture; and
  • an Oracy Assessment Toolkit.

These components were piloted and further developed with Year 7 students within School 21 from September 2013 to July 2014. During the final stages of the project the components were brought together to create an Oracy Curriculum, Culture and Assessment Toolkit’ that can be adopted by other schools and a website was created, Voice 21 (, containing guidance and resources for schools using the Toolkit.

This report focuses on an evaluation of:

  1. The approaches and materials which formed the Oracy Curriculum, Culture and Assessment Toolkit, including an indicative impact finding on the impact on Year 7 pupils in School 21.
  2. What further development of the Oracy Curriculum, Culture and Assessment Toolkit is needed and would enable a more robust evaluation of its impact.