16 January 2016

Our Rhetoric Roadmap

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Yesterday we published this document, sending it out to parents. Since working with Martin Robinson on our Trivium-fueled curriculum, Rhetoric has been high on the agenda.  We appointed a Director of Spoken Literacy – Andrew Fitch, our 2 i/c in English – and he has…

Our Rhetoric Roadmap

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Yesterday we published this document, sending it out to parents. Since working with Martin Robinson on our Trivium-fueled curriculum, Rhetoric has been high on the agenda.  We appointed a Director of Spoken Literacy – Andrew Fitch, our 2 i/c in English – and he has produced some superb guidance for structured speech events in the classroom – as captured here. We have also promoted the idea that teachers should teach student to speak properly – very explicitly, as captured in this post.

However, our feeling was that, despite the guidance and encouragement, it’s too easy for this important idea to be left to chance.  I don’t want it to depend on a particular child’s unique combination of teachers as to whether they get a regular diet of opportunities to develop their capacity for rhetoric.  We needed a plan.  Using our CPD structure we asked all departments to contribute to the Roadmap – Andrew’s excellent term for what is needed – and here it is.  I love it.  This is going to be brilliant.   In March/April, every student in Year 8 will engage in Project Soapbox where they have to give a five minute speech from memory on a subject of their choice.  This is the launch of what will become, we hope, a defining feature of our curriculum.  And, yes, Andrew did visit School21 and took a lot of ideas from there!

From a leadership perspective, this has been an interesting process.  It’s demonstrated the need for both culture and systems; for sowing seeds to build enthusiasm and for direct leadership to drive an idea through to fruition.  We now have a plan that needs to be delivered.  It’s the start of what will be a long-term development process.  The final test will be the quality of the outcomes and how they improve over time.

But now, the vision is clear:  Highbury Grove students – Philosopher Kids, out in the agora, telling the world how it is and how it should be.

 

 

13 Comments
  • Teach Like and Elizabethan Champion – Part 3 | English Remnant World
    Posted at 09:15h, 17 January

    […] Over time and increasingly, we’d want our students to become fluent in thinking, writing and speaking with rhetorical flair and precision. We’d also like to explore the kind of model offered at Tom Sherrington’s Highbury Grove, as outlined in this post about their Rhetoric Roadmap. […]

  • jillberry102
    Posted at 17:47h, 17 January

    Great stuff, Tom. I do think this is one thing the independent schools I’ve worked in have done particularly well. Do you have any partnership arrangements you could drawn on to tap into that experience too? Just a thought.

  • Martin Robinson
    Posted at 16:58h, 11 February

    Reblogged this on Trivium21c.

  • madeupteacher
    Posted at 18:42h, 12 February

    The range is truly impressive and makes for a potent dynamic. Empowering too!

  • 10 Provocations. An interactive session with me and @PeterHyman21 at #ASCL2016 | headguruteacher
    Posted at 13:59h, 06 March

    […] and to start fresh but we can still achieve a great deal if we build up steadily.   We have our Rhetoric Roadmap and I’m exploring a plan for ensuring our curriculum delivers at least one piece of beautiful […]

  • Focusing our Teaching and Learning Priorities: A reading list. | headguruteacher
    Posted at 14:10h, 19 March

    […] the roadmap; oracy as […]

  • Focusing our Teaching and Learning Priorities: A reading list. | Kesgrave High School
    Posted at 08:10h, 21 March

    […] the roadmap; oracy as […]

  • Project Soapbox. Rhetoric in action. | headguruteacher
    Posted at 10:51h, 28 March

    […] idea comes together.  Last week we ran our Year 8 Project Soapbox as part of our newly established Rhetoric Roadmap – as detailed in this earlier post.  One of the many forms of oracy we’re trying to develop is the capacity to speak in […]

  • Trivium 21st C in Practice | headguruteacher
    Posted at 15:14h, 24 April

    […] Our Rhetoric Roadmap […]

  • Emerging KS3 Curriculum Map and Exhibition Plan | headguruteacher
    Posted at 09:10h, 02 July

    […] of this goes in parallel with our Rhetoric Roadmap which is currently being updated for […]

  • Speaking frankly, oracy should be given more time. | headguruteacher
    Posted at 10:01h, 12 November

    […] My chapter tells the story of the work we’ve started at Highbury Grove including the superb Project Soapbox featured below and our Rhetoric Road Map. […]

  • Iain
    Posted at 13:08h, 12 November

    An interesting idea and one which creates opportunity for developing the skills needed to unlock the rhetoric of others. Society’s inability to interrogate ideas and articulate opinions has given rise to the empty sound bite and laziness across the population (e.g does anyone read manifestos any more?). However, I wonder what your thoughts are about assuming “every student…” should be made to speak publicly; this is not the only method of devolving am understanding of rhetoric. Forcing some students to speak publicly may have the opposite effect and could stifle their voice/opinion….

  • Here’s your school development plan – no, really, don’t thank me. #SLTchat | teacherhead
    Posted at 07:00h, 25 June

    […] Ensure that, across the curriculum, there are multiple planned opportunities for all students to engage in structured speech events (aka oracy activities ).  Develop a curriculum map that commits each department to their contribution to an overarching oracy programme.  You could do well to follow this model. […]