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Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening Progression EYFS – Y6

Throughout their primary school years all children should learn to:

• Understand, recall and respond to speakers’ implicit and explicit meanings.

• Explain and comment on the speakers’ use of language, including grammar, vocabulary and non-verbal features.

• Speak competently and creatively for different purposes and audiences, reflecting on impact and response.

• Explore, develop and sustain ideas through talk.



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Listening to and using spoken and written language, and readily turn to it in play and learning.


Use talk to organise sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.


Use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences.


Speak clearly and audibly with confidence and control, and show awareness of the listener.


Extend their vocabulary, exploring the meanings and sounds of new words.

To be able to speak about matters of immediate interest


To convey simple meanings to a range of listeners, speaking audibly, and begin to extend their ideas or accounts by providing some detail


To ask relevant questions Retell stories, ordering events, using story language


Interpret a text by reading aloud with variety pace and emphasis


Experiment with and build new stores of words to communicate with in different contexts

Speak with clarity and use appropriate intonation when reading and reciting texts.


To begin to be aware that in some situations a more formal vocabulary and tone of voice are used


To begin to use standard English and understand when it is used


To begin to show confidence in speaking and listening, particularly where the topics interest


To speak clearly when developing and explaining their ideas and use a growing vocabulary


Tell real and imagined stories, using the conventions of familiar story language

To show understanding of the main point through asking relevant comments and questions


To begin to adapt what they say to the needs of the listener.


To develop their use of standard English and understand when it is used


Sustain conversation, explain or give reasons for their views or choices.


Develop and use specific vocabulary in different contexts


Choose and prepare poems or stories for performance, identify appropriate expression, tone, volume and use of voices and other sounds.

Respond appropriately on the contributions of others in light of alternative viewpoints.


Tell stories effectively and convey detailed information coherently for listeners.


To maintain the use of standard English and understand when it is used


Use and reflect on some ground rules for sustaining talk and dialogue.


Offer reasons and evidence for their views, considering alternative opinions.

Tell a story using notes designed to cue techniques, such as repetition, recap and humour.


Present a spoken argument, sequencing points logically, defending views with evidence and making use of persuasive language.


Use and explore different question types.


Participate in whole class debate using the conventions and language of debate, including Standard English.

Use a range of oral techniques to present persuasive arguments and engaging narratives.


Use the techniques of dialogic talk to explore ideas, topics or issues.


Use Standard English consistently in formal situations and promote justify or defend a point of view using supporting evidence, examples and visual aids which are linked back to the main argument.


Use exploratory, hypothetical and speculative talk as a tool for clarifying ideas.






Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6


Listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other music, rhymes and poems, and make up their own stories, rhymes and poems.


Sustain attentive listening, responding to what they have heard by relevant comments, questions and actions.


Extend vocabulary, exploring the meanings and sounds of new words.

To maintain attention & participate


To listen to others and usually respond appropriately


Listen with sustained concentration, building new words in context


Listen to and follow instructions accurately

To listen carefully to others in class and respond with increasing appropriateness to what others say.


Follow instructions and ask relevant questions.


Listen to input from an adult, remember some specific points and identify what they have learnt.

To speak and listen confidently in different contexts, exploring and communicating ideas


Follow up others’ points and show whether they agree or disagree in whole class discussion.

Listen to a speaker, make notes on the talk and use notes to develop a role-play.


Compare the different contributions of music, words and images in short extracts from TV programmes.


Investigate how talk varies with age, familiarity and purpose.

Identify different question types and evaluate impact on audience.


Identify some aspects of talk which vary between formal and informal occasions.


Analyse the use of persuasive language.


Make notes when listening for a sustained period and discuss how note taking varies depending on context and purpose.

Analyse and evaluate how speakers present points effectively through use of language and gesture


Listen for language variation in formal and informal contexts


Identify the ways spoken language varies according to differences in context and purpose of its use.


Identify the main methods used by presenters to explain, persuade, amuse or argue a case, eg emotive language.