Talk is central to learning in any classroom. At Sandringham, we have articulated how teachers and students can best used their voices to enhance and enrich learning. In what follows, each dimension is explored more fully and you can download an A4 summary document here or a longer pdf booklet here.

High Quality Teacher Talk

Talking is central to what teachers do in the classroom to help students learn. When it comes to learning, the three most powerful things we do when we talk in the classroom are to provide explanations, to model processes and our own thinking and to question our students.

EFFECTIVE EXPLANATIONS: These are linked to what students already know, they include models, analogies and examples, they address common misconceptions and are carefully paced. For more detail, click here.

MODELLING EXPERT THINKING: This includes the use of worked examples and models, fading out models and scaffolds over time, and thinking aloud to make your expert thinking visible to students. For more detail, click here.

QUESTIONING WITH PURPOSE AND PARTICIPATION IN MIND: The purpose of questions should be planned. They may be used to promote students’ thinking, or used to assess understanding. Effective questioning strategies maximise student engagement and participation. For more detail, click here.


High Quality Student Talk

Enabling students to talk confidently, to talk with others and to talk like experts are central to helping students think, learn and articulate themselves.

TALKING CONFIDENTLY: A teacher’s encouragement is critical in enabling student talk. Confident speakers will use their voice including their pace, tone, pronunciation and projection. They will also use body language, gestures, consider posture, facial expressions and use eye contact. For more detail, click here.

TALKING WITH OTHERS: Developing a culture of collaborative talk can be supported by varying student groupings. The role of each student in the group is important. Likewise, taking turns and reinforcing the importance of listening can promote oracy and manage participation. For more detail, click here.

TALKING LIKE AN EXPERT: Supporting students to use academic and subject specific vocabulary when they speak has the potential to help them to make significant progress. This can be facilitated by teacher modelling, repetition and explanation of new words. Creating opportunities for students to use new language for themselves through speaking stems or other devices can help. For more detail, click here.


To find out more about High Quality Talk, this freely downloadable booklet examines each dimension including useful reading lists:High Quality Talk booklet.pdf

We have also created an A4 summary below.