Oli: Today in the next hour or so, year nine will be taking part in their political ignite. This is the end of a term's worth of research on key topics around the London mayoral election, and they're ready to debate each other to make sure they've got the winning argument. Because of all the Oracy that's happening in lessons, we have seen students showing an oral dexterity beyond their years. We've seen them able to be thrown into different situations, to judge the audience, to understand how to present themselves so it both raises standards and prepares them for the future.
Coach: If I have to sum up School 21, it's giving young people the voice they might not be able to find for themselves. It gives them the power to realize who they are and who they want to be, and their voice is the very thing that's gonna make them successful.
Rummana: Talk is my number one thing I'm going to be using in my life. All of us here talk, and everyone's voice matters.
Oli: Oracy is the ability to speak fluently, and we believe the Oracy speaking is as important as reading and writing. So when they first come in year seven, aged eleven, we asked them, "Hey, we're gonna get you to find your voice."
Girl: I believe that everyone's voice should be heard, even though they're shy, quiet, or loud.
Oli: And we're gonna make sure that by the end of the year, you can do a five-minute speech on a topic of your passion.
Teacher: So your hook should be about three or four sentences, no longer. If I was in the audience and someone read this to me or said this, would I be hooked by it? Right, anyone brave enough to tell me their hook?
Rummana: I remember in primary, I would never say a single word and when teachers used to pick on me, and I used to sit there thinking, "Oh, no, oh, no," because I was too scared to speak to people. And now, I feel like I've changed, and I like my new self. Who here have dreams and goals they want to achieve in their life? Yes. We all do.
Teacher: Stop there. That's it. That's your hook.
Coach: Everything we do here is about giving a speech, but there is a behind-the-scene Oracy framework you're really referring back to.
Rummana: The full project was our cognitive, physical, linguistic, and emotional. Now I know what type of things I need in order for my speaking to be successful.
Matilda: It's a lot to keep in mind at first, but we're practicing it all the time in every lesson we're in. And by the time you get to year nine, it's almost instinctive.
Director: The familiarity with the framework and making sure that everybody recognizes what goes into good Oracy has been a key driver within the school. And that means that students give really clear feedback and critique.
Girl: Let's not be foolish.
Teacher: It teaches them how to present themselves, how to use their bodies, how to use their voices.
Girl: We must face the facts and recognize that privatization is a very beneficial thing.
Jawad: You're standing, like, in the same spot for the whole speech. You should, like, start walking around.
Teacher: It's because physical Oracy strands... In year nine, the theme has been politics. We wanted to make it like a quite a formal debate, so you'd have proposers and opposers on each side, and then you'd have a chair.
Oli: We thought the key thing was to get them to discuss and debate with each other.
Students: I pull it to you.
Teacher: Much better.
Oli: You actually don't know how good your Oracy is until you're put into a different context and are then asked to do something with it. As with every project, we've invited some experts who are gonna judge the quality of the talk. Your job today is to see if you are persuaded by the arguments, cause you'll get an opportunity to vote.
Woman: I'd just like to say huge good luck and let the best group win.
Jawad: Just because it was the first debate I've, like, truly done, my nerves were getting the better of my confidence.
Judge: Good morning, everyone. The proposition is all London transport should be privatized.
Matilda: So, I would like to start my argument by saying that Britain has a reputation of clinging to relics of the past that should have been discarded long ago, a tradition of nationalization that should have been replaced by privatization. We want to be able to be on time to school, to be on time to work. This is what we value, and we shouldn't mind having to pay a tiny bit more for it.
Jawad: If we stick with the government-funded privatizing transport, we will only delay the improvement and health of London and especially its people. As we all know, three lines have failed. If we privatize transport, then it's out of our control. Isn't this country a democracy?
Matilda: Jawad, why are you so afraid of this change? It's clear to see that TFL isn't working. We are having strikes more and more regularly, prices are just going up and up, and it's getting less and less efficient...
What writing speeches has helped me with is definitely confidence. I've been able to perform my speech in front of a big crowd. All that practice really does pay off, and it's a skill that we can transfer to the rest of our life.
Judge: I applaud unto all of you.
Oli: Oracy gives children the opportunity to gain their confidence and find their voice.
Girl: We urge to you to take up this motion.
Oli: A silent classroom is a classroom where there's untapped voices that aren't heard. And if we believe in democratic education, you have to focus on Oracy.
Announcer: The winner of our first debate, Ruwada and Lily. Give them a round of applause.