Enhancing oracy with Lyfta - a powerful pedtech approach from Spring Partnership Trust

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Spring Partnership Trust in south London are taking a pedtech approach to broadening students’ horizons by combining oracy-based learning tools from Voice 21 (the national oracy charity) and Lyfta’s powerful immersive stories. The two resources have been highly impactful and worked brilliantly well together. Matthew Smitheman, senior engagement manager at Lyfta met with Gulcin Sesli, Co-CEO and Lauren Roffley, Spring Partnership Trust Voice 21 lead to find out more.
Students at Spring Partnership Trust
Students at Spring Partnership Trust

Pedtech - making the most of education technology in the classroom

One key paradigm shifting theme highlighted at the Bett global education technology conference in March 2023 is 'pedtech'. A snappy phrase for pedagogically led technology use; championed by many teachers and thought leaders including Dr Fiona Aubrey-Smith. Simply put, the starting point is impactful teaching and learning and being open to technology solutions to support these aims, rather than education technology for the sake of it.
This approach of pedtech is currently well underway across the Spring Partnership Trust, a family of five primary schools in the London Borough of Bromley. Gulcin explained the context for students across the Spring Partnership Trust schools:
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"Our students have few opportunities to travel and see the world. As a Trust we believe in equality, diversity and inclusion and want to make sure the students understand the wider world we're living in. We aim to challenge stereotypes through discussion and debate."

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The power of oracy and Voice 21 tools

To facilitate this learning objective Spring Partnership schools with Voice 21 have identified their oracy model for teaching and learning as a starting point to explore these focus areas. The EEF's teaching and learning toolkit shows oracy provides six months additional progress in learning. Lauren outlines what oracy looks like in their classrooms:
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"Oracy has transformed teaching and learning in our schools. Students were good at sharing ideas but now, more than sharing back and forth, they dig deeper and probe for further information and shared understanding. This results in more learning and changes to the way they think."

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Voice 21 talk tactics and sentence stems were attributed as some of the key tools that helped facilitate good oracy practice in the classroom.

Lyfta inspiring deeper discussion and debate

Students at Spring Partnership Trust
Students at Spring Partnership Trust
Inspiring and enhancing these oracy-based discussions has been facilitated by Lyfta's storyworlds.
Student's have a weekly Lyfta Time where they virtually visit a new country and meet someone from that place. Lauren explains, "While there are many different stimuli to spark discussion, multi-sensory resources like Lyfta are particularly effective. For example we watched the Space Mission Lucy storyworld. The two engineers were women, and some of the girls were shocked to see women engineers. We then used talk tactics to structure a discussion around challenging gender stereotypes."
Gulcin added that Lyfta can be very powerful to inspire discussion because seeing yourself in the story brings it to life, '"I observed a visit to the opera house in Finland and a child was extremely switched on and shared their experience of being from Finland. Being a Turkish speaker myself and seeing the story of the dog rescuer Erkan would have really engaged me as a child."

Impact on student learning so far

The main positive impact so far has been a growth in confidence and inclusion for all students. Lauren explains, "Combining Lyfta and the oracy framework have helped all students, including SEND and quieter children. The talk tokens ensure all get an opportunity to speak. In Lyfta sessions we pass a ball of wool around the class so everyone has a go. Students have learnt how to invite other children to participate, they often say 'I noticed you haven't said anything' and involve them."
Gulcin visited several of the primary schools and noticed displays as well as an improved use of language and vocabulary. A main highlight so far is "seeing a lot of kindness".

Next steps

Spring Partnership Trust have been teaching with Lyfta and the oracy framework from Voice 21 for a short time but have greater plans. "Lyfta Time will continue and we're evolving processes, to refine and review then weave Lyfta across the wider curriculum."
The Lyfta team are providing personalised curriculum mapping support - suggesting relevant resources which fit perfectly with the curriculum topic for specific year groups over the academic year. We're excited to see how this pedtech approach and combining two powerful tools will continue to grow and have even greater impact in future.
Immersive Learning
Social Emotional Learning
Character & Values
Personal Development