Year 4 will take the English Speaking Board Exam, which is an excellent opportunity for the boys and proved to be an immensely positive experience last year.  Your son will be given a brief introduction to the requirements of the ESB exam over the coming days and the exams will take place on either Tuesday, 31 January or Wednesday, 1 February.

Details of the exam content can be found below, and we would ask that you support the boys as they start to prepare. Some preparation, including a practice presentation, will take place in lessons.  However, a few tasks will be carried out as homework.  Please note the schedule below.

The importance of public speaking as a life skill cannot be underestimated, and that is why we have introduced the ESB exams in the Junior School to support later ESB exams as they move up the school. The boys will receive a comprehensive feedback form, which highlights their strengths and a certificate.  There is an examination fee of £33 per child, which will be added to your end of term bill. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mrs. Harris, Miss Stone, Mrs. Manning and Mrs. Williamson


This term, you will be taking your ESB exam.

There are 4 sections:

Section 1: Talk, Show and Explain (approximately 3 minutes/worth 40%)

You will talk about an object, model, picture or piece of equipment, which is important/interesting to you, explaining why you have chosen it in some detail. For example, you may talk about something you have seen, made or assembled; a collection you are developing; or the kit or equipment for a sport or game you play. You should support your talk by using a relevant visual aid e.g. an object.

Section 2: Speaking by Heart (approximately 2 minutes/worth 20%)

You will begin by giving the title of your chosen poem, the poet’s name and a detailed reason for your choice. Then you will recite the poem to the group and the assessor, sharing the content enthusiastically.  Choose a poem with a strong rhyming pattern.  You need to memorise the poem so do not select one, which is too long.

Section 3: Reading Aloud (approximately 2 minutes/worth 20%)

You should prepare 4-5 pages of a book, which you enjoy and the book should be appropriate for your reading level.  The extract must contain dialogue.  The assessor will choose a section, which you will read aloud from the book rather than from memory. You must also introduce the book, stating with which character you would like to have a conversation.

Section 4: Listening & Responding (worth 20%)

You will answer questions from the group and the assessor after any section.

Things to note:

The boys will meet the assessors in small groups with their peers and class teacher and will be judged on their ability to listen to and respond to other people’s presentations as well as to behave positively.  There will be a focus on speaking clearly, expressively and using varied pace and tone (as appropriate).  Boys will be expected to respond to questions posed by others and ask questions of others at appropriate times.


Friday, 6 January select a poem for Monday, 9 January and learn by Monday, 16 January

Help your son to choose a poem to recite.  This must be appropriate for his age and a poem, which he likes.  Ideally, it should lend itself to using an expressive voice and including actions.

Tuesday, 10 January for Wednesday, 11 January

Select a favourite FICTION book, which your son enjoys and choose a 4-5 page section.  Again, this should be an age-appropriate text and one, which can be read fluently.  It MUST contain dialogue.

Friday, 13 January for Monday, 16 January

Please could your son choose an object, model, picture or piece of equipment, which is important/interesting to him.  Alternatively, he could make an A2 memory/photo board to help him to structure his talk but any photos or labels must be clearly visible for audience members.