A BRADFORD primary school has quashed rumours that it has banned words such as “like”, and other one word answers.

Copthorne Primary School, in All Saints Road, Great Horton, was reported to have banned the word “like” from the school in a national newspaper.

However, the school has denied the word is banned, and that it instead is encouraging pupils to “metaphorically park” some terms and express themselves more.

The school was reported to have banned the use of “like” as well as other one-word responses, such as “good”, “nice” and “sad”.

However, executive headteacher Christabel Shepherd has said no words at the school, which is rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, are outlawed.

She said: “We would like to clarify that we do not ban any words at our school.

“We encourage children to metaphorically park some words and try to use other which allow them to express themselves more fluently and with greater clarity.

“We want children to love the English language and use it effectively to reason and express their creativity.

“We believe that good standards of oracy open doors of opportunity for our children.”

At a recent conference focusing on excellence in teaching, Minister of State for School Standards Nick Gibb said there needs to be a greater focus on oracy - the ability to express oneself fluently and grammatically in speech - in schools, not just focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic.

He said oracy in the classroom “consists of purposeful, constructive discussion that enhances understanding”, and “it is focused on difficult and challenging ideas within the curriculum, helping to sharpen thought as well as language.”

Filler words - or discourse markers, to use the proper term - such as “like, “well” and “erm” are used every day by everyone to fill moments of silence during speech, adding no real value to a sentence but rather filling gaps while the speaker thinks of the rest of their sentence.

They are used for a number of reasons, such as stalling for time, to show the speaker is thinking, to make a sentence come across less harsh, or to make a statement weaker or stronger.

Part of the Exceeds Academies Trust, Copthorne Primary says it is a “caring and friendly” school, which “provides high quality education that develops all children as lifelong learners and good citizens whilst equipping them for life in the wider world”.

Back in 2013, a primary school in Middlesbrough attempted to ban certain slang and dialect words, in a bid to make it easier for them to be understood.

Sacred Heart Primary School in the town banned 11 words, including “nowt”, “yous” and “gizit here”, commonly used words and phrases in the area.

In the same year, Harris Academy in Croydon, London banned a list of slang words which also included “like”, as well as “bare” and “innit” in a bid to improve standards of English, a move which was backed by local MP David Lammy.