Herts for Learning

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Early findings from the KS2 Reading Fluency Project

With 150 pupils across Hertfordshire now involved in HfL’s KS2 Reading Fluency Project, Penny Slater reflects on what has been learned from the project so far.

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researchED 2017 workshop 1: exploring the complexities of reading comprehension difficulties

In the first of a two part blog, Martin Galway shares his thoughts on presenting a pair of workshops (one on grammar and, here, a late-notice addition on reading comprehension) at this year’s researchED  conference.

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If print be the food of love, read on!

End of summer hols? Survived the motorway? Survived nagging guilt to work on the beach?! Settle back with Kirsten Snook, English Teaching and Learning Adviser, and start visualising your new class of Reception-age children, classroom, ethos etc. Set out now with a ‘no excuses’ culture that’ll free Reception teachers, reassure young pupils and fire up your energy-levels for the new school year.

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Top Tips to Support NQTs in getting off to a flying start

In this blog, Kathy Roe (Primary English Adviser) explores some of the challenges facing a Newly Qualified Teacher at the start of their first year and offers some guidance and supportive advice.

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Trusting the texts in guided reading

Alison Dawkins considers how choosing quality books, broadly matched to children’s current reading competencies, can take the stress out of planning for guided reading.

First, a thank you to Sinéad Gaffney (@shinpad1) for her recent article at where she considers the different strengths that both whole class reading and grouped guided reading can offer. Because of course, let’s have both. Let’s have all the reading we can.

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Supersonic Phonics

We are pleased to welcome a guest blog from one of our Early Years colleagues:

Rose Blair, Early Years Adviser and course trainer for ‘Funky Phonics’, shares the concept and principles behind the new HfL phonic resource ‘Supersonic Phonics’.  Drawing on themes that are threaded throughout the resource, she shares some top tips to help practitioners create lively and exciting phonics sessions for all of their children.   Engaging children in phonic activities will have a hugely positive impact on their learning of these all-important early literacy skills.

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Celebrating Primary Writing: Take One Book…and run with it.

Martin Galway shares some of the wonderful work carried out by the pupils and staff at Hare Street Primary School, Harlow, inspired by the Take One Book training and approaches offered by the HfL English team.

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Ten top tips for core subject leaders

Kirsten Snook, English Adviser and course trainer for ‘Becoming a Highly Effective Subject Leader’, reflects on what makes the biggest differences to increasingly busy subject leaders and with increasingly tight budgets. Drawing on feedback from course delegates, she outlines some top tips that have helped them this year to really see the fruits of their labours.

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Come aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Monday 26th June 2017 marks twenty years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  In this blog, Michelle Nicholson celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the release of JK Rowling’s fabulous book, with some ideas for bringing the story to life in the classroom.

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