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Flexing Fluency Muscles with Great Texts (Oh…and they are free too!)

In this short blog, Penny Slater points to some texts that may prove useful in the last few weeks leading up to this year’s SATS.

Let’s cut to the chase…It’s early summer term. You are a Y6 teacher. You have a couple of weeks left before the 2017 Reading SATs paper. What you are probably looking for are some great texts that will give your pupils a final push to prepare for the challenge ahead? Oh…and you probably need those texts to be free and easily accessible. If so, read on….

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Guided reading – whole class or guided groups?

In this blog, Alison Dawkins takes a look at the ways in which guided reading is organised and shares some reflections on the benefits of guiding reading in groups.  To explore some earlier ideas from Alison in relation to streamlining the more traditional reading carousel,  you may want to read Guided Reading – Where next? 

Both in and out of school at the moment, I’m meeting increasing numbers of people talking about trying ‘whole class guided reading’ in KS2. They mention the children’s enthusiasm, the opportunity to engage with a whole text, the deepened questioning, and the release from the burden of planning a range of ‘activities’.

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Modelling early literacy

Kirsten Snook is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning

We tend to think that children are intrinsically motivated to write much later than they are to read. But why? It has, however, been suggested that very young children are more motivated by a shared writing episode than a shared reading one, due to an emerging sense of self and place in the world.

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As Easy as A B FluenCy!

Penny Slater, Deputy Lead Adviser for Primary English shares some class-based exploration of reading fluency.

There is definitely a buzz in the air about fluency at the moment! And quite rightly so…

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Reading on the Rise -Raising Standards conference 27th March

We are extremely pleased to be able to provide schools with an opportunity to hear from Sarah Hubbard  – Ofsted’s National Lead for English – who will be leading a session on ‘Reading, assessment and curriculum development’. Places are limited so early booking is advised.

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HfL Primary English newsletter Spring 2017

Here we are again.   A new term.  A new year.  We hope that you have had a lovely Christmas break and that the new term has begun as smoothly as possible for you all.   With this in mind, we thought we’d share our latest-hfl-primary-english-newsletter-spring-2017as swiftly as possible, especially as it is such a short half term.

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Readability measures

Kirsten Snook is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning.

Confession time. I’m quite an analytical person. Always have been. I like to know the parameters of things, what’s expected of me and how to get there…maybe we all do. It is this that led me to looking into readability of the test papers and trying to find out what is being expected of the children and therefore us as teachers.

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Do you sound good to listen to? (or ‘Fluency: reading’s best-kept secret weapon’)


Kirsten Snook is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser at Herts for Learning

Fluency is undergoing somewhat of a revival in England. It has long been the poor relation, the magnolia paint let’s say, of reading; a general stage the ‘typical’ reader will attain when s/he reaches about a quarter past seven years old. Prior to this, children are slow readers, they are laborious decoders; they are – after all – learning how to read. Or are they…?

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Giraffe-Girl, the Rowboat Rascals & the Dastardly Dodo of Doom: Where next after the 2016 Key stage 2 reading test?

Martin Galway is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning.



I thought twice about the title of this blog.  In fact I thought thrice. I had second thoughts because I am anxious not to come across as facetious or glib when, for many, the outcomes of this year’s reading test are still being processed and digested and the fuller picture of what the scores happen to mean will not be known until after the summer holidays. I thought a third time because it is such an “out there” title that it is unlikely to do our blog any favours in terms of search results or casual views.  I mean, it reads like Enid Blyton by way of  the Beat Generation.  Can you imagine pitching it as a book?

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