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Spelling and phonics

Primary writing ITAFs: what’s new; what’s changed; what’s gone.

Another new school year, another assessment framework – but just how different is it? Kirsten Snook succinctly maps where things have gone, stayed the same or been subtly changed, following the government’s consultation with schools. Click on the links for an extremely helpful shortcut to an outline of  the new expectations.

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researchED 2017 workshop 2: primary grammar – what really matters in transition

Martin Galway outlines his presentation at this year’s researchEd conference on primary grammar and the transition to key stage 3.

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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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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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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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The Key to Successful Shared Writing: Perfectly Pitched Models

Penny Slater is Deputy Lead Adviser for primary English at Herts for Learning.

Shared writing scaffolds the writing task, and when done well, leads a child towards becoming a more reflective, confident and skilled writer. When done very well, we engender more engaged writers who feel empowered and inspired to put pen to paper.

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Spelling at ARE: Chopping, Changing and Doubling – one of the secrets to spelling success!

Penny Slater is Deputy lead adviser for Primary English at Herts for Learning.

Spelling remains a high stakes aspect of the ITAFs for 2017. As in 2016, children cannot be judged as ‘working at the expected standard’ if they have not first met ALL of the statements from the ‘working towards the expected standard’ list (with the exception of the statement relating to handwriting). One statement that I know has caused many Y6 teachers more than a moment of anxiety relates to the correct application of spelling knowledge learnt in previous year groups.

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Wading through the treacle: unpicking KS1 writing guidance.

Sabrina Wright is a Teaching and Learning Adviser for English at Herts for Learning

After reading my colleague’s recent blog (Writing at ARE might be Simpler than you thought!), I found myself tempted to unpick the KS1 ARE exemplification materials in the same way.

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Spelling Fever: have you caught it yet?

Penny Slater is Assistant Lead Adviser for Primary English at Herts for Learning

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There is no denying the fact that the National Curriculum 2014 has catapulted spelling at KS2 into the literacy limelight, and the latest interim assessment framework document, which states the importance of correct spelling, has further intensified the focus of attention on this somewhat contentious element of the English language. I for one am thrilled about this. For far too long, spelling has had to play second fiddle to its bolshie rivals, sneaking under the feedback radar in favour of a focus on sentence construction and grammatical accuracy. This side-lining has led to a skewed perception of spelling as an add-on to the process of becoming literate, rather than an integral part of it.

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