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Year 4 have had an amazing time at Rock Up in Watford today. I can't explain how proud I am of the children; they showed resilience, team work and determination during this adventurous activity. The children were such a strong team and so supportive of one another.


Today in Early Years we were inspired to write by our Talk for Writing text - Emergency, Emergency. This is part of our topic ‘People That Help Us’. The other children were so inspired by Sakina’s perseverance that they all decided to write out the story!


Ladybird Class had an amazing trip to Harpenden Fire Station today. Some firefighters may have got wet in the process!!


Retweeted From Scholars' Education Trust

Congratulations to all the performers in tonight’s Trust Concert! You were all fabulous and should be very proud of yourselves!


A giant snow play today at Harpenden Academy! Happy children who are simply loving the snow.


Snow Alert - school will be open - see attachment for details. Website down so message delivered by Class List and Marvellous Me. Spread the word.


Retweeted From Scholars' Education Trust

Tickets selling fast! Join us for a fantastic night of music with bands and choirs from across the Scholars' Education Trust coming together. Tickets available from St Albans Arena box office


Just getting onto the M1. Most of the children have slept during the journey. 😴


Finally out of carpark and on the move! The coach driver has told us that we can expect to be at The George for collection at approximately 11:45pm.


Young Voice superstars are on the coach waiting to leave the carpark! We'll keep you posted 😊


Oh dear what happened in Reception today?! Don't worry it was a visit from a Paramedic as part of their topic 'People Who Help Us.' Mrs Jackson in the office was relieved as it gave her a bit of a shock when these three cheekies played a trick on her!


On Thursday a group of Year 6 mathematicians took part in the January maths masterclass along with several other schools in Harpenden. The theme was money and they explored the concepts of trading, simple and compound interest and stock markets.


This week Year 6 headed to the forest as part of their PSHE Thrive Outside project: learning about all the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of spending time in nature.


Look what Father Christmas delivered to Harpenden Academy!


This week the children have been creating their own 3D solar systems, learning about the relative temperatures and features of each planet. They have also been conducting their own independent research on aspects of the solar system that interest them.


Dahl Class sat in Centre Court! We sat on the seats the 'Press' sit on (the seats are the original ones from 1922) They were not as comfortable as the ones everyone else sit on!


How the ladies would have dressed during the first ladies tournament (1884)


How Spencer Gore would have dressed (1877 - first champion)


Wimbledon with Dahl Class


Dahl Class had a fantastic day at Wimbledon on Thursday! Here's a few photos of what we got up to...


Retweeted From Scholars' Education Trust

What a great idea to support and promote healthy eating, lovely social interaction and look at all the big smiles. Now we want to know what the treat was for.


Our Year 1 topic is 'Field to Fork.' The children had breakfast and had to think about where the food they ate came from. This term they are going to become 'designers' and learn how to design a healthy meal and make it! Here is an example of the writing they produced today.


Why are Year 1 being treated to breakfast this morning?


Year 1: I wonder what's going on?


What is happening in Year 1 this morning?


These two pupils spent their lunchtime rehearsing for the first time to give their classmates a Christmas concert. Merry Christmas!


Retweeted From Scholars' Education Trust

Please follow link for our end of term Trust newsletter We would like to wish students, families and staff across the Trust a very Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from everyone at Harpenden Academy! ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!’ 🎅🎄


Happy Glitter Eyebrow Day at Harpenden Academy today - All children and staff look fabulous with their efforts to glitter up their eyebrows today in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK


Happy Glitter Eyebrow Day at Harpenden Academy today - All children and staff look fabulous with their efforts to glitter up their eyebrows today in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK


Ho Ho Ho! Our Christmas dinner was delicious today and well done to Steve, our Chef, for preparing such a wonderful dinner. The children had so much fun. Thank you to all the staff


The school has gained permission to publish photos of these children on Twitter


This week we had our final cross country run of the year and what a one to finish on! We stopped to appreciate the beautiful sunrise during our run around Rothamsted before appreciating the delicious Simmons treats which Hettie’s dad kindly gifted us all.


What a wonderful Christivity from our Key Stage 1 & EYFS children. You were all superstars!


On Saturday our very own Harpenden Academy elves wrapped almost 200 gifts, generously donated by HA families to make Xmas day full of joy & hope for children who are currently living in care. The children (and parents) worked tirelessly all morning to wrap and label the gifts


We are very proud of our team of 7 children who won the Primary School BritishGo Championship in Birmingham on Saturday. The children showed great sportsmanship and determination and retained their title! Well done!


This morning we had a beautiful frosty run around the Common to wake up our bodies and brains. Such an invigorating and peaceful start to the day!


Retweeted From Chris Norton Walker

Really fun gig at last night with


On Monday, KS1 walked to the War Memorial to sketch the poppies and to lay the wreath from Harpenden Academy. Pupils discussed why the poppies had been placed at the War Memorial and why this year was especially important because it was 100 years since the end of WW1.

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Purpose and Aims


English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.



• The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
• A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
• A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
• Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
• Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
• A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.


• Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.

• Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

• Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

• An excellent comprehension of texts.

• The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.

• Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

Communication (speaking and listening):

• An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said. 

• A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.

• Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.

• An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.

• A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.

• A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.

• Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.


Our curriculum is categorised in 2 ways

  • Breadth - which gives pupils experiences of a range of communication, literature/genres, contexts for reading and writing
  • Depth - which helps pupils to think and act like readers, writers and communicators

Whilst coverage is our goal for the “breadth” element, repetition and increasing the understanding is our goal for the “depth” element.

Our curriculum drivers shape our approach to teaching English so that every opportunity is taken to relate reading, writing and communication to the needs of our pupils. Daily English is studied throughout each academic year and cross-curricular links are made to give context to the children.  Purposeful writing can be seen in all areas of the curriculum.

Progression and Assessment

We set out our expectations around Chris Quigley Essentials “milestones” with a T4W approach. Each milestone has a set of indicators that are repeated throughout 3 cognitive domains: Basic (We call it Paddling), Advancing (we call in snorkelling) and Deep (we call it diving). It is expected that the vast majority of pupils will have an advancing understanding by the end of the milestone and some will have a deep understanding.

Assessment and reporting

We use Herts for Learning to assess our children each half term formally.  HfL TAFs are used to support assessments in all year groups.  We assess the pupil’s depth of understanding each half term and use this to forecast as to whether pupils are on track to meet our curriculum expectations for the end of the milestone.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Improvement

The role of the leader in monitoring pupil’s outcomes is to audit teachers’ judgements via book looks as well as ensuring breadth and depth of curriculum through book looks, learning walks, learning talks (with pupils) and lesson observations. Strengths and areas for development are identified and actions shared with staff then reviewed to assess impact. Book looks are done collectively in staff/SLT meetings and then collated by the leader. The subject leader action plan and monitoring evidence is kept in the monitoring file and evidence is gathered and celebrated in the English portfolio.

Please click here for an overview of our English curriculum.

EYFS Talk for Writing, Ladybird Class, February 2018

Today in Early Years we were inspired to write by our Talk for Writing text - Emergency, Emergency. This is part of our topic ‘People That Help Us’. The other children were so inspired by Sakina’s perseverance that they all decided to write out the story!



Spelling Shed Login Page

November 2018

Thank you to the children and parents who trialled Spelling Shed in November. We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback so we have decided to purchase it for the whole school! Your teacher will have sent a log-in home for your child and will be assigning spelling lists to them. Children can decide which level to play and earn points for correctly spelt words. 

Mrs Johnston carried out a learning walk this week to find out what the children and staff had to say about their experience of Spelling Shed so far:

“I like Spelling Shed because there are boards, leagues and points to make spelling fun.  I am really starting to understand the spelling rules!”

 “I really enjoy Spelling Shed because I like how fun the games are and it tests your spelling.”

“It has made learning spelling exciting again!”

“Spelling Shed has really captured the children’s imagination!”

“When my teacher introduced it to us, I thought how interesting it looked! I like it being competitive!”

“I can’t believe we were 70th out of 5000 schools last week! What an achievement!”


Grow your pound - 1 Book, 1 Bookmark, 1 Pound - June 2018

Grow your poundGoing Global Week – June 2018

This week has been an exciting opportunity to explore texts from around the world and learn about different cultures.  We have written about different continents, experiences and events using a wide range of genres.

Reception – Ladybirds


KS1 – Year 1/2 Aslan


KS2 – Year 6 Shakespeare


Parent Phonics Workshop – May 2018

An informative phonics workshop was held to provide parents with information about the Year 1 Phonics Screening.  This workshop included statutory information as well as ideas on how to support the children develop their phonics knowledge further.  Links to games and resources were provided and the opportunity for some hands on learning for the adult too!

Value of the month (April – Humour)

What better way to stimulate our writing than to use our school value.  Well done Year 3 on these hilarious limericks!


Harpenden Primary Schools Awards Ceremony – March 2018

We attended an awards event this week where two of our children Lottie and Ailsa received their awards from Harpenden Mayor on Tuesday 27th March for their winning entries into the Harpenden School Story writing competition. We were thrilled for the children and parents who are flying the flag for Harpenden Academy. It is a cause for celebration that 4 out of the 7 categories had a Harpenden Academy pupil in either 1st, 2nd or 3rd positions.


National Poetry Day – March 2018

On Wednesday we celebrated National Poetry Day with the arrival of Professor Pango Mango. The children has a great time with him celebrating poems and poetry in his unique style. The children and staff had a great time as their comments below indicate:

Pango mango

World Book Day 2018

World book day

Family Groups – Role Play

Role play

National Storytelling Week – February 2018

National Storytelling Week It has also been National Story telling week too. We have had a few parents/ grandparents who have come in to school this week to tell the children stories. Despite the children living in a technologically advanced era the simple act of telling a story always engages the children. The children hear all the nuances of meaning and expression in sentences when read to/told a story and they thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you to our volunteers who gave their time to our children.

Author Visit BFG

This Wednesday BFG invited the author and editor Jodie Parachinin to read them two of her books: The Perfect Job for an Elephant' and 'This is a serious book'. The children were absolutely enthralled and had so many questions to ask. The budding young authors amongst us have been so inspired that they have been writing their own books.



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