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26/06/19

Inspiring and informative mental health session in Year Six learning more about mental health with Emma, a profession lead occupational therapist (and Harpenden Academy parent). https://t.co/x8vjvKzQKV

26/06/19

What an inspirational gospel choir workshop! We can’t wait for our performance later, parents welcome at 2.30pm https://t.co/hVsZhTubgJ

25/06/19

Exciting day two of wellbeing week in year six with a guest chef demo linked to spices and how to jazz up any meal. The children were mesmerised thank you Patti. https://t.co/r1wWOiOppx

25/06/19

Awesome first ever performance at Harpenden district sports. Excellent positivity, determination and support for each other and other schools. Special thanks to Miss Harvey for making it happen! https://t.co/4fogZ4wkz9

25/06/19

Looking forward to the gospel singing workshops tmw to celebrate our wellbeing week. Remember parents you are welcome to join us!

25/06/19

Arrrr...pirates have taken over year 4 and their Maths learning! Today we had an exciting workshop in which the children had to bury their hidden treasure and learn all about to co-ordinates to find it! So proud of our most 'fearless learner' being awarded a certificate too! https://t.co/SNnmV0OmkG

24/06/19

Year Six smoothie making as part of Wellbeing week. The children selected the fruits they wanted to use and researched their nutritional value before making and tasting their smoothies. https://t.co/uqZ0mtWm8M

24/06/19

More Year Six bike ride photos. https://t.co/zBp0WvazkN

24/06/19

Year Six have kicked off Wellbeing Week with a fantastic bike ride around Rothamsted and along the Nicky Line. We’ve nailed the Five Ways to Wellbeing already: be active, connect, give, keep learning and take notice. https://t.co/weeupDIzcV

21/06/19

Playtime - so wonderful to see our school councillors from year one to year six playing so collaboratively together. https://t.co/87YqNtl5mL

21/06/19

Fascinating tour of the House of Commons and the House of Lords - we’ve learnt so much and our school councillors have been brilliantly engaged and curious! https://t.co/c1eWGVPNdO

21/06/19

Quick cultural stop at the Tate Modern and a beautiful walk along the Thames. Now queuing for security at the Houses of Parliament... https://t.co/z1ctSz3YDp

21/06/19

School council trip to Houses of Parliament - first stop the beach! https://t.co/wAKy82F3aP

20/06/19

Year Six preparing and leading Family Group sessions this week on British Values, including democratic votes on which song to have a dance break to! https://t.co/v6FCZSzVEr

20/06/19

Year Six PE on the Common yesterday - preparing for Our first ever participation in Kwik Cricket and District Sports https://t.co/AwSBNIIglL

20/06/19

Year six receiving peeling and chopping top tips from Steve our school chef as part of their Young Chefs project. https://t.co/Mo7BCOzwJp

19/06/19

Y4 are enjoying an engaging workshop delivered by Transport for London and paid for by FOHA. We have been learning about transport with a focus on travelling on the Thames. Today we have become engineers designing our own prototype for a new boat. https://t.co/H0Yjw8SCT6

14/06/19

World School games ready at Oakland’s College. Thank you Miss Harvey for organising the day for us https://t.co/RGtLG1CYCJ

14/06/19

Fire Drill Harpenden Academy style! Waiting for the all clear to go back into the building and therefore time for a whole school sing song https://t.co/7hkqJh2kpX

14/06/19

A huge thank you to the very wonderful Mrs Duncan who has loved the children like her own all week- playing, laughing, chatting, hugging, coaching, supporting, encouraging and hot chocolate making. Our Shakespeare Dream Team would not be complete without you THANK YOU! https://t.co/qjZ4MQ6Z1V

14/06/19

On our way home! Tom just said ‘this week was all about kids versus mud!’ Well we definitely nailed the mud, the relentless rain and the cold! Full of love and pride and awe for these wonderful children who have role modelled our HA values and their own uniqueness every minute x https://t.co/YVw82fN3jJ

14/06/19

Obstacle course part two https://t.co/ZEacD5AROv

14/06/19

Final session of obstacle course: Seb leads the way on the obstacle course! Amazing teamwork throughout the entire course. https://t.co/CsxKQXSAGS

14/06/19

Final breakfast part two (forgot to add earlier!) https://t.co/oJZyBXxJl4

14/06/19

We have laughed and laughed all week - so much humour, fun and playfulness from children and teachers alike! https://t.co/O6qMcFX778

14/06/19

Final activities taking place before lunch and departure. Fencing fun. https://t.co/XSbbGTjgxg

14/06/19

Blind trail fun - still not bored of the mud! https://t.co/x1lKEfjdS8

14/06/19

Final volleyball shots https://t.co/U8ArOb3LRL

14/06/19

Today we learnt the basic strategies of volleyball, which included the diamond hand shape, known as (set) and serving techniques. https://t.co/jtVugTFacP

14/06/19

Volleyball fun https://t.co/kIsbajcD5c

14/06/19

Momentary blue sky! https://t.co/s9U9aNjpkS

14/06/19

Last breakfast part two https://t.co/AvKRHRYl8L

14/06/19

Last breakfast! Mixed emotions this morning - not wanting such a fantastic week to end but all very much looking forward to seeing our families and our own beds! https://t.co/WYY99UQ2Bl

14/06/19

A lovely game of football last night as we finally had a break from the rain. https://t.co/pgtcOaFyIf

13/06/19

Blind trail fun - putting lots of trust in each other https://t.co/Lyj7vlzrCt

13/06/19

Initiative exercises - definitely stretched our brains! https://t.co/VOThEkGZ2h

13/06/19

Fencing this evening: learning th basics of movement and attack using thrust and lunge moves. https://t.co/2yjNvucN1l

13/06/19

More adventurous cavers https://t.co/k8fok6qDCA

13/06/19

Caving included lots of interesting facts about mining in the early 1900’s: children sent as young as 4 yr olds into the caves to mine valuable gems; pasties eaten and crusts thrown to ground to avoid consuming poisonous substances; edible candles made out of pigs wax. https://t.co/YEhHjpelmZ

Reading for Pleasure

At Harpenden Academy we recognise the relationship between attainment in and enjoyment of reading. We aim to develop positive attitudes towards reading and foster a love of books through the school’s enthusiastic reading culture. As a school we take specific action to ensure we are equipping pupils with the skills to become readers and to ensure reading is promoted as a high-value activity. We use the several strategies detailed in this report to organise reading for pleasure and support Harpenden Academy pupils in becoming confident, keen and capable readers.

Supporting Staff

In order to teach reading effectively, staff need to have the necessary knowledge and skills. Our monitoring cycle and staff self-review identifies areas of strength and weakness in teaching and these are addressed through whole school CPD; targeted ‘courses’ for individuals and further peer to peer support to share good practice. We use in-house expertise as much as possible to share good practice.

The structured, systematic teaching of phonics taught daily in Reception and KS1 using Jolly Phonics which ensures staff are equipped to cover all areas of phonics successfully. We use data analysis to identify areas of need and regularly review, and where necessary adjust, class and catch-up provision.

Teaching the Reading Curriculum

Our data analysis identifies pupils who have fallen or who are at risk of falling behind in their reading and interventions are put in place. These are either small teaching groups in addition to classroom provision or specific strategies used within whole class teaching to help accelerate progress. Half termly pupil progress review meetings between Senior Leaders and class teachers judge the impact of interventions and groupings are amended or teaching support redeployed according to need. We acknowledge that reading enjoyment and reading achievement are interdependent, so identification of need is key to ensuring all our pupils can participate fully in the reading curriculum.

Vocabulary development is recognised as a priority, so teachers use all available opportunities to clarify and extend pupils’ understanding of new words. Guided reading sessions are a prime opportunity to do this but new subject vocabulary is also introduced in science, maths and topic lessons. In the early years, pupils’ vocabulary extension is planned for within focus activities.

We recognise the need to increase pupils’ reading stamina and their independence, so pupils are given opportunities to read alone, silently, and as they reach KS2 also to complete ‘read and respond’ exercises to test their comprehension. They learn to make choices about what to read using the selection of books in the class ‘book box’ and from the Library.

Throughout school, teachers read aloud to their classes several times a week. We value reading aloud and hearing books read and recognise that sharing a text is a special time which should be guarded despite the time pressures of the curriculum.

Developing the Reading Environment

Each class in Reception and KS1 has its own book corner containing a range of reading materials. Each day, time is allocated for pupils to select books read in a ‘cosy corner’ or in other shared school spaces for example the outdoor garden. Our pupils enjoy reading together and can regularly be witnessed reading play-scripts aloud or sharing a big book with a friend.

The school library is a resource used by all classes, but is currently under development due to the move. The aim is that the school library can be used as a reference library to support teaching and learning in cross-curricular topic and subjects such as science, history and food technology. The school is designed, with large areas of open areas, like the library so it can increasingly be used for independent research, particularly as pupils move into upper Key Stage 2. We want pupils be involved in running the library so once restocking and cataloguing has taken place, Junior Librarians will be nominated and trained.

Corridor and classroom displays regularly show pupils work associated with key texts or authors e.g. Horrid Henry or Roald Dahl. This not only shows and celebrates what pupils have learnt but also extends the pupils’ knowledge of authors and ‘must reads’.

Reading is promoted and utilised in all subject areas, whether this be on-screen reading as part of topic research; keeping up to date by reading child friendly  websites; or using information books to extend knowledge in a range of subject areas.

Celebrating Reading

Adults in school are the pupils’ role models, so we demonstrate that we are readers by sharing with pupils what we are currently reading. Teachers and other adults talk enthusiastically about reading and weave their love of reading into assemblies and presentations. Authors and poets are invited into school and work with year groups.

Classes visit the local library to encourage membership and good habits outside school time.

Engaging Parents

Our families support pupils by reading with or to them each day, either after or before school, and signing their reading diaries. They are informed about pupils’ reading levels and of course attend Parents’ Evenings and school events to find out about the reading curriculum.

We know that we can do more to inform parents about and involve parents in reading for pleasure, so we use parent workshops to help parents learn about the methods we use.

Moving Forward

Raising pupils’ attainment in reading is a priority for every member of the school staff as is developing a love of reading. In the knowledge that excellence and enjoyment are reciprocal processes, we strive to enhance and support children’s reading, so Harpenden Academy pupils love to read because they can read.

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