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18/12/18

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 https://t.co/cE1TCxVUC0

18/12/18

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 https://t.co/yaSjg7RcwQ

14/12/18

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 https://t.co/Id3ivoawXz

13/12/18

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

13/12/18

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. https://t.co/YMWKo1vTON

13/12/18

What a wonderful Christivity from our Key Stage 1 & EYFS children. You were all superstars! https://t.co/Huhv223osf

09/12/18

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 https://t.co/JxnAv23F5H

04/12/18

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! https://t.co/hrrMFpfKZV

04/12/18

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! https://t.co/nJAyBMxr1O

25/11/18

Retweeted From Chris Norton Walker

Really fun gig at last night with https://t.co/OqYpzbvgOP

16/11/18

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. https://t.co/gkwjVPSA6C

16/11/18

On Wednesday Herts County Council came to visit our Reception class to run a workshop for the children and parents of Ladybird class. We learnt to ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think. ‘ We then set up a fake road in the classroom to practice crossing the road safely. https://t.co/x4JMRTrVpA

16/11/18

On Wednesday the Year 6 children enjoyed a wonderfully thought-provoking trip to the Foundling Museum in London to learn about the lives of poor children in Georgian and Victorian Britain. https://t.co/yORhNcKjE4

16/11/18

Cross Country: A wonderful performance from our Year 5 and 6 six runners at yesterday’s tournament. All runners showed excellent commitment and resilience, not to mention superb sportsmanship. https://t.co/2ws2u918Zh

16/11/18

Our school dog has a name! After a successful ‘wooferendum’ the votes were as follows: Rosie: 50 votes Red: 33 votes Rosie Red: 115 votes Welcome Rosie Red, there is a lot of excitement over your arrival at school. https://t.co/VmnFfKcwzZ

16/11/18

We have raised £184.20 for by wearing spots to school today. Thank you to all the children who dressed up and brought in their £1 donation. https://t.co/OTyBXejpnL

14/11/18

After attending the Girls Football Tournament, Watford Ladies have invited all pupils from the schools attending to watch them play on Sunday for free. The staff at the gates will have the school names, so you just have to say which school you are from. https://t.co/k1UwDaaJs9

13/11/18

10,000 poppy petals released in our playground at our Remembrance assembly on Friday. Thank you to all for attending a very moving and thought provoking morning. https://t.co/gdK7peegfm

07/11/18

Massive congratulations to the Harpenden Academy Boys Football team on our first ever win!! We are very proud of you all. https://t.co/O9n6ncMwbm

28/10/18

Retweeted From abm catering

Our talented chef at has been busy making this lovely wheat sheaf for the pupil's harvest assembly! 🍃 https://t.co/uFaTal2C4d

22/10/18

Our EYFS class have been inspired by our recent visit from an artist and the art around the school, so have created their own masterpieces “a diplodocus and a stegosaurus” https://t.co/3y9nDtzMyg

19/10/18

Yesterday Year 6 enjoyed making guacamole - a favourite Mexican dish- linking to our Frida Kahlo project. I was particularly impressed how many children initially claimed to not like avocado but tried the new dish and actually loved it! Well done for having open minds. https://t.co/6SwsmRY6Yo

17/10/18

Year 4 enjoyed a very exciting trip to Pizza Express this morning as part of our International month. Yummy!🍕 https://t.co/e1ChcRutRE

17/10/18

This is the amazing speed artist , here he is doing a speed portrait live for KS2, who do you think it is https://t.co/2VE7lyZNJa

17/10/18

What an amazing speed painting of Albert Einstein! By

17/10/18

We’ve got the fantastic artist Jon Hicks at Harpenden Academy today, what on earth could he be painting here? https://t.co/vyrPBcQIcm

15/10/18

How did this little fella know that our Reception class topic is Dinosaurs! He popped into our EYFS playground to visit us. How exciting! https://t.co/Mx3wY5oeoD

10/10/18

Harpenden Academy's School Council are running a book stall after school today to raise money for victims of the Indonesian Earthquake & Tsunami - Please Give Generously! https://t.co/ygeURXDfMx

09/10/18

Year 4 Austen class developed their independent pedestrian road skills today by participating in a workshop run by HCC. They learnt how to cross safely at a zebra crossing, how to assess the risks on the road and how to identify a safe place to cross. https://t.co/gFrt0PEzHb

28/09/18

What an amazing effort this morning from everyone. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts - your effort to bake over 2000 cakes is overwhelming. Please bring your pennies at pick up - there are still some delicious cakes left. A successful coffee morning! https://t.co/BHolhfry9p

27/09/18

Coffee morning tmw to support those fighting cancer. Leftovers for sale after school. Let’s reach our target of 2000 cakes. Happy baking! https://t.co/hARv0BTVEq

25/09/18

An amazing cross country session this week under beautiful autumnal blue skies. Forty of us ran our hearts out around the common! https://t.co/2jOsnWtnUc

21/09/18

Afloat We have just set off on our way home. We've had a fantastic time but are looking forward to being home!

20/09/18

We are now winding down and getting ready for bed. We'll see you all tomorrow and can't wait to tell you about our adventures. https://t.co/VhvraygXnD

20/09/18

Some photos from todays adventures at Fellowship Afloat. https://t.co/3TWuGPJP9p

20/09/18

Thank you to Kasia Truefitt, Artistic Director of for running some mindfulness dance workshops for KS2. We thoroughly enjoyed them. https://t.co/z2irCep27v

20/09/18

Photos to follow!

20/09/18

Our last full day at Fellowship Afloat. We've been out in the powerboats this morning. After lunch the children went on the high ropes - Jacob's Ladder and the Leap of Faith. Everyone challenged themselves and excelled; back on Trinty we had an afternoon of team games.

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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