Hesket Primary values the latest research when students are learning to read. Our Junior program is based around a synthetic, explicit and systematic approach, in short, meaning that all phonemes (sounds) are explicitly taught so that students can confidently decode new phonetic words; this we know is one of the most crucial early reading skills.

Alongside the explicit teaching of phonemes, student learning high frequency or ‘Camera Words’ to give confidence and fluency to reading.

Through whole-class reading, teachers model elements of quality reading across a range of text styles, including expression, fluency and comprehension strategies focused around the following areas:

  • Hesket ClassroomCritical Thinking
  • Predicting
  • Activating and Connecting (Using Prior Knowledge)
  • Visualising
  • Questioning (Asking and Answering)
  • Summarising
  • Synthesising

Reading is not stand alone with links continually being made to Writing and Spelling.

At Hesket Primary School we are proud that every child reads to an adult at school, every day.


Hesket Primary School bases their Writing hour on the Anne Angelopoulos Writing Model The program focuses on teachers directing students in the writing process, while maximising their performance as a writer. This model is hands-on, systematic and practical, using explicit teaching to show students how to use powerful writing strategies in their writing.

The Writing Model’s guiding principles are:

  • Students write every day
  • Students are explicitly taught strategies to enhance their writing
  • Students are engaged using a stimulus or visual prompt
  • Students brainstorm and are given effective vocabulary
  • Students are given sample texts and a plan
  • Students write paragraph by paragraph
  • Students are given feedback.

Right from Foundation, teachers model high quality writing and encourage students to experiment with new techniques in their own work.

SMART Spelling

SMART spelling is a systematic, explicit and synthetic (SES) phonics approach. Spelling is best taught through pattern and regularity. In SMART spelling rules are taught in the context of words, in a way that builds on from prior years. This is why SMART spelling is a whole school approach.

SMART spelling is based around words with an emphasis on meaning and vocabulary development.  As well as the patterned words, children also practise words that come from their work, following explicit teaching in the classroom.  

There are two areas of knowledge that students need to develop to become independent spellers:

  1. Phonological knowledge is to do with sounds. It includes the ability to break words into syllables and individual sounds (phonemes)
  2. Orthographical knowledge is to do with letters. It is a visual skill that requires students to choose the correct letters that make a sound in a word.