Hesket Classroom

Hesket Primary values the latest research regarding students 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, students learn high frequency or ‘Camera Words’ to give confidence and fluency to reading.


Comprehension strategies are the vehicles that allow us to read, not the goal of reading. Through whole-class reading, teachers expose students to a range of high-quality literature, including fiction and non-fiction texts. We choose texts and read with a purpose (to learn, to consider different perspectives, to explore new worlds), learning comprehension strategies along the way rather than choosing texts and reading with the sole purpose of practising these strategies.


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



Hesket Primary School bases their Writing hour on the High Impact Teaching Strategies, particularly Worked Examples and High Expectations, alongside regular opportunities for sustained practise.  The program empowers students to become confident writers by providing high-quality models within a structured framework and extended opportunities for daily practice. From Foundation, teachers model high-quality writing and encourage students to experiment with new techniques in their own work. Teachers model the behaviours of great writers and set high expectations for students, resulting in work of an exceptional standard.


At Hesket, students:

  • are explicitly taught syntax rules and conventions
  • build stamina by writing for extended periods every day
  • are explicitly taught strategies to enhance their writing
  • are engaged using a stimulus or visual prompt
  • brainstorm and are given effective vocabulary
  • are given sample texts and a plan
  • are given regular feedback
  • regularly publish, share and celebrate their 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.  


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.