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Hornsby Heights Public School

Hornsby Heights Public School

Telephone02 9476 5133



English study is mandatory in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Students learn about the English language through written, spoken and visual texts of increasing complexity as they progress through their schooling.

An understanding of the English language is central to how we communicate and essential for intellectual, social and emotional development.

The study of English should develop a love of literature and learning and be challenging and enjoyable. It develops skills to enable students to experiment with ideas and expression, to become active, independent and lifelong learners, to work with each other and to reflect on their learning.

The Learning Area of English encompasses Reading, Writing (including Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Talking and Listening. Literacy is a key feature of our school and many programs have been put into place to support the development of literacy skills. In addition to extensive classroom and support programs, opportunities are provided for students to participate in a variety of extension activities.

Best Start
The Best Start Kindergarten Assessment helps teachers identify the literacy knowledge and skills that each child brings to school as they enter Kindergarten, to inform the development of quality teaching and learning programs.

M100W is a sight word program used in K-2 classes which focuses on high-frequency words.

Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs is an online phonics program used in computer lessons, whole class lessons and at home.

Jolly Phonics / Jolly Grammar
Jolly Phonics is the phonics program used in all Kindergarten classes. It is a sound, action and song program that develops phonic knowledge and word blending. Jolly Grammar is a grammar program that builds on the phonetic skills learnt in Kindergarten.

Literacy Groups
All K-6 classes incorporate Literacy Groups that cater for the diverse learning needs of students within each class. They have a weekly focus and a flexible group structure. Learning experiences incorporate all aspects of the English syllabus.

Students are involved in a stage appropriate spelling programs throughout the school that are flexible and sequential. 

Focus on Reading                                                                                                                                            The Focus on Reading program uses reading strategies that enable students to identify, access effectively utilise the range of comprehension skills required when reading. The program emphasises the integrated teaching of six comprehension strategies. 

  1. Making connections
  2. Predicting
  3. Questioning
  4. Monitoring
  5. Visualising
  6.  Summarising

Seven Steps to Successful Writing                                                                                                                      At Hornsby Heights, the Seven Steps to Successful Writing program is employed from throughout the school. Isolating writing skills into individual steps ensures students gain confidence in each building block. They then synthesise these skill sets to become creative and engaging writers.

  • Step 1: Plan for Success
  • Step 2: Sizzling Starts
  • Step 3: Tightening Tension
  • Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue
  • Step 5: Show, Don’t Tell
  • Step 6: Ban the Boring
  • Step 7: Exciting Endings/Ending with Impact

Public Speaking and Debating
Public Speaking begins in the early years where all students develop the skills of public speaking through Topic Talks and other class presentations.

In Year 5 students prepare and present formal speeches throughout the year. Semi-finals and finals are contested during Term 4. An independent guest teacher adjudicates the finals. The winner is awarded the Public Speaking Trophy on Presentation Day.

Year 6 students participate in an Intra-School Debating Competition. Teams debate in a round-robin format throughout the year with semis and finals being contested during Term 4. An independent guest teacher adjudicates the finals.
The winning team is awarded Debating Medals and the runner up team is awarded certificates on Presentation Day.

EAL/D (English as an Additional Language or Dialect)
Students from a Non-English Speaking background are supported by our EAL/D program and specialist EAL/D teachers.

Parent Helpers and Volunteers
Parents and volunteers play an active and supportive role in our Literacy Programs throughout the school including one to one reading with individual students and working with small groups.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in the University of New South Wales English, Writing and Spelling Competitions. 

Home Reading
All students are expected to complete Home Reading on a nightly basis. This develops a partnership between the School Reading Program and home.

All students in Year 3 and 5 are assessed on the same day using national tests in Reading, Writing and Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation). This test is usually held in Term 2.

Premier’s Reading Challenge

This Premier’s Reading Challenge encourages students from Kindergarten to Year 9 to develop a love of reading and plays an important role in developing literacy.