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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

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Here, Hidden, Head

What do you see? 

What can you assume? 

What can you imagine?


Comprehension is a process which involves decoding, interpreting, questioning, inferring, understanding, evaluating and appreciating a particular text. Text types are wide and varied and take many forms such as a novel or an email, a painting or a poster, a maths equation or a weather graph, a Tik Tok post or a podcast.

Comprehension therefore involves reading written texts, viewing visual texts, and listening to aural texts.

The Here, Hidden and Head strategy is a strategy which supports students to independently read and understand an ever increasing range of complex text types. The strategy involves the reader/viewer/listener engaging with a particular text at three distinct levels:

Level One: Here (Literal thinking)

The Here part of the strategy involves making meaning at a level of literal thinking. This is about understanding a text at its usual or most basic sense without interpretation or conjecture. Literal thinking involves referring to the explicit information contained within a text. An important aspect of literal thinking is establishing the key elements and facts of the text.

Some examples of literal thinking include finding a location on a map, recognising a hyperlink on a webpage, listing the ingredients required for a recipe, identifying the subject of a portrait, finding the main points of an information report, sequencing events, or retelling a story.

Level Two: Hidden (Inferential thinking)

The Hidden part of the strategy involves making meaning at a level of inferential thinking. This is about understanding how a text has been constructed to achieve its purpose. Inferential thinking involves understanding that language can be figurative and that meaning is open to interpretation. An important aspect of inferential thinking is using prior knowledge to make assumptions about the intention of the text.

Some examples of inferential thinking include using reasoning to predict what comes next, making a connection between two related pieces of information, drawing a conclusion, identifying the underlying theme, and questioning the authority of an author.

Level Three: Head (Critical thinking)

The Head part of the strategy involves making meaning at a level of critical thinking. This is about understanding the effectiveness of a text to achieve its purpose. Critical thinking involves making a judgement about the integrity of the text and using the text as a springboard for further thinking and investigation. An important aspect of critical thinking is analysing and evaluating the structure of a text and its consequential impact on an audience.

Some examples of critical thinking include imagining alternatives and possibilities, justifying an opinion about the quality of the content, arguing a viewpoint, creating new ideas or recontextualising the original text in a way that creates new meaning.

At Ashfield Public School. the Hidden, Head strategy is used in all classes from Kindergarten to Year Six and supports students to make meaning from texts. Deep comprehension of a text occurs when all three levels have been considered.