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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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Enriching Experiences

Becoming Published Poets


Every year, the children have an amazing opportunity to write their very own story for our school book which is called 'We Are Writers'. They follow the process of reading and analysing examples, generating ideas, writing, editing and proof reading to ensure the book is a fantastic read. Without a shadow of a doubt, it is an enriching experience with multiple books they can treasure for years! As of 2021, we decided to take a break from writing stories and instead, the children have been writing their own poems.

World Book Day Celebrations: 'We Are Writers' Poetry Slam


As part of our World Book Day celebrations, every child becomes a published poet in the latest edition of our 'We Are Writers' book. Pupils write their own original poems and get to see their work in a book that they can cherish forever. 


To celebrate the launch of our latest 'We Are Writers' book, pupils explore performance poetry skills. Also, they have the opportunity to represent their class in the school hall during our annual 'SFDS Poetry Slam'. 

Barbara Mitchell Hill: 'Zoom' Reading Experience


Year 5 children were extremely lucky to have Barbara Mitchell Hill on a 'Zoom' call to read various extracts from the book 'The Secret Suffragette'. As well as this, Barbara answered many questions about the book which the children had prepared.

Reading Ambassadors

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A Reading Ambassador is selected from each class as a good reading role model to their peers. Listen to one of our chosen Year 5 pupils describing what part of this role entails!


"To summarise, I feel very proud to have been selected for this role because I can help to inspire other pupils to love reading. I enjoy getting to take responsibility too." Willow-Rose

Story Sessions: Immersive Experiences


To help bring our class novels to life, we provide many immersive experiences to assist with pupils' own interpretations of the characters, settings and main events. This starts right from the very beginning of a session when the same piece of a music (or the 'theme tune' as we like to refer to it) is played to signal that a Story Session is about to begin. For example, before reading 'Journey to the River Sea', rainforest adventure music is played. One session a week is carried out in our fantastic school library, which adds to the immersive experience greatly!


Reading Stars


All children who have shown a reading star moment at any point in their school day receive a reading star ticket which is put into a raffle. At the end of each half term, these tickets are chosen at random and one lucky child from each class is taken to Waterstones to pick any book they desire! 


One child said, "I can't believe I have had this opportunity because it was such a special morning!"

Harry Potter Day


What a memorable day 'Harry Potter Day' was! Year 5 arrived at SFDS as though they were about to spend a day at Hogwarts. Along with taking part in many activities related to the fabulous works of J.K. Rowling, each class got to listen to 'Hermione' (a Reading Ambassador) reading an extract from 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'. Class 12 had recently won 'The Late League' and decided to use their budget on their very own 'Harry Potter' books to keep forever. 


"Harry Potter Day was an amazing time because it actually felt like I was in Hogwarts. I liked the fact that even if you were dressed as the same character as someone else, you still felt like you had a different personality. When I got to read in front of the other classes, I felt like I actually WAS Hermione Granger as I used expression to act out her parts." Lily (a.k.a. Hermione).