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St Francis de SalesCatholic Junior School

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Enriching Experiences

Reading Ambassadors

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." Dafne

Performing 'A Christmas Carol'

In the build up to our school's virtual Christmas concert, Year 5 pupils became familiar with a scene from the Charles Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol'. Our reading ambassadors enjoyed reading through the start of this book to decide upon an effective scene for our pupils to perform. Once the scene was chosen, Year 5 read the scene and used their interpretation and drama skills to bring it to life!


"Firstly, once I was chosen to play Scrooge, I was very excited, excited because it was my chance to impress my parents for Christmas! Once we finished doing this, my confidence and oracy skills had been given a boost. When my family saw the video on Twitter, they were indeed impressed with me. I will never forget this experience." Callum (Scrooge!)

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. 


World Book Day


To continue Year 5's exploration of the completely wordless picture book 'Small Things', pupils were challenged to use poetry to bring the main character's emotions to life during our celebrations for 'World Book Day'. 


Also, pupils researched the author of their current Story Sessions book 'Journey to the River Sea' and wrote biographies about her (Eva Ibbotson).


Additionally, our pupils enjoyed taking part in a workshop with Louie Stowell, author of 'Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good'. This involved the pupils practising their illustration skills. 


World Book Day Performances

Still image for this video

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!"

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.

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).