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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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Enriching Experiences

We Are Writers 2023! 


Every year at St Francis de Sales, our pupils become published authors. This year, our theme was poetry and the children were filled with excitement at the thought of creating their own poems to share with the world. Here are just a few examples. If you would like to read more, you can find our book in our wonderful school library! 

Storybarn Trip to Calderstones Park 


Year 3 visited the Storybarn at Calderstones Park for a Stone Age themed workshop. Children were guided around the park by the wonderful staff and we learned about how people would have foraged for food and we even learned about the famous 'Calder-stones', which date back all the way to the Stone Age times!  Additionally, we then had the pleasure of listening to a story about the stone age before taking part in some ancient team work in transporting materials using stone age techniques. 

Waterstones Trip 


Four lucky pupils from each year group were invited on a special trip to Waterstones in order to pick a book to take home. These pupils won our Reading Star Moments for the half term in their classes and were specially selected for this amazing prize. Well done to all of those pupils and keep up the hard work. Perhaps you could be one of our next winners? 

'We are Writers' 2022

You could feel the excitement in the air as Year 3 children were presented with their very own copy of the annual 'We are Writers' book 2022. Every year, in celebration of World Book Day, each child's work is published in the St Francis de Sales 'We are Writers' book.  All children have worked incredibly hard to create a poem of their choosing. Children have written a variety of poems from haikus to acrostic and have let their creativity flow as they were influenced by their interests, family and friends to create a fantastic, unique poem. 


'We are Writers!' 2021

Anticipation and excitement flooded the corridors of Year 3 today as we were presented with this year's publication of 'We are Writers!'. The book is filled with wonderful poems written by every child across the school. Children were proud to share their poem with the rest of the class, as well as complimenting their fellow poets on their fantastic creativity and writing skills.

'Now Press Play!'

Have you ever been so immersed in a story that you forget where you are? Today, Year 3 travelled to the Stone Age using audio headsets. As they listened closely to the Stone Age narrative, they had to act out the story. Chopping wood, firing arrows and crawling through tunnels were just some of the actions which they performed!

World Book Day 2021

Although we were unable to all celebrate in person this year, World Book Day was once again a highlight! Not only did we spend a lot of time reading some of our favourite books, but we also took part in challenges each day! Winners were chuffed to receive a bag full of reading goodies!

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus!

Year 3 were shocked to discover that the school transformed into Hogwarts today! In celebration of all things Harry Potter, children and teachers across the school dressed as characters from the classic JK Rowling novel! Throughout the day, we also took part in a number of fun activities celebrating our love of reading!


"I loved seeing everyone dressed up, even my teacher! I dressed up as Hermione because she is my favourite character!"- Lily Mae Charlton

Introducing our new Reading Ambassadors!


Reading is very important at SFDS and we believe to instill a love of reading we must put pupils at the heart of the process. We are very excited to introduce our new reading ambassadors, who are responsible for promoting reading in their classroom. Pupils can approach their reading ambassador for book and author recommendations. The ambassador is also responsible for monitoring reading records and awarding raffle tickets to those that read at least 3 times a week!


World Book Day!

At St Francis de Sales, we love an opportunity to celebrate reading and loved taking part in World Book Day 2020. During our story session, we discussed the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists; Charlotte, Wilbur and Fern. We practised justifying our points by searching for evidence from the story so far. Then, we designed alternative front covers to the novel, based upon our impressions of the story.


We also wrote our own Haiku poems! We talked about the graphic novel 'mirror' which compares the lives of 2 boys living in contrasting cultures. We put ourselves in the shoes of the Moroccan boy and described what he could see from his bedroom window.


"A haiku is really short but it's still really hard to write. You have to count the syllables really carefully so that they follow the 5-7-5 rule!"- Charlie Hale


Glistening moonbeams

Sparkle on the vast hillside

Until morning comes

-Ruby Whitby



We are Illustrators too!

We had the opportunity to compete against the rest of the school in designing a cover for this years' 'We Are Writers' book! We started by evaluating the effectiveness of previous designs and exploring a range of famous book covers. Using this inspiration, we designed our own eye-catching masterpieces. 


'I love how reading takes you on an adventure to a new world and you forget about everything else. I tried to show that in my design by only drawing mystical creatures!'

Chelsee Costello


'I explored the cover of 'The BFG' and created my own sketch. I love the bold colours  and the drawings which Quentin Blake does which look like scribbles! I also used vivid colours in my own design!'

Will Harrison



We Are Writers!

This week we have been exploring what makes a powerful 100 word story, ready for the publication of this years' 'We are Writers' book. First, we explored different examples from previous editions and were excited to read stories from some of our older brothers and sisters! Then we created our own story, using all the sentence types that we have learned this year and using a thesaurus to find excellent synonyms!


"I cannot believe I am going to be a published author! It was really hard to keep my story to 100 words but it helped me to cut out unnecessary words and kept the story exciting!"

Lillie Wells


Reading Outside the Classroom- Observational Walk


We have been exploring the picture book 'Mirror'. It describes the lives of two boys; one lives in Australia and one in Morocco. There are many things about the boys' lives which are different; the clothes they wear, the food they eat and the environment they live in. Interestingly, there are also many similarities across their cultures; their families, their routines and their interests.


This week, we took a trip to our local shop, to compare the environment we live in to the lives of the 2 boys. Whilst we take this sort of trip all the time, rarely do we stop to observe what is going on around us. We encountered bin men, postmen, shop workers and neighbours chatting in the street. We smelt the fresh bread from the bakery and observed a crow with jet black feathers sitting on top of the traffic lights. We heard sirens blaring, music chiming and children crying.

Taffy Thomas


Taffy Thomas is the patron of The Society for Storytelling. Taffy told us about the importance of reading stories aloud so that we can immerse ourselves into the worlds that authors are creating with their words. With Taffy's head bursting with stories, riddles and folklore, we chose an image from his infamous 'Tale Coat', which sparked a new story each time.