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St. Francis de Sales Catholic Junior School

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SFDS Debate Week

During the Autumn term, all pupils are provided with the opportunity to develop their debating skills. Throughout 'SFDS Debate Week', pupils are provided with unseen debate motions and stimulus evidence sheets. Pupils then have a set amount of time to read the evidence and write their own debate speeches for either the 'Proposition' or the 'Opposition' side of the argument. 


A representative from each Year 5 class is chosen to participate in an Upper School debate competition in the school hall at the end of 'SFDS Debate Week'. The unseen motion is revealed to pupils with only a short amount of time for them to then prepare their speeches. 


"I felt really happy to be chosen to represent Class 12 because I really enjoy debating. Also, to be chosen was an amazing opportunity to develop my confidence and oracy skills. I no longer feel as shy about speaking in front of an audience." Lexie

Performance Poetry

All Year 5 children have experienced reading and then performing 'The Tyger' by William Blake. In groups, they recited the poem off by heart, putting into practice the key Year 5 oracy skills.


The children had to: demonstrate a good command of Standard English; use intonation and pace; adapted their tone of voice and expression; projected their voices at varying volumes to suit the poem and used a very good variety of facial expressions and hand gestures to emphasise points.


Discussing Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'


After reading and discussing William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar', our pupils were challenged with the task of arguing whether Brutus was the noblest Roman of all via 'Zoom' with an Oxford University lecturer! Using evidence from the play, the children used their oracy skills to deliver their verdicts. 


This involved the children: establishing natural eye contact with the audience while capturing the attention of others; using good posture by standing tall with shoulders back and varying their facial expressions; using hand gestures to emphasise points. and embracing pauses for thinking time especially after questions rather than filling gaps with 'erm' or 'like'.


'We Are Writers' Book: SFDS 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'.