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St Francis Church of England Aided Junior School

"Let your light shine bright"

Click on NEWS above (NEWSLETTERS below on phones) for the latest updates from school including what we have been learning, achievements, routines and dates for your diary. Thank you for your continued support, Mrs. Lakey and your St Francis' family.


Early Reading


At St Francis', we use systematic synthetic phonics to teach pupils who have not yet mastered the skill of word segmenting and blending. This is where a word such as 'dog' is segmented (broken up) into individual sounds e.g. d-o-g. We would encourage children to sound out each letter individually before blending the sounds together to read the word. For handy tips on how to help support your child with phonics at home, please click on the link to watch the video below. 

As children learn phonics from Reception and do a phonics screening check in Year 1, we anticipate that most children will know their sounds and be able to blend them to read words by the time they transition to us in Year 3. As part of our recovery curriculum, we have consolidation of phonics teaching within English lessons and small group teaching for those children needing extra support. 

Decodable Texts for Children to Read


These are short texts that children working on their phonics will be able to segment and blend. It might take a few tries, but encourage separating each word into the individual sounds and then re-reading the whole word by blending all of the sounds together. 


A Trip to a Planet

Look up!

A ship!

Will it land?

Yes. Let’s run and see it.

A thing with three legs and six arms got off.

Can we get in? Yes, get in!

Up, up, up we went on a trip to a far planet.

We had fun. Then we went back.


Shark Facts

A shark is a fish.

It has fins and a soft skeleton to help it swim fast.

As soon as a shark pup is born, it can fend for itself.

Sharks keep dropping worn teeth and getting extra teeth. A carpet shark can get as long as a truck.

Reading for Pleasure

We have a range of different strategies to promote reading for pleasure across school. At home, it is a HUGE benefit if a child reads every single day. We have our reading journals to help us track this and to let school know when to change the reading books.


Each child has two reading books they take home: one book that is suitable for their reading ability and one which is a book they have chosen to read for pleasure. The second book may not be something that they can read independently and so this might need to be read to them by an adult or older sibling. 

We also have Fiction Express, which is an online reading program that helps to establish positive reading habits in pupils to improve lifelong learning outcomes. On Fiction Express, you can read whole books, do quizzes to earn team points for your efforts. 

At St Francis' we have a book called a reading journal and every child gets one. You will take it home and you will have a reading book to take as well to read. When you read it, you ask the person listening to you to ask you questions. We have a question house we can use as a book mark to help people ask us questions. The person listening then needs to write in your reading journal, but you have to read four times a week. There are some tasks in the front of the journal that you have to do every week. Remember to get a parent/carer to hear you read.  

Written by Hannah and Billy (Y4).

How can I help my child?

It is vital that children experience pleasure through learning and that is where you, as a parent or carer, can really help!! It is vital that you continue the "reading habit" and help children begin to not only decode the text but begin to ask questions about what is happening and why. Children can readily answer simple recall questions (eg what colour was the building, how long did the bus journey take ) but questions requiring them to think, imagine and empathise can be a little more problematic.

Being able to "infer" means you can look beyond the present and draw a conclusion based upon the knowledge you already is vital that children can do this effectively to be outstanding learners.
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