Welcome to the first installment of my reviews of the new English schemes. I am splitting the programme by CJ Fallon into three blog posts as there's a good bit to it and I don't want the reviews to be too long! So the first review is The Rainbow Reading Programme for Junior Infants to Second, the second reviews is the Oral Language Programme for Junior Infants to Second, and the third review is the Rainbow English Programme from Third to Sixth Class. So, bare with me! I feel a certain amount of responsibility writing these reviews as I know so many schools are upgrading to new schemes!
So, CJ Fallon have released a new reading scheme which is quite modern and has the unique element of offering schools two different options:
1. A Core Reading Programme
2. A Levelled/Graded Reading Programme
As both options are in line with the demands of the new curriculum, the school can select the version that best suits its needs.
The New Language Curriculum means we will all be searching for new programmes for English to keep up to date with the curricular changes. The plans in this scheme are fully in line with the new curriculum and thankfully, they are downloadable and editable which will help me hugely when I am doing my fortnightly and long term plans. It is all there in black and white which means I won’t have to pull out that awful curriculum book with all its flaps and foldable pages!
The reading component of the Rainbow English Programme takes the pupils on an exciting journey. Emma and her best friend, Luke, enjoy all kinds of adventures in their Irish town. All these stories are crafted with a hint of magic, while also reflecting the vibrant Ireland of today. The readers bring me back to my days of Tara and Ben in primary school ( Ann and Barry for some, or Emma and Joe?!) I found Wonderland just quite far fetched and outlandish, whereas these stories are true to life and are relatable for the children.
As the Rainbow English Programme has an Irish setting, the pupils will see their own world reflected in the stories and events. This includes the local GAA club, St Patrick’s Day adventures and trips to the farm.
The Rainbow English Programme Core Reader option includes:
- 3 Core Readers per year (from Junior Infants to Second Class)
- 1 Skills Book per year
- 3 packs of supplementary/additional readers per year (levelled accordingly). There are 6 books per pack. This is one of the major selling points for me- these are an essential part of the scheme for children reading at an accelerated level.
- A teacher’s resource book- it is amazing, I’ll try share some photos of it here for you to see.
The Rainbow English Programme Levelled Reading option is linked to reading recovery levels and the book band system. It provides 12 colour-coded levels, with 9 books per level.
Overall, I find the whole offering from CJ Fallon to be quite substantive and comprehensive. I like how it goes from junior infants right up to sixth class. It means the school can take on a whole school approach to English in their planning rather than pulling from different schemes for the junior and senior end of the school. I like the supplementary readers, and the online material. Most of all, I love the downloadable and editable plans!