Teaching of reading
St Peter’s Phonics, Reading and Curriculum Statement.
At St Peter’s we use Letters & Sounds as our Phonics Scheme and we organise our books by banding using Reading Recovery as our Reading Scheme.
On this page you will find information about reading at home with your child along with details of the book banding system used in school.
These are intended to support parents and are here for guidance, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.
What do Book Band levels mean?
Reading books are graded by difficulty by reading levels known as Book Bands. Each Book Band has its own colour. Children tend to learn in fits and starts – periods of growth followed by periods of consolidation when their progress seems to halt for a while. The periods where you don’t see rapid progress may be worrying, especially after a ‘growth spurt’, but they are important as your child develops confidence in using and applying their newly acquired skills.
If you are ever worried about your child’s progress, talk to their teacher.
Reading Through The Book Bands
There are general guidelines about which book bands should be covered within each National Curriculum level. By the end of Term 1 in year 2, children working at the average level should be reading books in
turquoise or purple bands. Please remember however that children learn in different ways and make progress at different times. It is possible that there may be seven year olds on book band red and five year
olds on book band turquoise. As a rough guide, children are expected to reach the highest level (lime) at seven or eight years old. Children who read above lime level are reading fairly fluently and although some books are still graded above this level, children are reading such a wide range of material that the banding becomes not so important. The books will vary in a number of ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length, to give the children a rich diet of literature. The difference between each colour band/number stage is very gradual, so that children do not experience great difficulty moving up through the scheme. Progress through the bands is not automatic and it is important to ensure that children working in the early bands have secure understanding so that they remain in control of the task and well motivated as they
move on to more challenging texts. This is particularly important for children at the early stages of learning English as an additional language. Obviously this guidance can only give a rough idea of the right reading level for your child. There will be a wide range of reading abilities in any school year. As a rough guide, children should be able to read at least 90% of the words on the page without any problem. If the book is too easy, they can become bored. If it’s too difficult, they can become frustrated, and may have to concentrate so hard on reading the words that they lose the enjoyment of understanding the story. Children reading rainbow level will be deemed ‘free readers’.
A Word of Caution!
You will be doing your child no favours if you rush them through books. It is not a race, it is a journey! Children learn at different rates just as they learn to walk, dress themselves etc. at different rates. Reading
must not be treated as a competition. If children are rushed through the books they will not achieve the enjoyment and understanding necessary. Books that they find too difficult will soon put them off reading!
Things to Remember
Do hear your child read every day.
Little and often is more beneficial than a long session once a week.
Think about how long you are reading for – the amount of reading time shouldn’t exceed your child’s span
Pick your timing carefully – it’s best not to embark on a reading session when your child is tired.
Every child is an individual – try not to compare your child’s progress with other children or with brothers
“Parents can instill a love of reading long before a child goes to school and deepen that love of reading as
the child grows up.”
Enjoy reading with your child and help them become lifelong readers.
Please don’t just limit your child to reading books brought home from school, the following documents give examples of books you may have at home and how they fit into the book banding scheme;