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Infant School

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Reading Book Bands

Reading through the Book Bands


The Book Band system helps us to grade our books by difficulty level. Each level has its own colour and includes a selection of different reading scheme books and ‘real’ books. The difference between each band is gradual so that children will not experience difficulty when moving from one to the next.


From Reception your child will take home a fully decodable reading book to support the new 2021 systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme, twice a week.  They will also take home a ‘sharing’ reading book twice a week.


The decodable reading books will be matched to the Little Wandle Letter and Sounds programme and will support the teaching of phonics through each phase.  There will be an exciting mix of stories and non-fiction to foster a love of reading in all children.


As well as periods of rapid progress, your child will probably have periods of consolidation when progress is not as obvious. This is the time when they have the chance develop confidence in using and applying their newly acquired skills. It is really important that children develop their comprehension skills alongside their ability to read the words on the page so you may find that your child is able to read the words fluently but continues on the same Book Band colour for a while to enable them to focus on developing their understanding. Class teachers assess the children’s reading on a regular basis and will change their Book Band colour only when they are confident that both the comprehension and word reading targets have been fully met.


Reading through the Book Band system should be seen as a journey as opposed to a race. Children learn at different rates; if rushed through each level they may not achieve the enjoyment and understanding necessary. Books that children find too challenging could discourage them from reading.


Hearing children read every day, little and often, is more beneficial than a long session once a week.  The amount of reading time should not exceed your child’s span of attention.  It is best to choose a reading time when your child is not tired or distracted.


Thank you for reading with your child at home. It really is an essential part of their development and you play a vital role in nurturing their love of reading.