The profile of reading is extremely high at Christ the King and we offer children a wide range of opportunities in which to enjoy books. These include offering a well-resourced and varied reading scheme, class libraries and school libraries where children can select books to enjoy at home. Children are encouraged to choose books to read for pleasure, making selections based on personal preferences. We endeavour to keep our libraries stocked with books which capture the children's imagination.
In Early Years and Key Stage One, pupils begin to develop an understanding of phonics and they are encouraged to decode words using strategies that they have been taught in class. They are invited to search the pictures for clues which may help to enhance their understanding of the text. Building on this, we recognise the vital importance of comprehension and understanding. Children are questioned about their books through "Book Talk." They complete comprehension tasks that challenge their understanding of the books that they read at home.
Children select books from the Book Band colour that corresponds to the level that they are currently reading at. The reading scheme includes books from Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Collins Big Cat and Pearson as well as a range of books by well known authors in Key Stage 2.
Book Bands at Christ the King Catholic Primary School
A Guide to Book Bands
What are book bands?
Book Bands were created by the Institute of Education in London c.2000. Book bands are based on clear and steady progression in language development, whilst also gradually building children’s reading stamina.
Why are we using book bands?
Book bands allow books from different publishers, authors and schemes to be placed in parallel reading stages. This adds variety, breadth and depth to the reading resources, in line with the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum. Book bands are used to organise reading books in the majority of primary schools and by most national publishers.
How are books organised? – Early and Developing Readers
Pink to White bands
Within the Pink to White bands, there are 10 bands in total. These are designed to support progress in both reading and comprehension, and books are finely graded based on children’s growing knowledge and application of phonics, sight vocabulary and overall comprehension.
Children read a range of books within each of these bands in order to support understanding, and progress through these bands as and when ready – for many children this is termly, depending, of course, on their overall reading ability.
How are books organised? – Confident and Experienced Readers
Lime to Dark Red bands
Within the bands from Lime onwards, progression is different. By this stage, children have fully acquired the skills needed to read words individually, so could probably decode the words within any text presented. So, books are organised based on progression in reading stamina, content, themes and overall interest level, as opposed to word reading skills, thus supporting children with reading age-appropriate material.
From Lime band onwards, children will be reading books at the same band for a good while. This is to ensure they read a wide range of texts, authors and genres, including:
British and World fiction
Contemporary fiction and
A range of non-fiction material,
reflecting the increased demands of the 2014 National Curriculum for English.
When will the children read ‘free choice’ books?
Children do like to read lots of different books. To facilitate this, children reading books from Lime band onwards will alternate their banded reading book with a book from the school library. So, if they want to re-read an old comfy favourite, or experiment with something chunky and challenging, they can do so, alongside reading age-appropriate banded books.
How do bands link to age-related expectations?
Bands are linked to age-related expectations for KS1 as follows:
End of Reception – Yellow band
End of Year 1 – Orange band
End of Year 2 – Gold/White bands
At KS2, the bands provide support for teachers in identifying age-appropriate reading material to support assessment against age-related criteria:
Year 3 – Brown
Year 4 – Grey
Year 5 – Dark Blue
Year 6 – Dark Red