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Reading Scheme

At Balby Central we are passionate about helping children progress in their reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading. We hope that you, as parents and carers will join us in this mission.

In Key Stage one our main approach in teaching reading is through systematic phonics. The children have a daily phonics session following the Read, Write Inc. scheme. They learn new sounds, go through sounds they have already learnt, blend the sounds to read words, segment the sounds to spell words, read a story and answer questions about what they have read over a series of sessions.

The books that the children bring home in Key Stage one are mainly phonic based to help them apply what they have learnt in school.

If children need further support with reading in KS2 they may have work through computer programmes like Lexia, access further Read, Write Inc. sessions or follow other reading intervention schemes in order to catch up as quickly as possible.

In Key Stage 2 children are often taught reading skills in their daily English lesson, they will also have a daily guided reading session.

We promote the love of reading by having some time in the week when the class will enjoy a book read aloud by their teacher.

Reading in Years 1-6 is taught through a book study approach. The class will study one book for the half term and this provides cross-curricular links with other subjects. Details of the books studied in each year group can be found on the long term plans.

In order to support the children with the development of their reading skills, your child will bring home a reading book which is colour banded. The structure of the colour bands are as follows;

Colour BandApproximate age group this band is aimed atWhat can you expect to see from the books in this band
PinkWorking within PS age bandsFor children just starting to read. Children are getting used to reading from left to right and matching spoken words to written words. They may be wordless books that tell a story through pictures alone. They help children to develop speaking and listening skills through creating and telling stories.
RedWorking within FS age bandsThe second step up the ladder as children gain a little more confidence and may know some words by sight.
YellowWorking within FS age bandsChildren are beginning to read more varied sentence structures and taking some note of punctuation. Yellow books have a slightly increased number of words and slightly more complex story lines.
BlueWorking within FS age bands, beginning to meet some Year 1 expectationsChildren are becoming more confident at reading longer and more varied sentences
GreenWorking within Year 1 age expectationsChildren are starting to read fluently and take note of punctuation
OrangeWorking within Year 1 age expectations
TurquoiseBeginning to meet some Year 2 expectationsChildren are starting to read longer and more complex sentences and can understand a range of punctuation
PurpleWorking within Year 2 age expectationsChildren can read complex sentences fairly fluently, taking note of punctuation. They use expression and do not rely on illustrations to help them
GoldWorking within Year 2 age expectationsChildren might read silently or quietly at a rapid pace, taking note of punctuation
WhiteWorking within Year 2 age expectationsBooks might have chapters. Children will read silently most of the time.
Lime GreenWorking within Year 3/4 age expectationsBooks might have chapters. Children read silently with confidence and perseverance. They are interested in longer texts which they can return to easily after a break
BlackWorking within Year 4 age expectationsA wide variety of longer, demanding texts, with longer chapters for more sustained reading.
Free ReadersWorking within Year 5/6 age expectationsLonger, more indepth books which include a widening range of writing styles

The children are assessed and then given a Book Band colour to read. This Book Band will be at a level that the children can read comfortably, so they can practise reading words they are learning, and develop fluency. Reading fluently is important as this will help their understanding – if they are having to stop and read or re-read new words it will be hard for them to understand what they are reading.When your child is given a Book Band, they can choose books from this colour band.

Although our books bands have an age expectation attached please remember that children learn in different ways and make progress at different times and your child may not always be reading a band that matches their year group expectation.

We strongly encourage reading together and talking about stories at all ages and abilities in order to foster a love of reading.

Picture books are a valuable resource for reading, and can be enjoyed at different levels, as often the pictures add another dimension to reading. It is important that children still have access to picture books, even when they are reading longer books, and that they are not seen as ‘too easy’, but rather a different way of reading

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

How can you help your child with their reading?

Below you can find publications outlining how to support children with reading at home.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

How to support your child reading Pink and Red level books

Your child is just beginning to discover the excitement of books. If these books have no words, they are an important introduction to reading. Please encourage your child to:

How to support your child reading Blue and Green level books

Your child is now beginning to read with more confidence. As they read aloud, you can help them by:

How to support your child reading Orange and Turquoise level books

Your child is now developing into a more confident reader. Encourage them to select from books at the library or bookshop as well as those from school. As they read, you can help by encouraging them to:

How to support your child reading Purple level books

Your child is now beginning to read with more independence . They should be feeling more confident and will rarely need to sound out words. You can help them by:

How to support your child reading Gold and White level books

Your child is now beginning to read with more independence and their books are getting longer. You can help them by:

How to support your child reading Lime Green level books

Your child is now reading longer books with fewer illustrations, so they continue to need your help to ensure they are getting the full meaning and enjoyment from the text. They may prefer to read one chapter or section at a time, rather than reading the whole book in one session. You can support them by:

How to support your child reading Black level books

Although your child is now taking off as a reader, it is still important that you read with them and talk to them about their reading. This reassures them that their reading is still important to you, as well as giving you an opportunity to share an enjoyment of books. You can still help them by:

How to support your child reading Free Reader books

Your child may well not want to read aloud to you any more because they probably enjoy silent reading more. This is fine as long as you child continues to read actively and not just pass their eyes over the words. You can help them by:

Thing to remember when helping your child with their reading

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 us to help them become lifelong readers.

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