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 Band Approximate age group this band is aimed at What can you expect to see from the books in this band
Pink Working within FS age bands For 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.
Red Working within FS age bands The second step up the ladder as children gain a little more confidence and may know some words by sight.
Yellow Working within FS age bands Children 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.
Blue Working within FS age bands, beginning to meet some Year 1 expectations Children are becoming more confident at reading longer and more varied sentences.
Green Working within Year 1 age expectations Children are starting to read quite fluently and take note of punctuation.
Orange Working within Year 1 age expectations
Turquoise Beginning to meet some Year 2 expectations Children are starting to read longer and more complex sentences and can understand a range of punctuation.
Purple Working within Year 2 age expectations Children can read complex sentences fairly fluently, taking note of punctuation. They use expression and do not rely on illustrations to help them.
Gold Working within Year 2 age expectations Children might read silently or quietly at quite a rapid pace, taking note of punctuation.
White Working within Year 3 age expectations Books might have chapters. Children will read silently most of the time.
Lime Green Working within Year 3/4 age expectations Books 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.
Black Working within Year 4 age expectations A wide variety of longer, demanding texts,with longer chapters for more sustained reading.
Free Readers Working within Year 5/6 age expectations Longer, 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:

  • Look at the pages in order, and talk about what is happening on the left hand page before the right hand page.
  • Talk about what is happening on each page, rather than just talking about what they see in each picture.
  • Tell you who or what the book is about.
  • If the books have simple words, please help them to:
    Read the words carefully. Ask your child to sound out and blend only the words they can’t read yet, not every word. Eventually almost all words will become part of your child’s ‘sight memory’, and they won’t have to sound out at all.
  • On second and third readings of the book, encourage them to read with more pace and with less focus on sounding out the letters in each word.
  • Make a story out of a whole book, rather than focusing just on what is happening on each page.
  • Tell you about something that happened in the book, or about something they found out in the book.
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:

  • Giving them time to sound out words they don’t know. If they still struggle, encourage them to try sounding out the whole word first, rather than guessing from the pictures or from the first letter.
  • Giving them time to recognise and correct their own mistakes.
  • Asking them to talk about what’s happening in the book, encouraging them to make links to events on previous pages.
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:

  • Sound out quickly – and silently – inside their heads, if they need to sound out words.
  • Look at the punctuation marks. You may want to model how to read a page of writing, paying attention to punctuation, such as full-stops and question marks.
  • Tell you about what the characters in the story are doing and why they are acting in that way
  • Show you how they can find particular things that interest them in non-fiction books.
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:

  • Listening to them when they read aloud. If they make mistakes, but they keep the sense of the text, don’t interrupt. You can revisit that page at the end of the session to check certain words.
  • Reminding them of useful strategies if they can’t read a word, for example:
    • Sounding the word out silently, under their breath
    • Dividing a longer word into syllables, or looking at the word without an –ing or an –ed ending
  • Don’t allow them to worry about a word. Tell them what it says and revisit the word once you have completed the book.
  • Encouraging some use of expression, especially for character-speech in fiction books. You may wish to model reading some pages aloud for your child to copy.
  • Talking about how characters are feeling.
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:

  • Encouraging them to read some pages silently, inside their heads.
  • Listening to some pages read aloud, encouraging the use of expression and paying attention to punctuation marks.
  • Talking about how events in the book relate to each other and helping your child to understand how the story builds up in a longer book.
  • Asking them to tell you about interesting things they found out and showing you where the information is in the book.
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:

  • Asking them to read some pages of the book aloud to you so that you can enjoy hearing them reading with expression and pace.
  • Asking them to find parts of the text which describe a character or place and talking about the words used in the description.
  • Asking for regular updates as to what is happening in the book, so that you know how the different chapters or sections link.
  • Talking about how much they enjoy a book, or a type of book. Encourage them to look for more books of the type they enjoy.
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:

  • Asking them to read aloud some parts of the text which they particularly enjoy. This may include action or description. Talk about how the writer made those parts so enjoyable.
  • Talking about how characters develop or how they react to different people, places or events.
  • Reading the book yourself or read a page each with your child so that you can talk together about the smaller details of the book.
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:

  • Continuing to make a time available for regular quiet reading sessions, and reading your book while your child reads.
  • Have a conversation at the end of each reading session: can they tell you what’s happening in their book?
  • Ask questions which make your child go back to the book to find answers. Support your child as they develop skills in skimming and scanning to find the information to answer your question.

Things to remember when helping your child with their reading

  • Do hear your child read every day if possible or at least three times a week. 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 of attention.
  • 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 and sisters.

“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.