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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. 



Overview of Curriculum


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
  • Classic texts
  • 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


Intent, Implementation and Impact


At Christ the King Catholic Primary School, we we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts.

We encourage the children to explore text across all genre and to select more challenging text which will enable them to develop and broaden their exposure to challenging vocabulary.

We believe reading is key for academic success and in order to promote and nurture this life skill, we implement the following:

  • In EYFS and year 1, there is a heavy emphasis on the development of phonetic knowledge and their lessons are structured differently to all other year groups (see Phonics document).  However, whilst we have a selection of Phonic Reading Books, they are generally given (alongside a reading scheme book and they correlate with the sounds being currently taught to them),  to those children struggling to consolidate sounds.  All other children follow the reading scheme which correlates to the phonics programme taught in classes.
  • Each class from years 2- 6 have two hourly reading sessions as part of their writing journey, alongside 2 half-hour reading sessions, a library visit and Book Talk to discuss new reads and authors.

     Learning Tools

  • We have revised the choice of texts used in all classes for our writing units to ensure that the texts and genre that the children are being exposed to are of a high quality.

We have invested in a selection of higher quality text to stretch our more competent readers, however these are not restricted to specific children only.   They are offered to the children to enable them to make more insightful       choices when selecting books.

  • In KS2 we have a series of scaffold tools which support the children when structuring their responses in comprehension lessons. All staff use these in lessons where they are needed.
  • In LKS2, all children follow our banded reading scheme.  Those fluent readers in year 5 and 6 have access to free choice books, these are monitored by teachers to ensure a wide selection of genre are chosen.  For any children in UKS2 who are not yet fluent, they remain on the reading scheme and are prioritised by staff.  They are identified as daily readers.
  • We have recently refurbished our library to create an inviting, relaxing environment in which to explore books. We have also invested in a new selection of non-fiction books.  During Library time, the children will be given the opportunity to relax in a quiet environment, rich in sensory experiences.
  • Children have full access to thesauri and dictionaries.
  • Classes have designated areas where identified words and their meanings are displayed.
  • We have organised author visits to promote a love of learning.  
Teaching and Learning
  • In EYFS and Year 1, Pupils are taught in small groups, focusing on individual sounds, groups of sounds and common exception words within different ‘phases’. We have an agreed progression for the teaching of new sounds and use Anima Phonics scheme and resources to support this. Those in need are given additional support from teachers and teaching assistants. During the Summer Term in Year 1, pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Test which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt. After this, lessons move towards whole class reading lessons that take the same model as Years 2 to 6. Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Test continue to have intervention to support the acquisition of these key skills.  This may continue to year 3 if deemed necessary.
  • In EYFS children receive workshops from Drama Tots to support them with their communication skills and in turn their writing.
  • From year 2-6, during Book Talk, the children take turns to share the books they have either read or are currently reading.  They discuss elements such as genre, plot, setting and characters.  They also respond to questions from their peers.  Teachers also share books that they have read that may be suitable material for the children to read also.  The purpose of this is to expose the children to new books and to promote an excitement around them.
  • Children from Nursery through to Year 6 all have a check-list of recommended books for their year group so parents are aware of correct pitch to support reading at home.
  • Children from years 1-6 have two hourly reading sessions as part of their reading through to writing cycle. These sessions involve orientation of a text, discussion and investigation of the etymology of unfamiliar words and their context.  During this time, teachers model reading to their pupils and in a supportive environment, children are encouraged to read a shared text, applying the skills taught by the teacher.  Various comprehension skills are taught during these sessions using VIPERS. The questions are synonymous in style with the question-type typically used in the end of phase assessments.
  • During comprehension lessons, prior to reading a text, children scan the material to identify any unfamiliar words, the pronunciation and meaning are discussed before the first reading of the text has begun.  This allows more children greater access to the text and further develops their understanding.
  • In all classes, teachers share a class novel, during this time they both model and target individual readers to read aloud to the whole class using the ‘I read, You Read’ strategy.
  • Children are also encouraged to steal unfamiliar, more technical language to share on a display board in classes - this also encourages children to use their reading to develop their writing.
  • Our younger GD readers from years 3 upwards, have the opportunity to access new, challenging text which they review.  Their reviews are then displayed in the library to enlighten other children when they are choosing books.
  • Children of any reading ability from years 5 and 6 also have the opportunity to receive training to become librarians.  They then assist in the daily running of the library.
  • Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy.
  • Assessment of learning is completed termly using PiXL assessments
  • Children complete weekly comprehension activities using either written text or films as a stimulus.
  • Moderation of teacher assessment is also completed termly to ensure that judgements are accurate. This is carried out within school and additionally, within the academy. Support is given by HT and Literacy Lead at Christ the King.

Our children will:

  • enjoy reading across a range of genres 
  • be able to succeed in all reading lessons
  • Be engaged in their comprehension lessons and challenge themselves to read a wider range of genre which exposes them to higher level language.
  • They will be able to structure responses to text in a logical, organised manner, using quotes to substantiate their answer.
  • Enjoy reading a range of genres and be excited by books.
  • Be able to mimic styles of writing witnessed in books and apply them to their own writing.  They will write as readers.
  • Pupils will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
  • Have a wider understanding of vocabulary and challenge themselves to use ambitious vocabulary in their writing.
  • Teachers will feel more confident in their judgements of greater depth reading.
  • Moderation will support these judgements and prove them to be accurate.
  • Teachers will have high expectations of greater depth readers and use challenging models to ensure greater outcomes
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
  • The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils.
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