Home Reading and Phonics

Phonics & Reading workshops – October 2018

All children in school will be provided with a reading book to take home.  The frequency of how often these are changed and whether the children are allowed to choose their own book will depend on the age and class of the child.  For example, in the infants, as the books are shorter and therefore quicker to read, the books will be changed more frequently.

Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

Infant children are taught to read phonics (how to read by sounding out the letters and blending these together) using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. In addition we use the ‘Rigby Stars’ and ‘Rigby Rockets’ schemes to enhance their learning.

Reading scheme

We do not have one particular scheme that we follow.  Our home reading books are made up of a mixture of books by Oxford University Press, Pearson and occasionally other companies.  We feel that it is important that children have as wide a choice as possible of books to read as different children will prefer different types.  We also have a mixture of fiction (narrative) and non-fiction (factual) books.

Oxford University Press

As part of this collection, we have the traditional Oxford Reading Tree books which feature the characters of Biff, Chip and Kipper (amongst others).

Project X Origins and Project X Alien Adventures are fairly new additions to the school set of books.  These feature the adventures of 4 children whose watches enable them to shrink and go on adventures, as well as a variety of non-fiction books.

Treetops are a collection of longer stories and also non-fiction books.


For children in Reception and KS1, we have Rigby Star books which are on the theme of Clinker Castle or Pirate Cove.


We also have a selection of books which are aimed at children whose reading age/level is below their interest age.  These books will only be given to those children who have a particular difficulty with reading and will usually be discussed with parents at parents’ evenings.

Developing the school reading system

As a school, we regularly go through the books and repair or dispose of worn books.  We keep adding new books to the collection to and replacing those that become too ‘tatty’ to use.

Over the Summer of 2014, £5000 was spent on adding a large number of new, attractive books to the home reading collection, most of which were Project X books.


readingbandsTo ensure that each child is provided with a book of an appropriate level, all our books are banded into colours.  As every company uses different colours for levelling their books, we have our own colour system for ‘banding’ books which can be seen as stickers on each book’s spine.

On the right is a chart showing the progression through the colours.

Children will likely move through the colours quickly in Reception and KS1 (because each step in learning is smaller and quicker to attain) and then progression will slow down in KS2.

In the early colours, because there can be a lot of difference between the books, we also have numbers on the coloured sticker, e.g. pink 1, pink 2, red 3, red 4 etc.

Once the children reach Silver, they are a ‘Free reader’ which means they can choose a book from these schemes, or they can read a book from home, the public library or the school library.

The children are assigned a colour based on their reading work with the teacher in class during guided reading sessions and independent reading.  Their ability to read the words fluently and their understanding of the texts will determine which level (colour) they are placed on.

If you have any concerns about the level of reading your child is at, please make an appointment to see your child’s classteacher.

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