Every child has a book which is designed to support their learning. It is specifically designed to ensure that they can read it fluently, but crucially understand the text and comprehend its meaning.
In your child’s earlier development they may go through book bands moderately quickly because the progression jumps are smaller. However, as your child develops, the books groups get larger meaning they may be on one band for a much longer period of time (specifically Avocado, Blueberry, Clementine and Dewberry). Please do not feel alarmed by this.
The Class Teacher sets the book on your child’s ability. This is regularly assessed during our ‘Guided Reading’ and ‘Shared Reading’ sessions, as well as, 1:1 reading sessions and reading tests. It may seem that they can read the text, however they might not understand it fully. Ask your child’s class teacher for their view and advice on how to support your child to progress. One key thing to do is to ask a lot of questions about the book - within the reading record we have provided a sheet to support with this (near the back).
In Reception and Nursery books are changed weekly. From Years 1-6 books are changed daily if they have been read. Please note however that, due to the business of the school day, it may not always be possible to change them every day. Should this situation arise, your child can read the same book again as this does support their understanding of the text as well as developing their reading skills.
In short, YES! The children should have two books. This first is a library book, from our school library - this is a book which they read for pure pleasure, maybe with a younger sibling, or it could be read to them. The second is a levelled book which supports their progress (this will probably be named after a tree or fruit like Yew or Ash). This is the book which the child should be reading daily because it helps their development. However, if they read anything in addition to this please record it down as it is helpful to see what they enjoy.
Many children become free readers and immediately choose a book which is too tricky or too easy for them. This can result in their progress slowing down. On the advice of leading experts we have put in additional book categories. Once again, this is at the teacher’s discretion, but they are designed to support the child’s development. Please do not think that just because a book is shorter, or has fewer words, it is easier – these are high quality entertaining texts many of which are specifically pitched to support and challenge the pupil’s ability. Please note also, they have not been moved back, but adjusted to our new system.
Hopefully, this will not be a regular occurrence. We aim to have enough books to ensure the children find something they enjoy, but also have enough books to minimise these situations. Teaching Assistants work hard to ensure this does not happen, however if they do receive a book for a second time, please read it with them. It may be a mistake, or it may be that the teacher feels they could benefit from reading that book again. In either case re-reading a story is very helpful for children as it reinforces their comprehension.
We have plenty of engaging and interesting books in school; however we all understand that sometimes children want to read a specific book. In Guided Reading and Shared Reading they will still have to read the book the teacher provides them however, if they would like to bring a book in to read at playtime or golden time, then that is totally fine. Just please make your child aware that we cannot be held responsible for any damage that happens to the book. Also please ensure it has their name, and class in.
There are a few key points to this:
If you have any specific questions about your child’s reading, please talk to your child’s class teacher.