Skip to content ↓

Hampton Hill Junior School


Reading at Home / Colour-Banded Books:

A reading scheme is a series of books that have been carefully written to help children learn to read. When your child is learning to read, they need to read books at the right level of challenge. If your child’s book is too hard, they will find it frustrating (and so will you) and might be put off reading. If their book is too easy, their reading won’t get any better.

At HHJS we follow the Oxford Tree book band system, which enables us to add texts from lots of different schemes to ensure the widest possible range of books for our young readers, in terms of text type and diversity.

We closely monitor your child’s reading through hearing them read aloud and through more formal termly assessments. When we feel your child is ready to move up a book band colour we will let your child know, and they can move up straight away (they do not need to wait for a new half-term).

We know that children get excited about moving up a colour level and that parents are keen to see this progress too. However, it is important that their class teachers make this judgement as reading at home should be about consolidation and confidence building. The more challenging texts are set during Guided Reading sessions at school.

Please see below the book band colours in order:

Helping your child with reading at home:

At HHJS we encourage our children to develop a love of reading. The more children read and access different types of texts, the more this will help support their own imagination, improve their spelling and support their writing in class too.

We expect your child to read aloud to you five times a week for 10-15 minutes – even the older children who can read fluently! Not only is this a lovely activity to complete with your child, it also gives you a chance to discuss what they are reading and see if they truly understand the text.

‘Decoding’ is a vital skill that the students must learn and regularly practise. The colour of the book bands are a good indicator of the level of difficulty of the text. However, there is more to reading then just being able to say the words out loud. It is important that the children understand the text and are able to answer questions based on the following skills:

1.     Vocabulary check– can your child find and explain the meaning of words in context? Can they suggest synonyms (words with a similar meaning) or antonyms (words with the opposite meaning)?

2.     Retrieval – can they retrieve and record information and identify key details from fiction and non-fiction texts? Can they find specific answers to questions using the text to help them?

3.     Inference – can they make and justify their answers using evidence / clues from the text?

4.     Prediction – can they predict what might happen from the details given and implied?

Please click on the ‘Questions to ask your child guide' to give you examples of how you can practise these comprehension skills mentioned above.

We have also included suggested book lists for KS1 and KS2. Please note that fantastic new books are released regularly and new-releases may not be included on these lists. We will endeavour to update these lists regularly.

We understand that some children may struggle with their reading and some children may be reluctant readers. Please do not feel you are alone with this and speak to either your child’s class teacher or contact Mrs Jones (Assistant Headteacher) if you have any questions.

Parent workshop – Please click on the ‘Reading Workshop 2022’ document to view the presentation slides.