Northern Federation


Northern Federation follow a banded reading scheme with all pupils. Book bands are indicated on books by the sticker colour on the side. This may be different to the colour of the spine as this varies between publishers. The books across the Federation are banded carefully according to their phonic content. This ensures that children are reading books matched to their phonic knowledge.

It is really important that children develop their comprehension skills alongside their ability to read the words on the page so you may find that your child is able to read the words fluently but continues on the same Book Band colour for a while to enable them to focus on developing their understanding. Class teachers assess the children’s reading on a regular basis and will change their Book Band colour only when they are confident that both the comprehension and word reading targets have been fully met. Children at the end of Year 2 or in key stage 2, who have demonstrated their ability to use all the reading strategies, will move onto the ‘free reader’ scheme, where children will have access to a range of fiction and non fiction books.

 Banded reading overview poster

Book Bands are intended to support each child as a reader, and enable teachers to carefully check what each child can do and what their next steps are. They should not be used to make comparisons between children; nor is it a race to ‘get to the end’. Children should read at home as frequently as possible, and the adult to whom they read should sign the reading record each time.

We all know how vitally important it is for children to read and be read to at home. Equally, we know how difficult it can be to know how to help. 

Things to Remember

  • Try to hear your child read every day or read to them.
  • Reading 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. It doesn't have to be a whole book, a few pages read with focus is far more beneficial.
  • 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.

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