Useful Links

Useful Links

Ravenstone Primary School


Please click on the following link for the Reading Handbook, that details our School-wide approach to this curriculum area.

The Reading Handbook

Take home system at Ravenstone

At Ravenstone, we encourage children to read for pleasure as well as impressing upon them the importance of learning to read.

Children are expected to be reading at least five times a week in every year group for 10 – 15 minutes per day and this should be recorded in the homework book each time.

We assign children to a book band based on their word reading skills and their ability to understand and explain what they are reading. Earlier book bands, up to gold, are linked to phonics phases. The book bands are named by colour and given an Oxford Reading Tree level.

For book bands from pink to gold, children should be encouraged to reread their book three times.Children will be assigned to a book band when they enter the school and will then progress through the stages at their own pace until they leave us. It is important to note that the book bands are designed to be different lengths so while some book bands may be completed over a half term, most are designed to last a few months and some up to a year or more, particularly in the higher bands.

The first time the book is read, children should focus on deciphering the text using word reading strategies.

These include:

  • Using phonics strategies to sound out words
  • Recognising common words by sight
  • Identifying known words with similar spelling/rhyming pattern
  • Reading around the word in a sentence then using the context to work out the word.
  • The second time the book is read, children should be focusing on:
  • Being able to read the text fluently and accurately
  • Responding accurately to punctuation
  • Ensuring grammar is correctly used
  • Developing their understanding of what is happening in the text; being able to retell the story, sequencing events and describing characters and settings.The third time the book is read, children should be focusing on deepening their understanding, including:
  • Talking about their opinions of the book as a whole and of specific events, characters and settings, giving reasons for their ideas
  • Discussing the feelings and actions of characters, giving reasons using evidence from the text if possible
  • Thinking about why a specific word or phrase has been used by the writer and what effect it creates for the reader
  • Making links between the text and other similar texts.

For book bands from white to black, children should only need to read a book once but should be encouraged to reread specific sentences and paragraphs where they are less sure of the meaning or meet an unfamiliar word. At this level, children should be able to read a text silently to themselves but should be discussing what they have read with others and answering questions about the text. They should also be using dictionaries to establish the meaning of unfamiliar words.

year group Colour book band
Reception Pink
Year 1 Blue
Year 2  Turquoise 
Year 3  Brown
Year 4 Grey
  Dark blue
Year 5 Dark blue
  Dark red
Year 6 Dark red
  Free Reader 

As well as the book banded book children will continue to bring home 2 books from the library each week. Children will also have access to book corners to complement their reading in class.

Guided Reading at Ravenstone 

Four main areas to help develop children’s comprehension ability during guided reading.

1). Summarising      2). Clarifying      3). Questioning     4). Predicting


Summarising needs to be short, sharp and to the point. Often children will retell rather than summarise. Timers can be used to allow children to pick out the main points.


It is important children understand the vocabulary in the text and also how to work out the meaning of an unfamiliar word.


Questioning is so important:

  • Gives teachers an insight into what children understand by what they are reading;
  • Enables children to make links with experiences
  • Challenges their thinking / encourages them to justify their opinions
  • Learn through TALK – through talk, thinking happens / changes / develops

Different types of questioning...

LOOKING: in a way, the most important – helps you check they have an understanding of what they have just read. If they are unable to answer these types of questions, then this is where you need to focus on before moving on.

CLUE: Allows you to make links within text – linking clues to ideas

Explore the understanding of the text, deepens understanding, allows children to make links.

THINKING: Expands children’s thinking, allows children to make links to own experiencesdeepens understanding beyond the text.


  • What the characters might do / say / morals /
  • Strong predictors will be able to explain why and make links by referring back to things they have read.
  • Weaker predictors might give predictions that seem unrelated to the text / very unlikely / completely random. Showing this is a skill that needs to be developed.

Suggested books 

Have you ever been stuck when choosing a book to read to your child?

 The TES and the National Association for the Teaching of English ran a survey to find teachers' top 100 fiction books all children should read before leaving primary school, what do you think of the list, do you agree or disagree?  What is your 'must read' book?  

Here are the results: