Reading Progression in Early Years and Key Stage 1


What are Book Bands?

The following information has been gathered from two primary sources: ‘Which Book and Why: Using Book Bands and book levels for guided reading in Key Stage 1’ (Ed. Sue Bodmin and Glen Franklin, Institute of Education Press, 2014) 


‘Colour Book Bands provide a structure within a range of fiction and nonfiction titles from different reading series can be accommodated. This enables teachers to offer children a rich and varied experience of successful text reading.’                   ‘Which Book and Why’ (p.102)


Each Book Band has its own colour. The chart below gives an indication of progression across the Book Bands. 

The chart shows the Book Bands for an ‘average’ group of children but children are all individuals who learn and make progress at different rates, so the chart is only a guide. As well as periods of rapid progress, your child will probably have periods of consolidation when progress is not as obvious. Although this may seem worrying, this is the time when they have the chance develop confidence in using and applying their newly acquired skills.  

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. 

Please discourage your child from seeing the Book Bands as a race through the colours, but help them to understand that each band will offer a range of books, which will help them in developing different reading skills. 

Thank you for reading with your child at home. It really is an essential part of their development and you play a vital role in nurturing their love of reading.