Really confused about levels, bands, and oxford reading tree equivalents in year 1

(36 Posts)
enchantedbroccolligarden Thu 14-May-09 19:20:52

Any teachers out there, please?

Very confused about DS's reading level, which was benchmarked this week.

He's rising 6 and in year one. I was told he's level 10, and in the same breath, that they're putting him on 'half blue.'

Does this relate to Oxford Reading Tree and if so, how? DS tells me that half blue is 'very easy,' so I'm not sure if and how this relates to his benchmarking.

All google searches lead to confusion.

Could anyone please give a link other than to the Oxford Reading Tree site, which doesn't help me.

Many thanks, confused of London.

enchantedbroccolligarden Thu 14-May-09 20:04:59

Should have added, I'm a dad, not a mum, not that it makes any difference to the OP.

mrz Thu 14-May-09 20:10:21

I'm not sure what "half blue" means but level 10 is blue band under the RR book banding system. I can only suppose that as the blue band covers levels 9-11 in this system your son is half way through.

oandemum Thu 14-May-09 20:11:11

i am as confused as you, anyone out there who can explain this in idiots guide terms? my ds is same age and reading level 4a oxford reading tree, i have no idea if this is average or not although i do know he is struggling in general with literacy and writing!

ellingwoman Thu 14-May-09 20:12:47

We say that when the child currently takes home two yellow reading books and they are not quite ready for two blues. So they are on 'half blue' - i.e. one yellow, one blue.

Does that sound likely?

hohoba Thu 14-May-09 20:13:34

i think the best tip is NOT to worry about this if your son is a good reader. As long as he likes reading ( and is obviosusly good at it) then chillax! there is plenty of time to worry about all this.

if he is attaining what you know hes capable of then leave the angsting to the teachers!

enchantedbroccolligarden Thu 14-May-09 21:44:13

That's a very helpful idea, but I now think the number (10) relates to the reading recovery scheme levels, which operate right up to year 6. So half blue means bang in the middle of the blue band - level 10.

Hey presto.

Thank you.

enchantedbroccolligarden Thu 14-May-09 21:46:02

Thank you MRZ - that's what I concluded since posting.


enchantedbroccolligarden Thu 14-May-09 21:48:09

Thanks Hohoba, too.

Actually, that's the point, he far too easily reads the books that he takes home. So there's a mismatch between what he is capable of reading and what he gets.

hohoba Thu 14-May-09 21:57:19

Do you know I had htis recently and it drove me nuts, so they sent much harder books back and HE HATES doing school reading now.

hohoba Thu 14-May-09 21:57:57

Now i think , if he can read and will face no obstacles, then what is the rush? He needs to discover reading is fun.

KEAWYED Thu 14-May-09 22:00:55

my sons in year one and he was on the same half blue which his school joined with the green band because they said the bands were similar.

kid Thu 14-May-09 22:01:56

Lots of children are able to read harder books but are unable to process what they have read so the balance needs to be made. Once the childs comprehension increases, so will the level of the book.

Sounds like he is doing great smile

Doodle2U Thu 14-May-09 22:04:17

I have the ORT 'tree' if that helps - hang, I'll link.

Doodle2U Thu 14-May-09 22:10:25

tree - scroll down pdf to page 3

My DD is on stage 6, just turned 6 years old and appears to be bang on average, so your son sounds like he's flying! Go mini-Enchanted grin

enchantedbroccolligarden Fri 15-May-09 04:32:18

Doodle2U, that's great. Thanks for the encouragement.

Buda Fri 15-May-09 06:12:14

Don't worry about the books seeming easy for him. He sounds as if he is doing really well for his age. My DS is in Yr 3 but an August birthday so one of youngest in year and he is on Stage 11 on ORT.

I go into DS's school to hear children read and one of the things we are asked to do is make sure the child understands what they are reading. One of the boys in my DS's class flies through books but the teachers feel he doesn't always understand what he is reading.

If he is reading at level 10 I would read the school books but also encourage him to read as many other books etc as he wants. Fostering an interest in books is as important as learning to read.

enchantedbroccolligarden Fri 15-May-09 09:29:55

Hi Buda, thanks for that encouragement.

Can I clarify, it's reading recovery level ten that my DS has been benchmarked at. It's a completely different scale to the ORT scale that you're looking at, and my DS certainly isn't on level 10 ORT.

I think it's potentially confusing that there's a national curriculum level, a reading recovery scale, and the ORT colour-coded levels to compare. Frankly very difficult unless you have an inside-track!


Buda Fri 15-May-09 09:48:11

I agree! I think they do it deliberately to confuse us poor parents.

I really don't worry about these levels
I can tell by looking at a book if it is suitable for dd's reading level
And if she comes home with something too easy we just read one of her non-school books and write about that in the reading diary.

Current faves are things like Roald Dahl - do you have some of these sort of things that she can try?

Doodle2U Fri 15-May-09 17:07:55

Ah right - I didn't 'get' the reading recovery thing. I have just Googled it and the odd sites I clicked on, all seemed to be saying that a child goes on to reading recovery which entails one to one reading for a 20 week period.

I don't know anything about this and how it works and where it places a child in terms of his peers and where The Establishment feel he should be at.

So, my advice....trog up to school and talk to his teacher grin

I would just add though - if he's been placed on a reading recovery path, it sounds like his teacher is on the case. She/he had identified his weak areas and is cracking on with rectifying. It's all good smile

enchantedbroccolligarden Fri 15-May-09 17:27:49

The school is on the case - certainly after a chat with them recently.

But in fact the material they were giving him to take home was woefully too easy for him. Too easy is dull, and dull isn't good.

But I think we're on track now.

hellywobs Fri 15-May-09 18:04:11

I get totally confused as well. My son was on Treetops which are stages 9-11 and now he's apparently "gone up! to stage 8. I know there are differing levels within stages but this does seem very strange and he flies through the books. I get so confused. But it doesn't really matter - he reads very well (7 in November, in Y1).

enchantedbroccolligarden Sat 16-May-09 14:00:10

Hi Hellywobs,

Didn't know about Treetops but looks as if there's an interesting range there. Good to hear your son is reading so well and enjoyably at 6.5 years old.


Karam Sun 17-May-09 10:45:54

OP - I use this link to keep a general idea of where my DD is at. It is compiuled by Cliff Moon, who is supposed to be a child's reading expert. My DD's school uses lots of different books from different systems, so I am able to keep track of where she is etc. I find it helpful...



cazzybabs Sun 17-May-09 11:10:21

WOW - I it means he is doing very well. Very few of my year 1 class are on ORT level 10...which I guess has a reading age of (and it is a guess) over 8

mrz Sun 17-May-09 11:29:22

Reading Recovery levels aren't the same as ORT levels.
I'm not involved with RR so can't comment on how they decide their levels.

Toffeepopple Sun 17-May-09 13:20:58

Is this any help?

It shows that RR level 10 is targetting 5 - 6 year olds. nds.doc

enchantedbroccolligarden Mon 18-May-09 23:26:05

Thanks, all. I think we're done here.

WellingtonBooze Tue 19-May-09 10:36:20

As an amatuer, my research on the Net shows that a RR level of 10 is in line with ORT Stage 4, Book Band Blue, which for the mythical 'average' child, is what is expected of mid-way through Yr 1.

It is frustrating that schools don't give parents enough information about what their child is doing, it would help them to know more, I think. Nonethesless, it sounds like your ds is getting valuable support EBG, and is making good progress smile, which is the most important thing.

ByeByeJude Thu 11-Nov-10 23:23:17

Hi, I have a huge issue with this as well and have just tackled the teacher today - she herself was confused about the colours and the Nc equivalents. Having spent the evening on the web, this is the document I have come up with. It does not say anything about reading recovery levels, but the rest is eminently useful!

I don't know if the link below is complete, buta google search for 'book bands reading ages' brought it up near the top. c?...

Hope this helps!

Edith1 Thu 29-Sep-11 21:49:32

My child has just entered year 2 at level 2c reading ability - which I believe is slightly above average. The school have bought into ORT scheme and have put my child on stage 6 which seems ridiculously easy. When I question this I get fobbed off with they want all children to concentrate on developing comprehension??? Many other parents have been complaining as well. I feel my child has been given books which they were reading over a year ago! They can read 99-100% of the book and are not particularly challenged at all!!

Can't find any information about what stage they should be on for their reading ability?

Can anyone help?

ak12 Thu 01-Dec-11 21:20:25

hello my daughter is in reception and her RR level 12, she is currently reading oxford tree band green which is stage 5 been told by her teacher that she is the highest reader in her class but this books are still too easy for her what do i do pleas help.

Cally700 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:53

the reading recovery levels can be found at -

at my little one's school - the turquoise level is now black

The Oxford Reading Tree Levels are available at several locations - the easiest one to follow appears to be .

With regard to the reading levels - I wouldn't worry too much I let my little one read books at a variety levels - my main concern is that he is motivated to read them. If I think a book has too many words which he is struggling decode I will put it to one side and suggest another book. In general I agree that the books he brings home from school seem to be very easy for him to read and understand. I have no idea how they select which book should be in which band - but I suspect that the books are assessed on length, illustrations which help work out what may be going on in the text, the languages used etc not just how difficult the words are to decode.

lauragadoll Fri 25-Oct-13 19:50:50


I am a teacher and have just been promoted to literacy co-ordinator. The school I work for uses ORT and Rigby, which I can relate to NC levels. However, they also have some Oxford Literacy Web books and I can not find anywhere how these either correlate to the ORT or NC levels. Can anybody help?


eatyourveg Fri 25-Oct-13 19:59:57

this chart tells you what ages link to oxford reading tree stages

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