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Please help - confused about book bands beyond lime

(15 Posts)
Capernoited2 Thu 23-Jan-14 20:34:48

DS school has lots more bands beyond lime, fair enough (trying not to roll eyes), but why are the NC levels written on the back of some of the books 2b and 2a?

I thought lime was 3c? Also some books have duel colours like brown and lime or grey and lime, but some are only the one colour. What's that about?

If NC levels are a rough guide in relation to book bands then why have NC levels on the back of books?

I'm not worried, just want to understand why the stage or level above lime seems to have (on some books) a lower NC level than lime?

The colours go copper, topaz, ruby etc but they have books from the brown, grey, blue, red colour scheme mixed in.

Capernoited2 Fri 24-Jan-14 22:08:39

Um ... anyone? blush

lookdeepintotheparka Fri 24-Jan-14 22:34:27

Must admit I was keeping an eye on your thread out of interest but I don't know. DD reads Brown band (after lime) and we don't have any reading scheme books at all. They are all chapter books Winnie the Witch, Worst Witch etc. Maybe it's difficult to band some books after lime?

I know that there have been some changes to the way the book bands relate to NC levels over the last few years - could this reflect the differing levels?

Capernoited2 Sat 25-Jan-14 00:05:44

Hi Lookdeep, glad it's not just me grin

These are all scheme books. So Big Cat Collins which have bronze after lime, then Rigby Navigator & ORT brown books. Also the Ginn Pocket Reads (or some such name) which, along with Rigby Navigator, have the NC level on the back as well. They're not that new either.

It just seems like the bands above lime haven't really been normed across the schemes yet?!? Was also surprised that Reading Chest sends books willy nilly after lime, so books from year3 to 5 all together. I'm struggling to see much difference between them but surely there is some?

Adikia Sat 25-Jan-14 08:04:41

Are the reading books fairly old? because not all reading schemes used to tie in together, when I was in year 11 doing my work experience I spent days in a local primary school's library sticking new banding stickers on books because the old ones didn't fit the reading chest bands.

spanieleyes Sat 25-Jan-14 08:48:12

In our school the first set of book bands ( up to lime) are regarded as roughly KS1 books-the content being age appropriate. The colours are pretty much consistent across all bookmschemes. It is here that the schemes ( and non schemes) begin to diverge. In some schools books after this are split into Brown, grey, maroon and dark blue-shades dependent on the stickers you buy!. Each one ROUGHLY corresponds to a year group (3/4/5/6) but obviously are only used as a guide for free readers ( So if I see my top year six readers choosing brown books I have a word about selecting appropriate material!!) Brown and grey will overlap with Lime as it is a much broader way of categorising books than the earlier bands.
Some schools also have levelled scheme books after lime. Here the colours will depend on the scheme used. We have Big Cat so ours are bronze, copper, emerald, sapphire, topaz etc. These are much more finely graded than the brown/grey/maroon/blue levels. So there will be some overlap between these levels and the free reader levels.

mrz Sat 25-Jan-14 09:21:36

There are KS2 book bandings which go right to NC level 6C - brown, grey, navy blue, dark red and dark red plus.

Capernoited2 Sat 25-Jan-14 11:16:10

Ok, so I'm forming a bit of a theory, which is that KS2 book bands actually start at 2b, which actually does make sense as this is the expected target for the majority of children at the end of year 2.

This is fits with the component chart that Big Cat Collins uses, which states that purple is a 2b and 3b isn't reached until their Ruby stage 14, which is the equivalent to grey as it's year 4 I think. That is 8 bands to be read to go from a 2b to a 3b. Both their lime and copper bands are rated a 2a - yet the copper band story DS read the other day had 6 chapters, lots of text and was clearly a notch above the lime books.

Mrz in this post you state:

Lime is roughly a NC level 3C
Brown is roughly a NC level 3B
Grey is roughly a NC level 3A/4C
Dark Blue is roughly a NC level 4B/4A
Deep Red is roughly a NC level 5C/5B

And until recently I thought the same as there is lots of evidence for this being the case if you google KS2 book bands and NC levels.

My question is, who's right, the teachers and schools which match the info you set out, or the book reading scheme manufacturers?

mrz Sat 25-Jan-14 11:21:25

Publishers use their own levelling systems - book banding is simply a method devised to help teachers make a match between books produced by different publishers.

Capernoited2 Sat 25-Jan-14 16:49:03

So do you think it is likely that some publisher's brown band KS2 books are actually at the same level as KS1 white and lime bands?

junkfoodaddict Sat 25-Jan-14 18:33:06

Well, I'm a Y2 teacher and thoroughly confused by the whole system. In the past, I have only ever dealt with children reading up to Lime books (benchmarked at 30 but comprehension levelled at least 4/5 below that). Now I have SIX children who are reading level 30 books and are assessed as satisfactory for comprehension. I went up to KS2 to find some brown books and was appalled at the lack of variety on offer. But that's just my school - not investing enough in KS2.

Capernoited2 Sat 25-Jan-14 21:26:18

Junkfood, it's really interesting that you, as a teacher, find the system confusing too.

Did you think the brown books were an actual step up compared to lime? Up til now I've felt the steps up were really obvious (even to a lay person) but now, having seen a range of books up to level 15, the differences are not obvious at all.

spanieleyes Sat 25-Jan-14 21:40:11

I think historically children just worked their way up to Lime by reading every book on each level and then moved on whether they were actually ready to or not! That meant children left Lime and were considered free readers and so allowed to chose from whatever books were held in the school library! it was then decided that these non scheme books needed some sort of levelling to point free readers ( and teachers) in the right direction. But clearly there would be an overlap between the lower level brown books and books already in the schemes. Additionally book banding is not an exact science, especially with non scheme books! As scheme books have extended into KS2 new banding sysytems have been introduced by publishers. Clearly these too overlap the brown/grey/maroon/blue levels. Levelling is not then based on phonic knowledge but on accessibility, content and interpretation, what is accessible to one child may not be accessible to another because of background, general knowledge etc.

I think, what I'm trying to say in a rather long winded way is that levels are a guide, not an absolute!

Migu Wed 16-Nov-16 11:46:01

Take a look at the list of book bands followed across the schools

Ginmummy1 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:48:09

Not sure why you've resurrected a thread that was almost 3 years old, Migu.

The list you link to doesn't seem to be anything 'standard' that follows the National Curriculum. By no means all schools use these book bands, particularly after Lime.

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