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How does the reading phases (eg Phase 5 set 26) compare with colour bands?

(13 Posts)
CrapBag Sat 08-Mar-14 11:01:22

I don't understand how my DS's school do their reading levels.

All of my friends have children at different schools and when they talk about reading levels (I know, tedious subject) they talk about blue/green/turquoise etc. My DS has a colour on the side but when I asked the TA about it (his has yellow which he was reading in reception and he is now in year 1) she said its not the colours but the levels on the back. DS seems to be going up a level a week at the moment. Still phase 5 but each week brings home a higher set within phase 5. Now he has a 'blue' book as well, with the TA having written 'blue' in his diary when she (very snippily) stated before that it wasn't the colour.

I have looked at this blue book briefly with DS and it seems so easy, definitely easier than his phase and stage books. He said he got it from the year 2 reading book box, which I believe as he is a good reader and above average (so teacher tells me on parents evening, not bragging).

Some friends were talking about their children being on blue in reception, children that don't seem so significantly brighter than DS (who I do know is bright for his age and doing things in school that is above average - again told this by the teacher, not bragging) and now they are talking about turquoise levels in year 1.

If I ask the teacher, she will refer it back to the TA as she is the one who does the reading books and she is pretty unapproachable and anytime you get feedback from her, she is very snippy about it. Many other parents have said the same and they don't like getting feedback from her either.

I am confused. Is our school not following the Oxford Reading Tree book band colours then? As I understand it, yellow is age 4-5 which DS is above. They do have a big chart of colours on the wall but it doesn't seem to make sense to me.

spanieleyes Sat 08-Mar-14 11:11:34

Do the books have any indication as to publisher/scheme or even title? SOmeone might recognise it and be able to explain. It certainly doesn't sound like ORT or even book banded books, so we will need to know the scheme it is to advise!

spanieleyes Sat 08-Mar-14 11:15:24

A quick search means it sounds like a Phonics bug book, is that right? If so, the set number gives you a book related to a particular set of sounds-which should be the ones being taught that week in class. So Set 26 is le/mb/kn/gn/wr. But more information still needed on the "blue" book!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 08-Mar-14 11:55:52

Rigby do a chart which very roughly correlates their phonics bug books to their other non-phonics schemes. The phase 4 books correlate to yellow. The phase 5 ones to blue and green depending on the set. Off the top of my head I think set 25 is probably green as it's near the end of the scheme.

I would guess at the other 'blue' book being an old style 'look and say'. It could be that if he's coming to the end of the scheme they are preparing to move onto another scheme as he should be able to decode all or the majority of the words in them by now.

CrapBag Sat 08-Mar-14 21:45:17

Thanks for the replies. Yes the phase books are phonics bugs. The blue book says project x phonics, Oxford reading tree stage 4. DS read it tonight and it was far easier than his phase books, but from what was written in his diary, I thought it was up another level but it can't be, he just whizzed through it whereas the phase 5 set 25\26 books are challenging him more.

So his phonics bugs books roughly correlate with late blue/green? Seems odd for them to have yellow stickers on the side. I know in reception they were following the colours that my friends schools do as DS started on pink, then red then yellow but it semmed to change in year 1.

I bought the Biff, chip and kipper books when they were on offer, levels 1_6 but DS barely even bothered with the first 3 levels because they were fairly easy for him so it seems they were different again.

CrapBag Wed 12-Mar-14 22:51:06

Anyone else?

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 12-Mar-14 23:16:23

schools can use whatever colours they want so the sticker on the side doesn't necessarily indicate anything you can look up. our school use some colours the same as the usual ones, some different, lots are just white and a number, once you get to yr2 though the same levels are different colours just to add to the fun.

sorry - that isn't helpful at all but I don't know the phonics bugs books.

columngollum Thu 13-Mar-14 04:59:53

My advice is do your own thing in regards to reading books. School reading books were deliberately designed to prevent children from reading and to kill their parents.

CalloftheHaunted Thu 13-Mar-14 11:50:52

Your school are probably giving you books in other series that match the phase5/set 26 sounds, which is orange level I think. Mine had this after finishing the series (set 27 is the last in the Phonics Bug series) and was then getting books that had sentences like: "this is a television"... "This is a comb" in other book schemes from the olden days because the words in those books were on par with where we were at in the Phonics Bug Series -even though those books had, for example, a red band. We only had them a short while before we got more interesting stories again, and in that time just supplemented the school books from home. Hopefully your school wont have an infinite supply of them and your DS will be back on books with more structure in no time! ;)

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 12:59:48

DS is now up to set 27 and still having to bring the blue book home which says phase 4 set 11 on the back. Its ridiculous because he reads the phase 5 set 26/27 which is where he should be, challenges him but not too difficult, then he reads the 'blue' book and its just so easy. I even wrote in his homework diary that its too easy for him and the TA is still giving them to him. Like others have said, I think it does fit in with around the orange level which is 2 higher than blue so I am at a loss as to why he is being given books that are 2 levels below others that he is reading.

I need to speak to the TA, unfortunately. She will no doubt be all snippy about it.

mrz Sat 15-Mar-14 13:51:49

It's because they are produced by different publishers that's all. It sounds as if school is trying to use book banding to match up books from different schemes, the problem is book banding was/is intended for Look & Say not phonics.

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 14:40:15

Ah right. I need to say to the TA then that the 'blue' is not matching up to the phases/sets series.

I doubt she'll like it! I may say it to the teacher so she can tell the TA, although last time I did that I got a big snippy note in DS's homework diary from the TA. (Can you tell she is unapproachable grin)

mrz Sat 15-Mar-14 14:43:07

Not that simple I'm afraid blue may match in one scheme and not in another

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