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Does your primary school go past the usual book band colours? Ours does and I'm not sure why.

(31 Posts)
CFSsucks Wed 06-Jan-16 11:22:21

As I understand it, lime is usually the last colour in the book bands. I can't find much online that goes past lime and the ones I do aren't quite true to what DCs school uses. After lime they have grey, burgandy, light blue, brown, yellow then black which DS says is free reader. They also have a chart up which shows what SATS level the book band corresponds to (eg, DS is on brown which says 4C next to it).

Some of the books in the vast free reader section are easier than the book band ones DS reads (and look far more interesting!) so I am quite keen for him to get past bloody book bands and just read what he wants. He is quite an avid reader anyway and has seen quite a few in the free reader section he wants (Tom Gates etc). I don't understand why our school has so many random book bands when most schools seem to just stop at lime. It can't be the only school that does this can it?

wonkylegs Wed 06-Jan-16 11:41:31

My son reads his school reading books (they only get 2 a week) and then he reads whatever he wants. We add both to his reading record. He's currently whizzing through his how to be an astronaught book he got for Christmas along with Grampas Escape by David Walliams.
I can't get too het up about book bands and he's happy enough to get the school books out of the way quickly so he can read more interesting stuff that mummy buys/ borrows.

irvine101 Wed 06-Jan-16 11:46:43

My ds's school goes up to lime in ks1, but above lime in ks2.
I think he was categorized as dark red/ dark blue level now, but he doesn't need to choose from book bands any more, he is allowed to choose any books he wants. My ds's school isn't so strict on book bands. He was lime since end of reception, but allowed to choose what he wanted to read, too.
I think book band books are way too easy and boring, but I understand that they have other purpose than just for reading.

Thecatisatwat Wed 06-Jan-16 11:54:33

Tbh I think it varies even within a school. I can remember being told by dd's Y1 teacher that the reading scheme went all the way through to Y6. Now dd is in Y4 with a new young dynamic teacher (don't know if that's relevant or not) she reached grey or something (got confused at all this because there seemed to be different stages with different colours) and the teacher made her a free reader after half term.

The one good thing about the scheme was that it forced dd to sometimes read non-fiction books although i have mentioned this to the Y4 teacher who now reminds dd to sometimes choose one.

In your position I'd get your ds the books he likes the look of from the library or charity shops and then when he's read them, write it in his school reading book record (our school has always encouraged us to do this anyway) so they know what he's capable of.

Greenleave Wed 06-Jan-16 13:36:29

I think our daughter school has got rid of book colour too(maybe from last year) as my daughter (yr3) now choose any book/books she likes from the school library and write couple of lines about it/them in the yellow reading book each week

Greenleave Wed 06-Jan-16 13:38:51

The last time I remember I saw the colour/oxford tree books must be end of year 1

BearFeet Wed 06-Jan-16 13:55:19

Ours go past lime green. Brown being one of the colours I can think of off the top of my head.

SmileAndNod Wed 06-Jan-16 14:06:29

After lime I think we have copper, topaz, ruby, brown, sapphire emerald. Not sure of the order or which level they equate to. I do know that ds is getting bored though

WhattodoSue Wed 06-Jan-16 14:33:13

Our school goes up to dark pink (stage 15/16). This list is pretty helpful: guide to ORT levels
I had a big chat to my DD's teacher about the scheme books. Basically, she is reading much more challenging interesting/funny/enjoyable texts herself. And I was frustrated we were being sent home the scheme books. But in talking to the teacher, basically I realised that how they use the books at school is so very different to how she reads them at home. The children need to be able to explicitly discuss a lot of detail about the plot, the characters etc. Understanding these things implicitly is one thing, but explicitly verbalising it is something different. And for this reason, it evidently makes sense that they use shorter duller texts. That explanation also helped me to understand why these reasonably basic texts could equate to such strong progress through the old NC levels.

Although I totally understand why they use the scheme reading books, I don't understand why they her read them aloud to us. The teacher told me that if we could just read one a week (which DD can do in half an hour), then it was absolutely fine for her to read what ever she wants the rest of the time. So that is what we do. Token school reading, and huge amounts of her own reading (self motivated I hasten to add).

noramum Wed 06-Jan-16 14:38:34

In Infant they only went up to White, then free reader. In Junior school in Y3 DD went from free reader back to book bands, I think she was on lime.

Then comes Summer term and they are told they can take whatever book they want or read their own books but fill out a reading diary.

In Y4 they abolished reading diaries. They can read in school books from the library, the teacher checks that they are not reading far too low. The teacher stresses how important it is to read for pleasure instead of pushing it towards homework-area.

I think it works but obviously means we as the parent have to keep an eye on DD's reading choice and stretch her by offering new books/authors.

Letustryagain Wed 06-Jan-16 17:00:37

At DD's primary they go to Lime and then Free reader. But they don't let you move onto Free reader until KS2 because, as a PP said, it's all about understanding books and discussing them.

Consequently DD has been on Lime since the beginning of Y1 and now all the children that she was miles ahead of are now moving up to Lime aswell as they go into the 2nd term of Y2 and because of the lack of books DD is having to bloody re-read the ones she read a year ago which is MOST frustrating. Luckily she's reading Enid Blyton at home so she is getting something out of it.

mrz Wed 06-Jan-16 17:52:03

Lime is the final band in KS1. In KS2 bands are Brian, grey, dark red and dark blue.

hels71 Wed 06-Jan-16 17:57:59

DDs school has lime , then brown, then black. They also used to have NC levels by each colour. Everyone has to be on a banded book.....even the year 6.

StompyFreckles Wed 06-Jan-16 18:01:17

Our school don't follow those colours, but when dd was in y2, she wanted to read her own books (Roald dahl etc) and we found it impossible to fit in home books and the school books, - I discussed it with her teacher and she just read her books from home, which were much more interesting!

irvine101 Wed 06-Jan-16 18:31:09

I think book bands are more related to what they read/work at school in my ds's school. For homework reading, they are more concerned with we read everyday, not what we read.

mrz Wed 06-Jan-16 18:57:57

The most widely used book banding system is based on Reading Recovery criteria which doesn't match at all with phonics teaching.
We don't use book banding in any year group.

CFSsucks Wed 06-Jan-16 21:30:33

Thanks for the replies.

I just remembered we also have a dark blue in there somewhere too.

DS has said there was 1 book in the brown box, which he has, there are no more in there and there is no point taking one from the lower boxes as he moved up because he has read them all. Next is yellow and there were only about 4 books in that box. I wish they would move past it but I get what you are saying about the school needing to know they understand what the are reading. I spoke to the teachers before about it and they said it's comprehension they are looking at, which they admitted DS is very good with anyway.

Cressandra Thu 07-Jan-16 13:01:05

I actually don't know. DS brings home a book coloured copper, ruby, topaz kind of thing. But that is his one group read book a week. We read it once or twice in the week. The rest of the time we just read a chapter book or whatever else he wants, and try to write it up in his book sometimes.

They have had free choice books alongside banded books from the very beginning of YR, and they are encouraged to use the school library, so he can read whatever he fancies really. The weekly banded book doesn't intrude too much on his actual reading smile. He is not that enthusiastic a reader as it is, I think he'd really struggle to be limited as you describe.

DataColour Fri 08-Jan-16 10:25:42

We seem to have copper band after lime in our school...which is what DS is at. Not sure what happens after that.

reni2 Fri 08-Jan-16 11:13:05

Ours go way past lime, they even give Gullivers Travels and Harry Potter some sort of colour band. There is a lot of freedom to pick what they want after lime though.

CFSsucks Fri 08-Jan-16 12:51:26

I wish DS had more freedom to choose. He has to choose from the colour box and the higher the band, the less books there are. He has had the same book all week because there are no others in that box. Usually he goes through a book a day or every 2 days in school. The teacher has told him to bring his own in to read so he has the 2 latest diary of a wimpy kid that he had for Christmas but after that he's read all his books more than once. It's frustrating when there is a huge selection of free reader books that he's eager to read and some of them are things like horrid Henry which are much lower than the band he's on as they had some in one of the book bands, I remember he kept bringing loads home.

I was talking to another mum who has a child in year 6 and she said she feels the school never push their reading because they don't want them to get on too high a level for their age and said the reason but I can't remember what it was. Something to do with scores and test results.

I'm wondering if it's worth asking if DS can choose one book from his book band colour (if there are any in the box ) and one from the free reader section? Parents evening is usually in February so I may ask then, if I'm feeling brave. I never want to seem like I think the teachers are wrong as I'm sure they know far more than me about it.

irvine101 Fri 08-Jan-16 13:06:54

Definitely ask teacher for extra book. My ds used to bring 3 books from school every day.
Also, go to library and check out charity shops as well, if you don't mind second hand books. We have 3 big bookshelf full of books for my ds at home, most came from charity shops.

reni2 Fri 08-Jan-16 13:20:19

If he's allowed to bring books from home and has read all of his, go to the local library and get whatever he wants there, have him take those in. Then ask in Feb at parents evening if he can now purlease get books from the school library, as it is more straightforward than going to the community library for the exact same result.

Pooseyfrumpture Fri 08-Jan-16 13:23:51

Ours introduced lime, copper, rainbow (WTF) and then last year added some made up extra colours like teal

I imagine the face of whoever had to source millions of teal stickers was very hmm

kimlo Fri 08-Jan-16 13:34:42

At dd2s school they keep working through the book bands until they leave in year 6. With dd1 it was a pain getting her to read them, and the stuff she was reading at home was more varied and more difficult. I spoke to her teacher, and she said as long as she continued reading every day then she was fine to forget about the reading books, they were only really to make sure that regular home reading was still happening.

I think dd2 might stay on reafing books right through to year six, she doesnt seem to be quiet as enthusiastic.

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