What are reading schemes?


Selection of children's booksReading schemes are carefully constructed by a group of people who are experts at teaching children to read.

The aim is to provide children with lots of small, achievable steps as they begin to read so they learn to read without any difficulty and enjoy the process.

Each new level or stage within the reading scheme introduces new things and practises the skills and knowledge learned in the previous levels.

What do the different Book Band colours mean?

Until the 1990s, each reading scheme had its own levels and stages that were entirely different from all the other reading schemes. Then reading experts at the University of London created 'Book Bands'.

To do this, they looked at all of the main reading schemes and found out what was the same about the earliest books in all of the schemes, what was the same about books in the next step up, and so on.

They then grouped the books together in Book Bands and published a book that gave a colour to each Book Band, listing the features for each one, and all the available books in all of the reading schemes that had those features. Schools found that Book Bands were very helpful, particularly for children's first few years at school. Now, almost all the major reading schemes are published with Book Band colours.


The order of Book Band colours is as follows

Please note this is a guideline only.

Book band colours by year

pearson mumsnet strapline

Last updated: about 3 years ago