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Useful Information


Is your child ready for the next book band?


Your child may well be ready for a harder book by now, especially with all your brilliant work over the lockdown. Or they might be close to moving bands but may need to improve their fluency further on the band they are in order to get the most from their reading.  


How do I know if my child will be able to read a book independently?


  • Independent reading is getting most words (95-100%) correct and having a high level of understanding and story retelling. 
  • Children should only sound out and blend words they cannot read yet.
  • The words they can read, should be read without sounding them out.
  • This allows them to build up their fluency and gain an understanding of the whole sentence or whole text as they are reading. 
  • When your child has finished the book, ask your child to summarise the whole story. (They will find this difficult at first and may need the book to remind themselves.) 





How to check if your child is ready for the next book band


1. First check your child can do all of the following when they read a book on the colour band they are on at the moment.


My child read most words (95-100% of them) correctly during independent reading.

They had a high level of understanding and story retelling. 

They only sounded out and blended the words they can't read yet.

The words I know they can read, they read without sounding out and this allowed them to focus on the meaning of the words, sentences and text as a whole.



2. If they have ticked all of the boxes in step 1 try the next band/colour.


Pick a book from the next level up on Oxford Owl. Click on the picture of the owl below.

(It is free to register)




3. Can they tell you about the text?

Ask them the question in red.

Allow them to flick through the book to remind themselves.


Can you summarise the whole story for me or retell it in your own words?



What if they can't answer? Try the 4 questions in blue.


If they cannot answer they may just be unsure about what you are asking of them so try asking them all of the questions in blue which are more specific.


What happened at the start?

What happened in the middle?

What happened after that?

What happened at the end?



How do I know if they are answering the questions well?

Check they are not getting all answers from the pictures using the purple questions.


Think about how they answered your questions.

If they are giving you limited information or cannot answer, then they are probably not following or understanding the story as they read.

When they answer think about whether they are  commenting only on the things they can see in the pictures.

If you think they are using the pictures, try to ask them some questions they could only answer if they had read and understood the words on the page. 


The purple questions below are some examples you could use. 


Who are the characters in the story/what are their names/what are they like? 

□ What happened to them in the story?

□ What did they do when that happened? How did they react? What did they say?

□ Why do you think they did that?

□ What do you think the word… means?

□ Tell me 3 facts you have learnt from the text.

□ Find the part where…


4. Go through the same process with the next colour each time they meet all of the criteria in step 1.