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Reading at St John's

Book bands
GR timetablerex retriever

Book Bands

Developing fluent readers from Phase 6 onwards, the coloured book bands provide a useful guide to indicate the increasing level of challenge from different books. Many publishers use this approach within their reading schemes. Once a child has secured decoding, how easy or difficult they find a text is heavily influenced by their interests and life experiences. The emphasis for us is then on broadening and deepening the children’s reading experiences, rather than racing through the bands. Below is a guide we use as a school. This helps us to ensure we are matching our children’s reading levels as closely as possible. It also allows us to track if a child is working within the Year group expectations.

These skills are developed and prepare pupils to confidently enter the world of Destination Reader in KS2.

A core group of Year 2 pupils also take part in an additional daily 30min. comprehension lesson where these skills are explicitly taught.

Here is an example of a guided reading timetable in KS1. Allowing for pupils to use Bug Club, take part in reading for pleasure, answer comprehension questions and targeted group work with a teacher.

Guided Reading

In guided reading sessions in KS1, children develop their key reading strategies and skills for decoding and comprehending in groups of a similar ability. This is to ensure pupils have the opportunity to read in groups with books accurately challenging for their word and comprehension level. Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills whilst listening to their peers and building on good models.

To develop their comprehension skills, we make use of the ‘Pawsome Reading Gang’ focusing and developing a variety of reading skills and teaching in a targeted way, how to answer questions involving these skills.

The children are introduced to:

  • Rex Retriever – Retrieval Skills
  • Inference Iggy – Inference Skills
  • Sequencing Suki – Sequencing skills
  • Vocabulary Victor – Vocabulary Skills
  • Predicting Pip – Prediction skills

Destination Reader

To support children to develop their reading skills in a smooth transition from phonics, we follow Destination Reader across KS2. It begins in Year 3 and children follow it all the way up to Year 6. This year we begin to introduce some of the language from Destination Reader in Year 2 during the summer term.

Destination Reader allows children to access real books of a high quality that are engaging and exciting. As talk is made central, partner reading is continued and children are given ample opportunities to discuss books with their partners.

The program covers seven key skills identified within the national curriculum, to support the reading and understanding of a wide range of texts. These are:

  • Predicting
  • Making connections
  • Asking questions
  • Evaluating
  • Inferring
  • Summarising
  • Clarifying


DR timetable
DR colurs

While children read their book with their partner they are encouraged to stop and have discussions in a respectful way, and also through addressing a variety of these skills, some of which will be being specifically teacher taught using sentence stems in the same way. You could prompt your child to refer to these sentence stems when reading at home or answering questions about a book you have read to them.

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