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At The Lea, we teach reading in a variety of engaging ways. In every year group, the children are given multiple opportunities throughout the week to hear stories and books read aloud and to read with a teacher or teaching assistant. We work very hard to ensure each and every child leaves primary school with a great love of reading and strong reading skills to help them in their everyday lives.

In the early years, children are exposed to books and print all throughout the classroom and have daily opportunities to listen to stories, explore books and nursery rhymes and be read with as they develop their phonics knowledge.

In Key Stage 1, as their phonics skills become more secure, children are asked to read daily at home to a parent or carer as part of their home learning. All children take part in a daily carousel of reading activities designed to secure their phonics knowledge and comprehension skills and are given multiple opportunities to read with the class teacher or teaching assistant.

In Key Stage 2, reading lessons focus more on comprehension skills in preparation for SATS at the end of Year 6. The children are still asked to read daily at home as part of their home learning and continue to have frequent opportunities to work with their teachers and teaching assistants at school to further develop their reading skills.

Book Banding

Like most primary schools, at The Lea we use book banding to ensure that children learn to read at their own pace and that they remain engaged and challenged throughout the process of learning to read.

Book banding schemes are used to track a child’s progression in reading independently. The class teacher decides which book band (or ‘book colour’) your child is on using their own professional judgement based on hearing your child read and join in discussions during daily guided reading sessions and any opportunities they have to read with your child 1:1. Once your child is deemed to be fluent and have sufficient comprehension skills using a particular book band, the teacher will assess whether they are ready to be moved up to the next book band using their own assessment.

A reminder: while your child may seem to find a certain book band easy in terms of the word reading skills it demands, their comprehension skills may still need developing at that level and therefore the class teacher may wait to move them up.

How You Can Help

  1. The single most important thing you can do to help your child progress in their word reading and comprehension skills, and develop a life-long love of reading, is to read stories and books to them as often as possible. A bedtime story routine isn’t just a nightly calming technique for your little one; it also gives them an excellent opportunity to look at possibly new words and sentences with your support, develop their questioning and comprehension skills and spark their imaginations. Any spare moments you find to read to your children is time well spent investing in their academic achievement.
  2. Make sure you know what the reading home learning expectations are for your child’s year group. In Key Stage 1 in particular, to help the children prepare for the statutory Year 1 phonics screening check and Year 2 SATS, there are high expectations for daily reading to be completed with an adult at home. Ask your child’s class teacher what the expectations are and how you can help them develop their word reading and comprehension skills at your earliest opportunity.
  3. Ensure you know what your child’s reading strengths and weaknesses are by staying in contact with your child’s class teacher and hearing your child read daily. Is there a particular phonics sound they find difficult to remember? Do they find it tricky to remember certain words and have to keep sounding them out each time? Do they find it difficult to retell a story in order, or predict what might happen next in a book? Give your child a little bit of extra help to develop these areas.

Reading Eggs & Reading Eggspress

The Lea pays for every child in Key Stages 1 and 2 to have a subscription to the fantastic online reading programs Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress. You should find your child’s login and password stuck into their reading records/home-school contact books. Ask your child’s class teacher if you need another copy of this information and what the expectation is for your child’s online home learning.

Recommended Texts


Where’s Spot? Eric Hill
Dear Zoo Rod Campbell
You Choose Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
Each Peach Pear Plum Allan and Janet Ahlberg
The Train Ride June Crebbin
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Mem Fox
Peace at Last Jill Murphy
What the Ladybird Heard Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks


Owl Babies Martin Waddell
The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson
Handa’s Surprise Eileen Browne
Farmer Duck Martin Waddell
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown
Dogger Shirley Hughes
The Snowman Raymond Briggs
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak
I Want My Hat Back Jon Klassen
The Cat in the Hat Dr Seuss

Year 1:

The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr
Lost & Found Oliver Jeffers
Beegu Alexis Deacon
Elmer David McKee
Alligator Pie Dennis Lee
Corduroy Don Freeman
Oi Frog Kes Gray and Jim Field
The Lion Inside Rachel Bright and Jim Field
Stellaluna Janell Cannon
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters Allan and Janet Ahlberg

Year 2:

Traction Man is Here Mini Grey
Meerkat Mail Emily Gravett
Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark Jill Tomlinson
Flat Stanley Jeff Brown
Not Now Bernard David McKee
Gorilla Anthony Brown
Don’t Look in This Book Samuel Langley-Swain
The Legend of Spud Murphy Eoin Colfer
The Day the Crayons Quit Drew Daywalt

Year 3:

The Iron Man Ted Hughes
Journey to the River Sea Eva Ibbotson
The Sheep-Pig Dick King-Smith
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
The BFG Roald Dahl
Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren
Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
The Enchanted Wood Enid Blyton
Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
The Worst Witch Jill Murphy

Year 4:

Bill’s New Frock Anne Fine
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter Phillip Pullman
The Scarecrow and His Servant Phillip Pullman
Why the Whales Came Michael Morpurgo
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
Voices in the Park Anthony Browne
Varjak Paw S.F. Said
The Children of Green Knowe Lucy M. Boston
How to Train Your Dragon Cressida Cowell
Desirable Frank Cottrell Boyce

Year 5:

Tom’s Midnight Garden Phillipa Pearce
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Joan Aiken
Heidi Johanna Spyri
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer
The Breadwinner Deborah Ellis
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J.K. Rowling
The Borrowers Mary Norton
Holes Louis Sachar
Emil and the Detectives Erich Kastner
The Ghost of Thomas Kempe Penelope Lively

Year 6:

Clockwork Phillip Pullman
The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien
Skellig David Almond
The Arrival Shaun Tan
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness
Carrie’s War Nina Bawden
Matilda Roald Dahl
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo
Wonder R.J. Palacio
Once Morris Gleitzman