Reading at Eastfield

At Eastfield, we believe it is a paramount part of teaching and learning to equip children with the skills to be confident and competent readers. Therefore, a strong emphasis is placed on developing children’s reading and reading skills whilst fostering a love of books and reading for pleasure. 

We aim to cultivate this reading culture from the very beginning of a child’s learning journey with us and value the role of parents as partners in this vital task. Children in the early reading stages and on colour book band books should be heard reading as frequently as possible at home. Daily practise of phonetic decoding and comprehension skills is invaluable to your child’s reading progress. Please record any reading completed at home by writing a comment in your child’s reading record.  Pupils are heard reading frequently in school both on a 1:1 basis and in small groups. We also value reading for its impact on vocabulary development and comprehension skills. We read aloud to the children daily (in 10 minute bursts). Furthermore, we value the impact reading has on vocabulary development and use this as a vehicle to teach vocabulary. 

We select books from a range of published reading schemes and categorise these in reading bands based on the level of challenge within a book. (e.g. Vocabulary, text size, sophistication of ideas, widening range of genres, longer and more complex sentence structure, increasing precision of language, widening amount of characters and themes which become more developed, increase in metaphorical or technical language etc.) Schemes selected by the school include: Oxford Reading Tree, Songbird Phonics, Usborne Phonic Readers, Project X, Orchard colour and many more. 

The reading bands are based on those designed by PM Benchmark, with colour bands ranging from Lilac – Brown. Each child is assessed through the PM benchmarking reading assessment resource before progressing to the next level. Children are provided with the opportunity to change their books on a weekly basis in school. 

Bands are colour coded and are in the following order: 

Band 0: Lilac (picture books with no words to build up story telling vocabulary) 

Band 1: Pink 

Band 2: Red 

Band 3: Yellow

Band 4: Blue 

Band 5: Green 

Band 6: Orange 

Band 7: Turquoise 

Band 8: Purple 

Band 9: Gold 

Band 10: White 

Band 11: Lime 

Band 12: Brown 

After band 12, pupils become a free reader and are able to choose unbanded books in the classroom and school library. This is an assisted choice to ensure pupils read a wide variety of genres such as plays, non- fiction information texts, poetry, short stories and chapter books. 

In addition to individual reading books, we hold a range of books for use as Guided Reading Texts within lessons. Guided Reading sessions and whole class reading sessions are carefully planned and questioning is used to assess and extend children’s learning. Guided Reading sessions expose children to a wide range of texts and aim to challenge their thinking and develop retrieval, inference and prediction skills. 

Throughout their time at Primary school, pupils are required to complete national statutory tests:


In year 1, pupils’ phonics ability is tested using the statutory Phonics Screening Check in June. This is conducted on a 1:1 basis with a Teacher. Children are required to decode and read 40 words. Most of these are real words but the test also contains some pseudo (nonsense) words too – these pseudo words have an alien picture next to them. Pupils who do not reach the threshold receive intervention and are retested at the end of Year 2. Results are reported to parents. 

To view an example of phonics screening materials please click the link below:

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In year 2, pupils will take their Key Stage 1 SATs (standard assessment tests) through the month of May. Alongside Maths, grammar, spelling and punctuation test the pupils will be required to sit two Reading comprehension papers. Pupils’ scores help to support teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1. The test requires pupils to demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Vocabulary knowledge
  • Identify or explain key aspects of fiction or non- fiction such as characters, events, titles and information. 
  • Sequence events in a text they have read.
  • Make inferences
  • Predict

To view and example KS1 reading test, click the link below: 


In year 6, Pupils will take their Key Stage 2 SATs during the second week of May. During this week pupils will take a reading paper. The test requires pupils to demonstrate the following skills: 

  • Explaining the meaning of words
  • Retrieving key information
  • Make inferences 
  • Predict
  • Explain and make links between words and themes
  • Make comparisons within the text

To view and example KS2 reading test, click the link below: