Mount Hawke Academy


Reading and Phonics at Mount Hawke Academy

At Mount Hawke Academy, our children begin reading using our book band reading system – this is a series of different levels of books each banded a particular colour.   Our children will begin at pink level and will progress through the book bands until they are ready to read books chosen from our school library.   As our children progress through the colours, the texts become longer with trickier words and more complicated storylines. In the pink level there are few very words, which enable each child to discuss the picture and learn key words. By the time our children reach white and lime green books, each child will be a confident, fluent and independent reader who uses a range of strategies appropriately to establish meaning.


In each book band, we ensure that there a variety of different types of books from a variety of different reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. This ensures that the child experiences a variety of books and characters, including fiction and non-fiction as they develop their reading preferences.


Members of teaching staff read at least once a week with our children in Group Reading sessions, and we also teach reading comprehension explicitly through whole class sessions. Teachers will use their assessments to make decisions as to when children are ready to move to the next book band level. This is often completed in consultation with parents via the Reading Records. When our children are ready to move on from the lime green book band, they will begin to choose books from the school library. We recommend that when children are ready to move to library books, they choose ‘quick read’ books. These books are still classed as library books; they contain fewer and shorter chapters, but are progressive from the lime green book bands.


Please click on the documents below for information on how to help your child with reading book band books.