Oakengates Nursery School

Reading and Phonics

A solid foundation in reading is crucial to a child’s success in Early Years.  Good communication and language development is vital for a child to be a good reader. At our Nursery we provide a language rich environment and ensure children have many opportunities to listen to nursery rhymes and stories.

When our children are ready to read we use a scheme called Oxford Reading Tree. These books give children the opportunity to develop their language skills, make links to their own experiences and apply their phonic knowledge to read new words.  Phonics is an effective teaching and learning method used to help children to unlock the alphabetic code. A scheme called ‘Letters and Sounds’ is used by teachers and practitioners to support planning for phonics. All children take part in reading and story sessions during adult directed and child initiated times. Children are taught a variety of strategies to enable them to develop a love of books and joy of reading. Teachers complete a detailed assessment of children’s reading skills before they move through the colour book banded system. This includes comprehension questions to check children's understanding.

The information below explains the reading characteristics for each book band

Lilac Band

  • There are no words in these books as they aim to develop spoken language.  

Pink Band

  • Natural language that resembles how children speak
  • Short, simple texts about familiar things
  • Repetitive sentences including commonly occurring words
  • Illustrations that help children predict the story line
  • Reasonably large print size with clear spaces between words
  • Fully punctuated text which is usually in the same position each page

Red Band

  • Highly predictable texts about familiar things
  • Repetitive sentences/phrases including commonly occurring words
  • Language which is short, clear and straightforward following children’s speech pattern
  • Illustrations which help children predict the story line
  • Simple story development in fiction texts
  • More than one source of print information in non-fiction text, eg boxed text, diagrams
  • Reasonably large print with obvious spaces between words
  • Full range of punctuation

Yellow Band

  • Some repetition of phrase patterns, ideas and vocabulary
  • Variation of sentence structure
  • Story lines including episodes following a time sequence
  • Language which begins to move away from children’s speech patterns to more story language, eg In a land far away
  • Stories which may involve imaginary happenings within familiar experiences
  • Non-fiction texts using personal experience and children’s language patterns
  • Illustrations which help to predict the story line

'Children are made readers on the laps of their parents'

Children are encouraged to take books home and parents are invited to comment on their child's progress through a reading record. Please click here for ideas to help you complete your child's reading record. We have strong reading book bags for sale at a cost of £3.15 which are ideal for keeping reading books safe and clean. If books do get damaged or lost we may ask for a contribution towards the replacement cost.

During induction parents learn about the school’s approach to the teaching of reading. Please click here for a preview of our workshop.