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Phonics, Reading and Book Bands


St Anne's Home Reading Books


Following an update from the Department for Education around phonics teaching we have moved to Essential Letters and Sounds which is a phonics programme based on Letters and Sounds (2007). This new phonics programme will support your children in making quick progress to become fluent and confident readers.


To best support us in teaching your child to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school four times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them on their journey to becoming an independent reader.

We will be changing the children’s books once a week on a Friday when the children will receive one decodable book. This will allow your child to re-read each text several times, building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelled in different ways.


For children, re-reading words and sentences that they can decode (sound out) until they are fluent (read with ease and precision) is a key part of learning to read. By reading texts several times, children have the greatest opportunity to achieve this fluency. Once your child has reached a stage where they are reading with greater fluency (turquoise and above in the scheme) then books can be changed twice a week.


The texts sent home are carefully matched to the teaching taking place in school. Your child will be practising what they have been taught in school with you at home. We will only ask children to read books independently when they can decode these by themselves. The books below turquoise level have now been relabelled phase 1,2,3,4 and 5. Within each phase a child will move through different boxes based on their developing phonics knowledge. It is important to note that each phase contains a wide range of sounds and the children will work through the phase at their own pace. You can find the sounds your child is focussing on by looking at the back cover or on the first page of the book.


In addition to the decodable books that the children will bring home on a Friday, later in the term we will also be giving the children the opportunity to bring other books home including library books. This will help to instil a love of reading for pleasure. These could be read together with your child reading the words they are able to decode or could be read to your child.


St Anne’s Book Bands and expectations

(Please remember that children progress at different rates and times over their schooling so this is simply a guide to where we expect children to be at the end of each year)

Book Band

Age-related level

Oxford Reading Tree stage

Phase 1

Pre-school expected level


Phase 2



Phase 3



Phase 4

Reception end of year expected level


Phase 5



Phase 5 – Rarely used GPCS

Year 1 end of year expected level









Year 2 end of year expected level








Year 3 end of year expected level



Year 4 and 5 end of year expected level

13 and 14

Dark Blue

Year 5 and 6 end of year expected level

15 and 16

Dark Red




Promoting a love of reading

  • Why not see if your local library is open and book a visit to borrow some books to read together.
  • Try the library’s Summer Reading Challenge, details of which are now on our school website.
  • Read a bedtime story together, maybe a chapter each night.
  • Listen to audiobooks together.
  • Encourage reading in the home by choosing to read in your own free time, in front of your children.
  • Subscribe to a magazine.
  • Look on the Book Trust website for book recommendations and fun activities.
  • Why not look on our school website for some recommended reads for your child’s year group.

phase_2_sounds.mp4 (360p).mp4

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Please watch the videos to find out how to pronounce the pure sounds in phonics.

phase_3_sounds (360p) (1).mp4

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Phase 5

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