In Year One
In your child's first year at school, you will become familiar with the reading colour wheel. The wheel is made up of 9 different colours that show your child's progress on their way to becoming a strong reader. They will begin by reading simple books at the magenta level and progress up through the colours. In their reading they will not just learn to read words, but to understand and talk about the stories they read.
After one year of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- read books at green level on the colour wheel
- show they have understood the story and talk about what they have read.
In Year Two
In your child's second year at school they will learn to read longer texts that might include diagrams with labels, some new words and descriptive language. To work out words they don't know they will use what they know about letters and other words in the writing. The stories they read will have a variety of sentence structures. Your child will be taught to focus on punctuation with a focus on how it guides the way we use expression, and how it can alter meaning. Your child will bring home both fiction and non-fiction books.
After two years of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- read books at turquoise level on the colour wheel
- be able to tell things about the story that are hidden or suggested in the text
- read sentences without big pauses
- use punctuation to show meaning and add interest
- notice when they make important mistakes and make an attempt to fix them
- read silently to themselves
- tell if a story is real or made up, remember important parts of a story and be able to find parts that answer questions.
In Year Three
In your child's third year at school, they will bring home books to read to you that include some places, events, topics and words that will be new to them. Your child will be able to use pictures and other parts of the book (sub-headings, text boxes, footnotes, glossaries, indexes, diagrams, maps) to work out the meaning. They may also be reading articles about science, art or other curriculum areas e.g. about life cycles of an insect.
After three years of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- read books at gold level on the colour wheel
- use the picture meaning of the story to work out unfamiliar words, or to understand meaning
- notice when they have made a mistake and fix it up, most of the time
- find information that is clearly stated in the story, as well as some information that is hidden or suggested
- talk about the meaning of the story and tell you what they have learned from reading about a special topic.
In Year Four
In your child's fourth year at school, they will be independently reading a range of fiction and non-fiction books. They will use this reading to support their learning in all areas of the curriculum. Their reading material will include some compound and complex sentences, which may consist of 2 or 3 clauses. They will also be introduced to figurative language, such as metaphors, similes, and personification.
After four years of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- know what they like to read and be able to choose what is right for them
- understand what they are reading and be able to talk about the main ideas, as well as ideas that are not so obvious
- recognise and understand the information in different kinds of books
- read smoothly, like talking
- notice when they make a mistake in their reading and be able to fix it, most of the time
- read to find out information, like answers to questions.
In Year Five
In your child's fifth year at school, they will be reading and learning to understand a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Texts will include more abstract ideas and figurative language, longer sentences with multiple clauses, different text types and a significant number of words that are likely to be unfamiliar to your child.
After five years of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- read for longer periods of time
- choose texts that support their learning and choose stories to read for fun
- choose what reading skills they use when they have difficulties and when they are reading harder texts e.g. re-reading parts they don't understand
- work out the words they don't know by looking at the surrounding words, pictures or other clues
- understand and discuss the different levels of meaning a story can have e.g. understand hidden meanings
- read different texts about the same topic, and be able to pull this information together to express an idea, or write on a topic
- ask and answer questions about things that they read
- discuss the way authors have made choices when writing - about the words, places, characters, and ideas.
In Year Six
In your child's sixth year at school, they will be reading non-fiction books, chapter books, magazines and information on the computer. They'll be reading these kinds of texts in all areas of the curriculum.
After six years of learning reading at school most children will be able to:
- read longer texts more quickly, and read for longer periods of time
- find information and ideas easily in the text, as well as information that is more hidden - using clues in the text and what they already know
- work out words they don't know the meaning of by using clues in the text or pictures and diagrams
- quickly find important ideas and information by 'skimming' and 'scanning' e.g. using subheadings, keywords or first sentences in paragraphs
- know they sometimes need to read from several sources of information (books, magazines, the internet) to get all the information they need for their work.
In Year Seven
In your child's seventh year at school, they'll be learning to find, think about, and bring together information and ideas within and across a range of books and articles. As they do this they will be able to think of their own questions and be able to answer questions they are asked across all curriculum areas.
After seven years of learning reading at school they will likely be able to:
- read a wide range of texts including both fiction and non-fiction, and with a number of layers of meaning including complicated plots, difficult themes and ideas, and words and letter patterns
- recognise most words automatically and work out more difficult words using a range of strategies. For example, letter-sound knowledge, using what they know about parts of words and letter patterns
- choose the best strategy - from a whole range they know - to help them understand what they are reading
- recognise and use features of grammar to support understanding more difficult words
- use their judgment to work out their personal response to what they are reading and think about the strengths and weaknesses of what they are reading.
In Year Eight
In your child's eighth year at school, they will be learning to find, think about, and bring together information and ideas within and across a range of books, stories, and articles. As they do this they will be able to ask and answer questions across all the curriculum areas.
After eight years of learning reading at school they will likely be able to:
- read books with pictures, photos, boxes, diagrams, maps, charts, and graphs that relate to the content of the text
- read books that need explanation, such as complicated plots, high-level (teenage) themes, and abstract (non-concrete) ideas
- choose the right skills and technologies (such as the internet) to locate and use a range of texts for particular purposes across the curriculum e.g. reading to find out information on a science or social science topic
- use a growing range of strategies to help them when they don't understand what they are reading
- work out more difficult words by using a range of skills.
You may notice that the books your child is reading in Years 7 and 8 are sometimes the same. Your child will be doing more complex tasks with these books in Year 8.