Welcome to Gamston CofE Primary School - Ofsted Good - Tuxford Academy feeder school - ***Nursery places available***

Gamston Church of England Primary School

Be the best you can be


“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”  – Phillip Pullman

At Gamston we are passionate about reading and writing. We believe that reading gives children an inner wellspring that they can draw on throughout their lives and helps them to connect with their own and others' feelings and experiences.

We aim to develop a deep love of reading through rich interractions with books that sets them on a lifelong literary journey...


We do this by:

  1. Securing children's decoding skills through systematic phonics teaching from Early Years
  2. Whole class teaching of comprehension skills through Reciprocal Reading from Early Years - this ensures that texts with more complex themes are made accessible to all cildren regardless of their decoding skills.
  3. Small group Guided Reading, where children practice Reciprocal Reading strategies: prediction, clarification, questioning and summarising 
  4. Whole class English lessons where high quality texts and digital narratives are used as a precurser to writing 
  5. Home reading and sharing of personal book recommendations through class 'Book talk' time
  6. Daily class story/poetry time


All teaching staff have been recently trained to teach reading through the use of Reciprocal Reading strategies.


Our children's reading journey initially follows books that are banded by colour.

What does the colour banding mean?

There are general guidelines about which book bands should be covered in each year group.

In year 2 for example, children working at age related expectations should be reading books in gold, white or lime bands.

Please remember however that children learn in different ways and make progress at different times. It is possible that there may be seven year olds on book band red and five year olds on book band turquoise.

The table at the bottom of the page gives the approximate book bands for each stage in school.

What colour band should I expect my child to be reading?

  •  As a rough guide, children are expected to reach lime level at around seven years old. Children who read above lime level are reading fairly fluently and although some books are still graded above this level (and may well be given to your child), children are reading such a wide range of material that the banding becomes of less importance.
  • The books will vary in a number of ways including length, vocabulary and sentence structure This might not always be obvious as there are some picture books with challenging vocabulary and subject matter. The aim is to give the children the skills and opportunity to experience a wide variety of different types of literature. The difference between each colour band is meant to be gradual, so that children do not experience great difficulty as they progress through the scheme.
  • Each child brings home a book that is pitched at their phonics phase (see chart below). They will have colour banded book mark with approprite questions so that you can support your child's reading development.
  •  Alongside their growing ability to decode words, children are taught comprehension skills. Progress through the bands is not supposed to happen too quickly and it is important to ensure that children working in the early bands have secure understanding.
  •  This guidance can only give a rough idea of the right reading level for your child. There will be a wide range of reading abilities in any school year. As a guide, children should be able to read at least 90% of the words on the page without any problem. If the book is too easy, they may become bored. If it's too difficult, they can become frustrated, and may have to concentrate so hard on reading the words that they lose the enjoyment of understanding the story.

Please be aware that:

A child will not benefit from being rushed through books. It is not a race, it is a journey! Children learn to read at different rates just as they learn to do other things at different rates. If children are rushed through the books they will not achieve the enjoyment and understanding necessary.  Books that they find too difficult will soon put them off reading!

 How to support your child's love of reading:

  • Hear your child read every day.
  •  Little and often is more beneficial than a long session once a week.
  •  Think about how long you are reading for - the amount of reading time should not go beyond your child's span of attention.
  •  Pick your timing carefully – it is best not to embark on a reading session when your child is tired.

 Enjoy reading with your child and help them become lifelong readers.


Phonics Phase

Book Band

Year Group Expectations

Phase 1



Phase 2



Phase 3



Phase 3




Phase 3/4


EYFS/Year 1


Phase 4


Year 1

Phase 4/5


Year 1

Phase 5


Year 1

Phase 5


Year 1

Phase 5/6


Year 2

Phase 6


Year 2

Phase 6


Year 2



Year 3



Year 4


Dark blue

Year 5



Year 6

The Barrister in Wonderland is a specialist children’s bookshop located in Retford and

specialising in brand new children’s books, suitable from birth right through to young adults (plus a little section for grown-ups), with a wide range of titles on offer, as well as a smaller selection of preloved children’s books. 

Click on the picture to visit the website.