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Key Stage 2

Reading Key Stage 2


Children in KS2 are expected to move from white book band at the beginning of Year 3 to lime, then brown, then grey, finally reaching blue/red book band by the end of Year 6. This, however, represents an ‘average’ picture of a child’s progress. As we know, no individual child is ‘average’ so no individual child makes smooth progress precisely in this way. Children tend to learn in fits and starts – periods of growth followed by periods of consolidation when their progress seems to halt for a while. The periods where you don’t see rapid progress may be worrying but they are important as your child develops confidence in using and applying newly acquired skills.

If you are ever worried about your child’s progress, please talk to their teacher.


Books ranging from white level up to red include a widening range of writing styles and an increased variation of sentence structure. Children will be able to interpret more sophisticated word-play and puns and be able to distinguish between the narrator’s voice in a story from a character’s voice. Towards the end of KS2, Children will know how to gather information from more than one place in a text as well as ‘read between the lines’ based on what is shown rather than being told. This allows for greater complexity in building character and setting.


Here are some tips on reading books and stories together...

  • Although your child is now taking off as a reader, it is still important that you read with them and talk to them about their reading. Continue to make a time available for regular quiet reading times.
  • Establish an expectation of a conversation at the end of each reading session: can they tell you what’s happening in their book?

At this stage, children are developing a much deeper level of understanding of the books they read. Ask 

  • questions which make your child go back to the book to find answers.
  • Support your child as they develop skills in skimming and scanning to find the answers to your questions.
  • Read the book yourself so that you can talk together about the smaller details of the book.
  • Continue to read aloud to your child at bedtime. This shows them the importance you place on reading as well as developing their language, vocabulary and love of story.
  • Continue to encourage them to read widely – library, recipes, comics, newspapers, magazines, poetry etc.
  • Talk about books – share your own excitement about books and stories. Let them see you reading.
  • Encourage your child to predict what might happen next and say why.
  • Talk about how characters develop or how they react to different people, places or events.
  • Ask them to read aloud some parts which they particularly enjoy. This may be action or description. Talk about how the author made those parts so enjoyable.
  • Find out information together. Make use of contents, headings, captions, index etc.
  • Encourage your child to use a dictionary to check the meaning of a word that is unfamiliar to them. Can they explain the word's meaning to you? Can they suggest an alternative meaning?
  • Talk about similarities and differences between books written by the same author or between texts that cover similar issues or themes.
  • Most importantly, share your own sense of excitement about books with your child. This will greatly influence them and help to really foster a life-long love of reading.
  • Continue to support your child in filling out their school reading record book each time you hear them read.


Ask questions….

Why do you think the author wrote that?

What do you think he/ she meant by that?

Which word makes you think that…?

How do the story/ words make you feel?

Why do you think that part is repeated?

What effect does the rhyme have on…?

When did the story change?

How did you know that change was going to happen?

What do you like/ dislike about the story and why?

Which was the best/ funniest/ saddest part etc?

What is the main purpose of the text?

What words give you that impression? Why?

What does the word....imply about....?

What might this character have been thinking about?

How did the character feel before.....and after....?

What does this quotation suggest about.....?

What is this character’s attitude towards....?

What do you think the writer felt about…?

When the writer says… how does that make you feel?

Does this book remind you of another that you have read? If so, which one and why?

Do you know any other books by the same author?

What other books can you think of that have the same setting or message?


Non-Fiction Books

What effect do the layout/font/illustrations have on the reader?

Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.

How do you use the index/ glossary/ contents page to help you find out information?

Which part of the text tells us about …?

Is this fact or opinion?

How do we know this is a fact?

Why are some words in bold?

How does this text layout help the reader?

Could information be presented in a more effective way?