Using the library and reading books for this year Reception and KS1 Version

Reception and KS1 Version

Dear Parents,


As you will have seen, over the last few months we have transformed one of our buildings into a fantastic School Library.


Due to a slight delay in the completion of the works, we were not able to get into the building until very late in the Summer Term.  Since then we have been sorting books, installing furniture, getting the Junior Librarian system working etc. Unfortunately, there are a few jobs which need to be completed during the first week of the new academic year and so the library will not be open to pupils until Monday 10th September.


My child wants a book!

Great!  We are fortunate to live in an area with so many good libraries (Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Topsham, Exeter etc).  We recommend that you visit your local library (or the one local to your work) and pick up a book for the first week of term.


Library Opening Times

The Library will be open from 08:30 to 08:55 each day to allow pupils and their parents to return and change books – pupils must be in class at 08:55.


Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils must be accompanied by a parent/adult, but Key Stage 2 pupils can enter the library unaccompanied.  On most days, a member of staff will be on hand to assist.


We would also like to open the Library from 15:30 to 16:30 each day to provide pupils and parents with a much longer period to explore the books.  Choosing a new book is not something that should be rushed!


Are you able to assist?  

We are looking for a team of volunteers to assist pupils in the library from 15:30 to 16:30 each day.  Please email if you are keen to support the school.  We hope that with sufficient numbers, there will be two volunteers in the Library each day and that volunteers will only need to work one day each week.  Training in the use of ‘Junior Librarian’ will be provided.


Reception and KS1 Reading Books



Reception children will begin the first half term with library books.  These will be changed once a week on a Tuesday. Reading in the Early Years relies on lots of talk about pictures and what you have read to your child and decoding is a small part of a large puzzle.  Therefore, once we have got well on the way with our decoding and phonics sessions we will begin to send home red band books. Reception children will still have reading logs so you can still let us know that they are reading at home and can of course change your child’s book more than weekly if needed but repetition and chat about the books they have chosen is the main element on our path to loving reading.


Key Stage 1: A new arrangement for changing books

For pupils in Year 1 and Year 2, pupils and their parents/carers will need to visit the Library to change their child’s reading book. If your child attends before and after school club, they will attend with a member of staff.   This section only applies to Colour Band books (e.g. gold, lime etc) as they are not on the Junior Librarian system.



  • Before you start, check which book (colour) band, e.g. yellow etc, your child is currently reading.
  • Return the book to the correct book band box.  
  • Pick out a couple of books from the same book band box and let your child explore the book and take some ownership over the choice of book: “I wonder which book you would like to read next?”.  There may be a particular theme/topic which appeals to your child.  
  • Write the name of the new book in their Reading Log.
  • Finally, put the new book and Reading Log in their book bag.    


What will happen next?  

A member of staff or volunteer will check all the bookbags regularly to ensure that every child is reading (as the guidelines below) and that they are reading appropriately challenging books.  If you or your child have chosen a book which is too challenging then the book may be changed – they can retry the book at a later date.


How often should you change your child’s reading book?  

Minimum reading time expected each day:

Reception – 5 minutes Year 1 – 10 minutes Year 2 – 15 minutes Year 3 – 20 minutes

Year 4 – 25 minutes Year 5 – 30 minutes Year 6 – 35 minutes


You might not need to change their book every day.  

  • Some children like to keep and re-read books – it is good to have favourites and reading familiar stories can give confidence.  
  • Equally, changing books daily may result in learning opportunities being missed – reading is not a race.  Revisit tricky words, explore the emotions of the characters, discuss synonyms and antonyms (words with the same and opposite meaning) etc, notice how different letters can make the same/different sounds, play games or do some art linked with the story.  Basically, enjoy the book to the full!


What should you do if your think that your child needs to move up book bands?  

Your child’s class teacher will be reviewing the book band for all pupils every five weeks (approx).  After this review, their book band may be changed.


If you feel that your child is ready for the next book band before their five week review, please send your class teacher a brief email titled ‘Changing Book Bands’.  Returning to the earlier point – reading is not a race – sometimes your child may not be quite ready to move on. In this circumstance, your child’s teacher may respond by highlighting an area which requires further development before they should move up book bands.


Is my child allowed to read books which are not in the book band system?  

Of course!  However, they should be read alongside their book band books – not instead.  They may choose a book which is very challenging but really appeals to their interests.  This is a great opportunity to share the experience of exploring books and for you to ‘learn’ something – but you may need to take the lead on reading.


Mr Lee

Deputy Headteacher

St Peter's C of E Primary School

Moor Lane, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6QF

01395 443167

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