What are Book Bands?

Once children have learnt the basics of reading, the next stage is establishing their reading level. Book Bands are used in schools across the UK as graded reading levels for children’s books. Children will be assessed and given a book band, which will be their original reading level.  They will progress up the book bands as they gain more confidence and ability in reading. While we include book bands on our website and in our catalogue, none of the books we publish have their book band shown on the cover.

The recognised/published IOE book band criteria have been applied in all cases; but these criteria are designed for mainstream reading books, not high interest age/low reading age. Therefore some interpretation and judgement has had to be applied when banding the Ransom range.

Generally, most schools use the book band system from Pink to Lime; Pink being the most basic: for Reception aged students, and Lime being the most advanced: aimed at those finishing Key Stage 1. However, Ransom, in accordance with some other publishers including Oxford University Press, also provide bands below and above that main scale. Below Pink we have a Lilac level, which is really basic text aimed for those who struggled with Phonics teaching. Beyond Lime, for Key Stage 2 students who still benefit from book bands, we have four levels: Brown, Grey, Dark Blue and Dark Red.

Our Search tool here on the Ransom website allows you to search for books for your child based on the book band system. We hope that this will help you find texts most appropriate for your child’s ability.