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Reading schemes

We use a reading scheme called Cliff Moon. This is a scheme into which books are banded by difficulty. There are 12 bands which each are marked by a colour of sticker - orange rectangles, blue spots etc. This means that each of the bands have a variety of books which are roughly the same difficulty to read. Although please be aware that the bands do contain trickier and easier books! The advantage to this is that there are a range of books in each band - different genres, authors, illustrator, font types and so on. This means that children have an element of choice over their reading and also that they do not grow reliant on a particular 'style' of book type.

When children exceed level 12, they are designated a 'free reader' and they may choose books from the classroom's bookshelves, the free reading books outside Year 4's classroom, or a book from home that they are enjoying.

We encourage children to choose their own books; we never tell the children which book to choose from the Cliff Moon scheme and we would discourage parents from doing so. The reason for this is that we want children to develop enjoyment in reading, just as very few adults would want to read a book that they 'have' to, children enjoy reading their own choice of book more.

Similarly, we have developed our reading scheme so it is not immediately obvious to children where they are in the scheme. Whilst we congratulate a child when they are ready to move on to a new band, we do not wish for children to become too aware of what colour sticker they are on as this can dominate their feelings about reading. We are trying to encourage children to love reading for its own sake, so please do encourage your child to relax and make the most of the book they are reading, not worrying about moving on.


Learners can gain credits for their Children's University awards for home reading.

If your child has been on the same reading level for some time, and you are worried about their progress, please talk to their class teacher.

A few tips when hearing your child read:


  • Please try and read every night with your child and record this in their reading diary. Even a brief comment or signature is useful to us.
  • Encourage your child to use their phonics to sound out some unfamiliar words, but tell them some words to keep the 'flow' of the story going.
  • Talk to your child about the book as well as reading it. Talk about: the characters, their feelings, the pictures, the meaning of different parts of the text, the author, other books it is similar to, the types of words used... and so on! (see the front of the reading diary for some questions).
  • Read some parts of the book to your child occasionally (this models good reading to them).


Other Reading Schemes
We have a few other reading schemes in school which we may sometimes use to supplement the Cliff Moon scheme. This is usually the Oxford Reading Tree. Sometimes teachers may feel that these books benefit children as they are more repetitive. Your child's class teacher will inform you if they need to have books from this or a similar scheme. In this case they will keep their Cliff Moon book and have a separate one, they should alternate between the two.