Oxford Reading Levels

Supporting reading progress in all students

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Strong reading skills are key to students’ overall success at school and beyond. Oxford Reading Levels support all students to progress at every stage of their reading journey.

How do Oxford Reading Levels help address reading challenges?

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Why use levelled readers?

For a student to become a confident and successful reader, they need to be presented with the right amount of challenge. Expertly levelled reading books help to develop children’s reading skills and a love of reading.

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What are Oxford Reading Levels?

Oxford Reading Levels is an expert system used to determine the level of many popular primary reading books from Oxford. The levels range from Level 1 to Level 20, supporting readers from Foundation/Kindergarten to Year 6.

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How are Oxford Reading Levels different to other systems?

The Oxford Reading Levels system has been created over decades by experts, our authors and reviewers. We have looked at the ‘science’ of books, including word levels and sentence characteristics, and the ‘art’ of books, including subject matter and visual elements. We have analysed over 2,000 books, 400,000 sentences and over 4,000,000 words to inform the careful levelling of our reading books.

We develop our books with Oxford Reading Levels at their heart, making them truly effective in supporting children’s progress.

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How do Oxford Reading Levels help children to read?

The Oxford Reading Levels progressively build fluency, comprehension and reading stamina. The system also allows teachers to effectively differentiate reading books to support each student’s individual needs. The Oxford Reading Levels Teacher’s Guide can support teachers in choosing the right text for each student by giving detailed information on the characteristics of texts at each Oxford Reading Level.

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Which Oxford books are underpinned by Oxford Reading Levels?

Oxford Reading for Comprehension Decodables, Oxford Reading for Comprehension, Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and TreeTops have been developed using Oxford Reading Levels and can help to support progress in a range of reading competencies.

Oxford Reading Levels support reading progress

Help every student to progress their reading in carefully considered stages

At Oxford, we use an expertly developed, well-established system for levelling our books, which has been used to develop many of our popular and well-loved series.

Our books are finely graded so you can accurately match students to the right book. You’ll notice that our books:

  • span from the very early stages of reading in Foundation (Oxford Reading Level 1) all the way up to an advanced Year 6 reader’s level (Oxford Reading Level 20)
  • are matched to age-related expectations
  • signal the Reading Level

With the help of expert authors, our levelled books hook children of different ages into reading, capture their imaginations and make them think. We also work with leading literacy consultants and dedicated levelling and phonics consultants.

If you’d like to find out more about each Oxford Reading Level and learn how students’ literacy skills develop with each level, download our Teacher Reference Guide.

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Oxford Reading Levels structure chart

The chart below shows how Oxford Levels relate to other commonly used levelling systems. Due to the subjective nature of levelling, this chart provides a ‘best fit’ judgement.

Oxford Reading Levels Teacher Reference Guide

This guide is designed to give you more information about Oxford Reading Levels and a deeper understanding of what goes into making levelled reading books from OUP.

Download Teacher Reference Guide
Teacher reference guide

Oxford Reading Levels underpin our series

Oxford Reading Levels have been used to develop both our newest phonic series as well as many of our well-loved ones.

All of Oxford’s decodable series (excluding Read, Write Inc.) follow a structured phonic progression matched to the Letters and Sounds phonic sequence. Oxford Reading Levels follow this sequence too, letting you know exactly when new letters and sounds will be introduced in our decodable books.

ORFC Decodables

Oxford Reading for Comprehension Decodables is a unique fully decodable Australian guided reading series for Years F–2. It is underpinned by a proven, finely sequenced phonics framework aligned to Letters and Sounds and the research-based Comprehension Skills Framework.

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ORFC Decodables

Project X Hero Academy

Project X Hero Academy is a fully decodable fiction series designed to motivate young readers and turn them into reading superheroes. Hero Academy is composed of 78 student books that are matched to the Letters and Sounds phonic sequence.

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Project X Hero Academy Non-fiction

Project X Hero Academy Non-fiction is an inspiring series of 21 fully decodable titles for reading practice, aligned to Letters and Sounds.

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Project X Alien Adventures

Project X Alien Adventures are exciting, fully decodable stories that will motivate and support reluctant readers through to independence. Fine levelling throughout the series builds students’ confidence and helps them make progress.

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Traditional Tales

Traditional Tales are 100% decodable retellings of classic tales with clear phonic progression for Years F–2. Storymaps in each book fuel students' writing and inside cover notes support both teachers and parents.

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Floppy's Phonics: Fiction

Floppy's Phonics: Fiction decodable readers are ideal for providing extra practice and reinforcement alongside any phonics teaching program. Inside cover notes for parents and teachers are included in every book.

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Biff Chip and Kipper: Decode and Develop

Biff, Chip and Kipper: Decode and Develop readers are 60% decodable to support the transition from phonics to richer reading. Familiar settings, real-life scenarios and humorous illustrations will hook students into reading.

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Reading is a complex process that requires children to use a range of comprehension skills and strategies in order to ensure understanding. Oxford Reading Levels support the development of these skills and strategies through the progression of multiple, detailed criteria—from text features, word and sentence complexity, and punctuation, to content development.

Refer to our Oxford Reading Levels Teachers Guide for more information on how Oxford Reading Levels support the development of student’s comprehension strategies and skills.

Oxford Reading for Comprehension

Oxford Reading for Comprehension is a new, research-based guided reading program that explicitly develops comprehension skills for Years F–3.

With Oxford Reading for Comprehension, students learn to be active, engaged readers with the help of 250 full-colour engaging fiction and non-fiction books featuring captivating characters and stories designed to appeal to young Australians. Every text supports the teaching of one of the seven comprehension strategies from the Comprehension Skills Framework.

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Project X Origins

The Project X collection covers all areas of reading including phonics, intervention, guided and independent reading. Exciting 3D characters, absorbing adventure stories and stunning illustrations are featured throughout the collection to engage even the most reluctant readers.

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TreeTops encourages all children to read for pleasure. There is something for everyone in this series, making it the perfect choice for finding interesting and accessible reads for your students, including advanced readers.

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Please complete the form below and your local Oxford Primary Consultant will be in touch to arrange a consultation.

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