Reading and Phonics

 At The Observatory School, we recognise the importance of reading as a life-long skill, and aim to ensure that all of our children are fluent and confident in their reading abilities, regardless of their background, need, or the phase at which they join our school. 

As a school, we follow the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc. programmes to help us to deliver the knowledge and skills required to boost and secure our children’s phonetic reading abilities, as well as comprehension, writing, spoken English, spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting. Pupils who join us in year 3 and 4 with gaps in their reading knowledge will access Read Write Inc. Phonics whilst pupils in years 5 and above will access Read Write Inc. Fresh Start. Fresh Start is a fast-track catch up programme for pupils aged 9+ who are working below expectations in reading, did not meet national expectations at the end of KS2 or students with SEND who have gaps in their learning. 

We are proud to have a dedicated HLTA who works 1:1 with pupils requiring intervention at the Vyner campus to support their literacy whilst also managing our school library. Children accessing 1:1 support engage in the Fresh Start phonics programme where they access phonic intervention utilising age-appropriate resources. Any KS2 pupils requiring reading catch up access our short-term, intensive, Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to in-fill any gaps in their learning as a result of missed learning due  COVID and other factors. The aim of this programme is to accelerate their progress and ensure they are able to access our age-appropriate English curriculum in full, within the shortest time-frame possible. This programme is delivered through a streamlined structure, with pupils accessing small group, developmentally appropriate teaching. 

For more information about Read Write Inc. and how reading through phonics is taught or how you can support your child’s reading at home, please take the time to read the leaflets, accessed through the hyperlinks below. 

You may also wish to watch the video in the link below to check how phonetic sounds are pronounced so that you can help your child to practise their reading skills with as much accuracy as possible. Parent video: How to say the sounds

You can login to the Oxford Owl website at to access online reading books at your child’s level for at home reading practice. Speak to your child’s teacher for details of your child’s reading book band and login details.