Soho Parish Primary

Soho Parish Primary

Book Week


At Soho Parish we place a great emphasis on the importance of reading and children’s engagement with texts. We use a range of guided reading schemes and each class has its own library, with a range of books which children can borrow as home-readers. Children are also welcome to bring in their own books.

In addition, we have a main school library which classes visit regularly. Our older children also do buddy-reading with younger children to help them to learn to read.

Finally, to engage children further we run an annual Book Week (see gallery above) which celebrates all things bookish through a range of fun activities such as Drop Everything And Read and Dress up as a Character Day.



We begin a structured phonics programme in the Early Years using the Letters and Sounds scheme of work, supported by the Jolly Phonics resources and gestures in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 to reinforce individual sounds.

Children learn that our alphabetical system has 44 phonemes (sounds) and throughout Reception and Key Stage One they learn how to represent these sounds with different graphemes (the way the letter is written). Children learn how to blend and segment these sounds to read and write. This consistent approach to phonics enables the children to access many books and prepare them for the Phonics Test which occurs at the end of Year 1. This test is also repeated for Year 2 children who were unable to reach the pass mark.

Alongside this the children learn high frequency words or ‘tricky words’ which cannot be sounded out or are words with sounds that the children haven’t learnt yet.

In Key Stage Two, if children still struggle with reading then the phonics programme will continue as necessary.

All families joining us in Reception are given a CD with the phonemes (sounds) and our Early Years team will lead a session for parents explaining how our phonics scheme works and parents can best support their child/ren at home.



From Reception onwards children read at least weekly to a teacher or teaching support staff using a wide range of exciting reading resources.

As well as individual class book corners & a well-stocked school library, we use a selection of guided reading books including the Oxford Reading Tree series and the synthetic phonics Alphablocks series.

As children become more proficient at reading we develop their skills beyond simply decoding the words and focus on teaching specific reading skills. Children may focus on inference, skimming and scanning the text, finding the meaning of words, or deducing what is happening in the story.

While Guided Reading is taking place other children in the class may be working with another adult or doing other reading-based activities.  If children struggle with reading, interventions are put into place to ensure rapid progress is made.




Through our topic-based curriculum, we try to ensure that children are engaged and enthusiastic about writing across a variety of subjects and genres, and writing is celebrated through published work, displays and awards at every possible moment.

Teachers plan creatively and use cross-curricular links to ensure that children have a solid experience of all text types. Different genres are covered by different year groups and selected wherever possible to fit in with their topics.

In addition to learning the features of different genres, children are gradually taught the skills of writing throughout a unit, for example building up the children’s knowledge of a variety of ambitious vocabulary, understanding the use of connectives and openers and how it affects the sentence structure as well as using punctuation correctly and for effect.

Children gradually work through smaller writing tasks over the unit, building up to a published outcome at the end, for example a story based in a historical setting, a Dinosaur fact-book or a letter to an MP.



Year 6 SATS now include a spelling, punctuation and grammar test. These skills are taught through a combination of specific short focus lessons and as part of their regular English lessons.



We have high expectations for handwriting in all subjects and we expect published work to be of a high standard.

In Reception the children are taught to form printed letters correctly. In Year One the children are encouraged to write on the line, begin to make their handwriting smaller, using finger spaces so that their work can be clearly read. In Year One and Two the children who are ready are taught how to join up their writing and by the end of Year Two it is expected that most children will be joining up in all their work.  In Key Stage Two the aim is for all children to be writing in a neat cursive style by starting the join on the line.

More details can be found in our handwriting policy here.



Talk is vital to improving children’s literacy skills. In class we always encourage children to speak in full sentences and to take part in discussions or debates. Examples include our annual class hustings for school councillor elections, where every candidate must prepare and deliver a speech; elections for school guides and our recent General Election.

We also place a strong emphasis on drama, with a variety of projects happening across the school at any one time. Examples include our long-running Year 3 Primary Shakespeare project and an annual play-writing & performing collaboration with Soho Theatre as well as opera projects with the ENO.  We also have many in-school performances throughout the year including termly class assemblies, music concerts and an International Evening.

Above all, we encourage our children how to speak and listen to each other in a respectful way.