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Primary Academy

Writing Progression of Skills

As an academy we follow Rainbow Grammar.

#What is Rainbow Grammar?

At the heart of Rainbow Grammar is a very simple idea – that colour can be used to expose the underlying structure of sentences, so that children can understand how they work, imitate their patterns and then apply those patterns to new contexts.


Building Better Sentences

Rainbow Grammar identifies eight larger sentence structures – clauses and phrases – and assigns each a colour. Three of these form the core of nearly all sentence structures in English. This basic structure, learned in Reception and Year 1, uses a simple traffic light model, where green represents the subject of a sentence (who or what the sentence is about), orange represents the predicate (the action in the sentence) and red represents punctuation that stops a sentence. (Children learn the technical names in key Stage 2.)

The monster roared all night.

His pillow was soaked with tears.

Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2, children learn how to build upon this simple structure by both using the full range of eight Rainbow Grammar colours, which represent an increasingly sophisticated range of sentence elements, and by using the different patterns in which they can be joined together. For example:

Year 1  All night, the monster roared.

Year 2 The monster roared all night because he wanted his teddy.

Year 3 The monster lost his teddy, crawled under the bed and roared all night.

Year 4 Hugging his favourite blanket, the monster roared all night.

Year 5  The monster roared into his pillow, which was soaked in tears.

Until eventually, in Year 6, children are able to build more elaborate patterns using multiple elements to express complex ideas.

Because he wanted his teddythe monster who lived under Jimmy’s bed roared miserably all nighthuddled in his favourite blanket.