Children take part in daily grammar and punctuation sessions in the form of Active English lessons with the addition of Rainbow Grammar resources as a visual support tool. Objectives have been taken from the National Curriculum English Programme of Study and broken down further to year group expectations within the Windmill’s Teaching Guide for Progression in Writing (grammar expectations) (modified from Pie Corbett’s and the South2’s Writing Project). Weekly objectives are on Medium Term Plans and link to the writing focus to give purpose to the children’s learning and opportunity for application in writing.
Active English sessions run daily from Year 1 to Year 6. This incorporates rapid recall of terminology for grammar and punctuation, assessment-style questions and the chance to apply understanding when editing a short piece of text. The symbols used in Active English are displayed in classrooms for children to refer to when composing.
Teachers consistently refer to grammatical features throughout the curriculum and practise these skills regularly. However, it is important that the knowledge of grammar doesn’t become narrowly focused on learning the grammatical terms; instead, teachers ensure that the application of the grammatical rules and the manipulation of these rules to create effect are also investigated, taught and applied in the pupils’ writing. Grammar teaching is taught in an investigative approach, ensuring that grammar is related to any English work being undertaken.
Rainbow Grammar is used as an additional visual tool to support the teaching of composition in writing. Children are able to construct various sentence types due to using Rainbow Grammar as the ‘building blocks’ of their text. Different colours are assigned to each aspect of language:
- Green = subject
- Orange = predicate
- Red = stop
- Dark blue = adverbial (subordinate) clause
- Light blue = non-finite clause
- Pink = linking (conjunctive) adverb
- Yellow = speech
- Purple = relative clause
Composition modelling by practitioners uses the Rainbow Grammar format. There is a designated Rainbow Grammar area in each classroom from Year 1 to 6 that demonstrates current Rainbow Grammar learning.