Written language is often described as a code, an alphabetic code, in which speech
sounds are represented by letters and combinations of letters. Knowing how the
alphabetic code works is fundamental to both reading (decoding and ‘lifting the words
from the page’) and spelling (encoding ‘putting it down on paper’). Reading and
spelling are often described as two sides of the same coin and for this reason
instruction in both reading and spelling is incorporated into phonics lessons.
When we think about teaching our pupils to write, we need to be aware that there
are several layers to that need focused work. Pupils need to learn:
A. how to form the letter shapes (write individual letters), and at the same time
understand the relationship between these and the speech sounds
B. how to spell and write single words using their phonic knowledge and skills,
C. how to put words together to create and write a meaningful sentence, in which
words are in the right order,
D. how to put sentences together to create and write a meaningful narrative.
Rainbow Writers is divided into 7 packs that match to Sets 1-7 of the Phonics for
Pupils with Special Educational Needs programme. The packs are compatible with
many other phonics programmes that use the same Sets 1-7 teaching sequence of
sounds. Rainbow Writers work on all the layers of writing with pupils, matched to the
phonics they are working on in class.
Across the Rainbow Literacy suite of resources, the terms phoneme and grapheme
are not used, instead the simple terms ‘sound’ and ‘sound spelling’ are used.