Richard Hill

Church of England Primary School

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Rainbow Road Tricky Word Support

End of Year Exceptations




This picture above shows you which tricky words the children should be able to spell correctly by the end of year 1 and year 2. The children are introduced to 2 new year 2 tricky words every week. We do a rapid rehearsal of the previously learnt foundation, year 1 and year 2 tricky words every day in phonics however the time we have to fill any gaps in foundation or year 1 tricky word knowledge is limited which is why we have introduced rainbow road as a homework scheme.

Rainbow Road

Rainbow road is our system which allows the children to practice the tricky words which they need to learn. The hope is that they will practice regularly in order to fill the gaps of any words they are still unsure of from foundation and year 1 so that they can rehearse the year 2 tricky words which we introduce to them in our phonics lessons.


The children have responded really positively to our Rainbow Road tricky word system and it has been lovely to hear so many children asking to be quizzed on their reading and writing so that they can move on to the next stop along Rainbow Road!

To move on to the next stop the children must demonstrate that they are able to independently read and write each word on the card. When they are able to do this then they will receive the next spelling card.

When supporting your child with learning these words at home, please ensure that they understand the meaning of each word on the card. This can be done by taking a minute or two to put each word into a verbal sentence and then asking your child to do the same. This is an essential skill as it enables your child to use these words accurately in their writing.  


Please remember, these words are not phonetically decodable so your child will simply need to sight read the words rather than try to sound them out with their phonics. There are many strategies however that your child can use to learn to read and spell these words. It may be that your child finds one method particularly helpful but it is likely that a combination of strategies helps your child the most. I have demonstrated a variety of strategies below which are suitable for various types of learning.


Happy spelling everyone,
Miss Heafford






Spelling Strategies:


Magnetic letters are a fantastic way to practise spelling. Use them on your fridge or radiator to create a given word or hide them around the house and turn spelling into a hunt game... can you find the letters to make the word 'she'?


Creating silly sentences with a word is another great way to practise spelling. When practising the word 'the' you could write 'the cat is sat down on the mat', but your child is likely to be much more engaged if you come up with a sentence such as 'the cat has green hair and a red hat on'. 


While I am sure the sensory writing ideas will make some of you squirm (I know, the mess!) it is such a helpful way to support kinaesthetic and active learners as they can feel the word beneath their fingers. Less messy ways to do this include using sandpaper, drawing on someone's back or hand with their finger or creating a texture picture, for example writing a word (make it big) and then sticking rice or sand or glitter on top of it so that your child can trace over it with their finger when it is dry. In school we often use our magic pencils (our fingers) to write the word we are practising on the carpet or our bodies which provides the same sensory feedback.