Our Vision for Handwriting
At Eye CE Primary School, we believe that all children, by the end of KS2, should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually speedy joined-up handwriting. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. We believe that handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum therefore we provide children with purposeful and plentiful opportunities to practise their handwriting regularly.
The National Curriculum 2014 places a clear emphasis on handwriting and outlines its importance in the development of children’s compositional skills.
Pupils who do not learn to read and write fluently and confidently are, in every sense, disenfranchised (‘Purpose of Study’ p13).
Pupils should develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. (6.3 Language and literacy - Reading and Writing).
Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting. (Programmes of study and attainment targets - Aims of English p15).
As a school, we believe that handwriting is a skill that, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Handwriting should be an automatic process which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing.
The Reading Framework (July 2021) states that children should be taught the correct start and exit points for each letter, which should not include 'lead-in' strokes from the line. In EYFS and at the start of KS1, we have delayed the teaching of joined handwriting.
The School Script
The school has adopted the cursive script as the style which will be taught and modelled to the children from Year 2 onwards. Cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. This helps children to write clearly, fluently and quickly so that they can cope with the everyday demands of life and school.
Correct Posture and Pencil Grip for Handwriting
Pupils are taught and encouraged to sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly.
Sit with a straight pack not leaning over the table
Sit right at the back of the seat
Pull the chair close to the table
Keep feet flat on the floor
Hold the paper with the hand that is not writing
The Tripod Pencil Grip
Both right and left handed children are encouraged to use the tripod grip which allows the pen/pencil to be held securely whilst allowing controlled movements of the pen/pencil nib.
Progression and Teaching of Handwriting
Stage One: Children will be given multi-sensory opportunities to develop mark making. Emergent handwriting is to be encouraged and valued.
Stage Two: Children should be taught the school script - no joins.
Stage Three: Handwriting should now be joined. The focus should be on fluency and consistency in size, shape, proportion and joining.
Letters should be taught as families as below:
Long ladder letters (go to the top of the ladder and straight back down)
i, l, t, u, j, y
Curly caterpillar letters (curl around the top then come back around)
a, c, f, e, s, g,
One armed robot letters (up to the head, down to the toes and back up to the arm)
b, h, k, m, n, p, r
Zig zag letters (backwards and forwards or up and down)
v, w, x, z