The ability to write fluently and legibly gives pupils a means to communicate their thoughts and ideas efficiently. Handwriting is a skill which must be learnt in order to provide a style which becomes simple to produce and easy to read. Cursive handwriting is used within school to raise standards in handwriting, develop confidence, accuracy and fluency and improve presentation.
In Early Years Foundation Stage children access a range of learning opportunities to develop essential pre-writing skills. They use large movements to enhance gross motor skills such as air-writing, pattern making and dancing using ribbons. Pupils develop fine motor skills, including: fastening buttons, pulling up a zip, threading, cutting and pinching clay.
Pupils access a range of learning opportunities that support the development of their shoulder, elbow, wrist stability and bi-lateral use of their hands. They also develop control of writing implements, hand-eye coordination and fine motor strength.
Pupils learn to sit in the correct position and hold a pencil correctly to allow fluid movement of the nib.
The pupils are taught that letters are written on a base line and that all cursive letters ‘start on the line’ and ‘end with a hook.’ They learn that letters are part of ‘letter families’ and begin to form recognisable pre-cursive letters, capitals and numerals.
By the end of the foundation stage, most children can use a pencil, holding it correctly to form recognisable letters.
In Key Stage 1, building on the skills developed in the Foundation Stage, pupils develop a legible style of writing. This is achieved by reinforcing a comfortable and efficient pencil grip and by practising handwriting in conjunction with spelling and independent writing. Correct letter orientation, formation and proportions are taught in line with our agreed cursive handwriting style. In Year 1 children start by joining two letters often linked with those learned in phonics. Children increasingly use joined handwriting for all writing, except where other special forms are required.
Formal handwriting practise is undertaken daily in Years 1 and Year 2.
In Year 1 individual letter formation is consolidated and similarly formed letters are joined together. In Year 2, spelling patterns and letter strings are rehearsed to reinforce and improve spelling skills.
In Key Stage 2 pupils’ handwriting speed, fluency, and legibility are built up through practice. Children use joined handwriting for all writing unless other specific forms are required, e.g. printing on a map, note taking.
Children begin to use a handwriting pen for the majority of classwork when the class teacher feels this is appropriate for each pupil.