Letter formation and handwriting is taught throughout the school, from mark making to continuous cursive. Children are encouraged to use the correct pencil grip and adaptations are provided to ensure to support the development of fine motor skills where needed. Handwriting is taught throughout the week and is encouraged across the curriculum.
At Oak Tree Primary we understand the benefits of correct letter formation and handwriting sessions. Legible writing that can be produced comfortably, at speed and with little conscious effort allows a child to attend to the higher-level aspects of writing composition and content. We believe that handwriting with pen and paper still has an important role from early childhood through our adult lives. Although people are shifting from paper to electronic modes of communication many personal computers now have handwriting recognition capability so that handwriting as means of interacting with computers is becoming more pervasive. Therefore, even in this modern age, handwriting remains an important skill for communication.
Being able to write legibly and at speed is important for children's later life, in both higher education and the wider world. This is important when assessments are based on written work, particularly in time-limited written examinations, which remain a major form of assessment for many formal qualifications. Without fast and legible handwriting, students may miss out on learning opportunities and under-achieve academically. Beyond formal education, most employment situations will involve at least some handwriting and many require the communication of critical information (e.g. medical notes, prescriptions).
Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.
Our intention is to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. We aim to:
- To develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
- To establish and maintain high expectations for the presentation of written work.
- For pupils to understand, by the end of Year 6, the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
As a school, we use the Letter-join handwriting scheme. Letter-join is a whole school handwriting programme offering a combination of traditional and digital resources. These include classroom presentations, handwriting activities, online games and worksheets using a cursive font without a lead-in line.
All teaching staff model the printed or cursive style of handwriting in all their handwriting, whether on whiteboards, displays or in pupils’ books.
Pupils experience coherence and continuity in the learning and teaching of handwriting across all school years and are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work. Our objective is to help pupils enjoy learning and developing their handwriting with a sense of achievement and pride.
Handwriting is a cross-curricular task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. However, formal teaching of handwriting is carried out in stand alone sessions across the week.
For our youngest pupils we teach short handwriting sessions, which include:
- enhancing gross motor skills such as air-writing, pattern-making and physical activities
- exercises to develop fine motor skills such as mark-making on paper, whiteboards, sensory trays, iPads, tablets, etc.
- becoming familiar with letter shapes, their sounds, formation and vocabulary
- correct sitting position and pencil grip for handwriting
Key Stage 1
Teaching progresses to using cursive letters with joins. We do not use a leading line for our letters. In our sessions we include:
- continuing with gross and fine motor skills exercises
- strengthening handwriting, learning and practice
- numerals, capitals and printed letters; where and when to use, learning and practice
- KS1 SATs SPaG exercises
Key Stage 2:
More advanced handwriting techniques will be taught including:
- reinforcing cursive handwriting across the curriculum
- form-filling/labelling using printed and capital letters
- dictation exercises promoting quick note-taking and speedy handwriting writing skills
- KS2 SATs SPaG practice
Access to letterjoin is available for practise at home. Please see your class teacher for details.
The impact of our teaching is to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. As a result of our teaching, children will:
- Have a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
- Have high expectations for the presentation of written work.
- Understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.