Our Handwriting aim is for children to develop legible, fluent, efficient handwriting.
Handwriting is a complex activity requiring the use of many different processes at once. Some children quickly learn to write, but other children may struggle to make writing an automatic process. Developing automaticity in recording means that they concentrate more on what to write, and focus much less on how to write.
‘It is important to promote the basic skills of writing—skills that need to become increasingly automatic so that pupils can concentrate on writing composition.’ (Education Endowment Foundation Research).
Pencil grips, overlays, coloured line books are used as aids where needed.
The school handwriting style is called Kber and a reference sheet is included.
Preparing for handwriting (5 minutes) This involves getting ready physically and mentally for writing, and addresses seating position, hand grip and gathering attention.
Warm-up activity (5 – 10 minutes) This is a quick, fun non-handwriting activity that involves practicing the types of skills the children will need for handwriting.
Handwriting activity (15 – 20 minutes) This is the main focus of the session and will involve a longer task that will directly practice handwriting skills.
The EEF recommends pupils are taught specific strategies to plan and monitor their writing to improve learning outcomes.
Teachers will demonstrate the way the task should be performed. For example: first show how to form the letter by following a series of numbered arrows on the whiteboard. Show the order and direction of each stroke. Teachers will describe out loud as they are performing the actions. The children then imitate.
Following imitation, this phase is about getting children to start planning independently what they need to do to achieve a specific goal. Initially, this should be an out-loud monologue of how they plan to complete the task – this is known as self-talk. Prompt them with questions such as ‘What is the goal here?’, ‘How will you split the task up?’, ‘What is the first thing you need to do here?’ Having ‘self-talked’ a plan for themselves, children then perform the task following their own steps.
It is then crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Teachers will model the correct form on the board, and children assess their own performance against it. They should ask themselves if their attempt differed from the session leader’s attempt, and if so, how? Then they should reflect on how they need to change their plan for the next attempt.
In Key Stage One and Two handwriting lessons are completed on the left of English books on lines the children are confident and comfortable with to encourage them applying skills taught in their everyday writing.
Children in Nursery take part in ‘Write Dance’ and they also use ‘Peg to Paper’ to develop their fine motor skills.
Children in Reception take part in ‘Write Dance’ and they also use ‘Peg to Paper’ and ‘Funky Fingers’ to develop their fine motor skills.
Handwriting is taught daily through phonics lessons and it is embedded within the continuous provision.
Children in Reception use a pencil and add lead ins to their letters.
Children in Year 1 use a pencil and add both lead ins and outs to their letters and where appropriate start to join.
Children in Year 2 use a pencil and start to join letters where appropriate.
Lower Key Stage Two
Children in LKS2 use a pencil and have joined up handwriting where appropriate. When children achieve legible, fluent, efficient handwriting they receive a pen of power and pen licence.
Upper Key Stage Two
Children in UKS2 use a pencil and have joined up handwriting where appropriate and begin to develop their own style. When children achieve legible, fluent, efficient handwriting they receive a pen of power and pen licence.