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Handwriting

Handwriting is a tool of communication in the written form. All teachers should aim for the best that individual pupils can achieve. Handwriting is often linked to decoration and illustration, leading to a finished product which is pleasing to look at and which can be attractively displayed. Children can achieve a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from the way they present their work.

Principles for Teaching and Learning:

  • Handwriting is a skill that needs to be actively taught
  • Children need to understand the purpose and audience for their handwriting
  • Handwriting sessions take place regularly and consistently, in a timetabled slot
  • Class Teachers follow the progression document for the introduction of letters and their associated joins across each year group

Progression in Handwriting

The Handwriting programme at Crossley Hall is based around four main development phases. They are:

  1. Readiness for writing: Gross and fine motor skills leading to letter formation (Foundation Stage)
  2. Beginning to join (KS1)
  3. Securing the joins (KS1/Lower KS2)
  4. Practising speed and fluency (Lower KS2)
  5. Presentation skills (Upper KS2)

Nursery (Within provision)

Pupils will be given plenty of opportunities to develop hand control- plasticine, cutting out, small construction toys, jigsaws, peg boards, drawing patterns etc. These should be offered on a daily basis. Letter formation may not be explicitly taught here but the cursive script will be modelled by practitioners.

Reception (Daily sessions)

Handwriting should be taught as a whole class, using the set letter patterns below. It should not be taught alongside phonics, as this is arranged in a more phonetically pleasing order. The formation of letters should be taught at a brisk pace, aiming to introduce all lower case letters and numbers by the end of Term 1.

Set OneSet TwoSet ThreeSet FourSet Five
cirs0 1
olnv2 3
atmw4 5
dfhx6 7
gjbz8 9
qup
eyk

Year 1 (Daily sessions, 10 mins)

Pupils will spend the first term practising the formation of lower case letters as part of words, e.g. common words and/or CVC, CCVC, CVCC words. This should continue to be teacher led as far as possible. Pupils should be ready to learn base line joins at the beginning of Term 3 (see below):

Revision
Lower case a - z
Child's full name
Capitals A - M
Capitals N - Z
Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4
llallarip
liinawup
tiunivib
ilanhuub
itimtith
illumkick
utamduch
atineayent
ullimeeyant

Year 2 (2-3 times a week, 10 mins)

Pupils should spend a few weeks practising base line joins before progressing on to top joins, joins to anti-clockwise letters and other joins. Handwriting should be taught as a whole class, but with additional activities for any children experiencing difficulties.

Top Joins

Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4Set 5
oureobvefe
ovriolwefi
owrtotwhfu
oprkoffl
ifft

Joins to anti-clockwise letters

Set 1Set 2Set 3Set 4
acoafaea
adodfoed
agogva
caoowa
daws
ha

Other joins

Set 1
Joins to e
Joining from t
Joining from p
Joining from b
Descenders
Descenders joined to e
qu
ff
ss
sw
us
ix

Years 3 & 4 (Weekly 10 mins)

Pupils will benefit from a regular handwriting lesson, teacher led. Handwriting can now focus on spelling. The expectation should be for pupils to be transferring their joined script to all areas of the curriculum. Pupils should be reminded and praised when they succeed.

Years 5 & 6 (Weekly 10 mins)

Pupils should now be encouraged to use their own fluent and legible style in all their writing. With good teaching from Reception to Y4, most pupils will be able to do so. If a pupil’s writing is still poor it is often simply the size of the letters that is inconsistent or the placing of them on the line. This may be tackled by teacher/pupil discussion or individualised and specific target setting.