At St John's CofE Primary we are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in our handwriting style. We use Letter-join’s on-line handwriting resource and Lesson Planners as the basis of our handwriting policy as it covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum. We put a real emphasis on developing children’s handwriting from EYFS. Children are taught to print in EYFS and then to develop cursive skills alongside the Read Write Inc programme as they progress through KS1.
We use the Letter-join scheme as the basis of our whole school approach to handwriting.
For our youngest pupils we teach short handwriting lessons on a daily basis, which will include the following:
• 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
Module 1 for EYFS teaches pre-cursive patterns and cursive, lower case letters. It starts with Getting Ready for Handwriting including fine and gross motor skills warm-up exercises, correct sitting position and tripod pencil grip. The first module is divided into three sections covering:
• pre-cursive patterns
• easy letters and words
• harder letters and words At the end of this module, children should be able to recognise and form all the cursive, lowercase letters of the alphabet and write words using the correct joining techniques.
Module 2 for Year 1 contains lessons for teaching how to write capital letters, printed letters, numbers and symbols, whilst reinforcing cursive handwriting using Letter-join’s on-line and printed resources. It is divided into three sections covering:
• capital letters
• printed letters
• numbers and symbols On finishing this module, children should be confident in writing all the capital and printed letters, numbers and symbols and start to become familiar with their use.
Module 3 for Year 2 includes lessons to improve letter formation and orientation of letters through regular practice and to support spelling, grammar and punctuation in readiness for KS1 SATs. The sections in this module cover: • letter families • high frequency words • joining techniques • sequencing sentences • dictation exercises • times table facts • SPaG practice for KS1 SATs With the regular handwriting practice throughout this module, children should now be developing the fluency and speed of their writing.
Once children can write in a neat cursive style and are applying this across the curriculum and not just in handwriting lessons they are provided with a pen licence and given a pen to use in class.
You can support your child further at home by logging on to the letter-join website - https://www.letterjoin.co.uk and encouraging them to complete the activities set. Show your child the cursive scripts and prompt them to use it in their writing at home, especially in their homework. Although it seems tricky the children really benefit from learning this early on. We also encourage children to follow these rules when writing.
Left-handed children may find it difficult to follow the movements of right-handed teachers as they model letter formation (and vice versa).
- Left-handed pupils should sit to the left of a right-handed child so that they are not competing for space.
- Pupils should position the paper/book to their left side and slanted, as shown.
- Pencils should not be held too close to the point as this can interrupt pupils’ line of vision.
- Extra practice with left-to-right exercises may be necessary before pupils write
The Tripod Grip
Both right and left handed children should be encouraged to use the tripod grip which allows the pen/pencil to be held securely whilst allowing controlled movements of the pen/pencil nib. We use the Tripod Grip Rhyme. Teach your child the Tripod Grip Rhyme or better still listen to it on the letter-join website.
If your child is finding handwriting tricky please come and speak to us. You can support them further at home by developing their fine motor control skills – tricky colouring in is a good way to do this and see the links below.