In the Early Years there is an emphasis upon gross motor skills and then fine motor skills. We implement a range of early activities that strengthen hand control and fine manipulative skills. We use a range of resources to practice these basic skills. This moves into correct letter and number formation with a focus on both upper- and lower-case letters.
From Nursery we use Ruth Miskin's guide (see below) to teach handwriting.
Our aim is that children will be supported to confidently develop a handwriting style which is clear, joined and fluid. We ensure a consistent and progressive approach to the teaching and practice of handwriting.
At the end of Key Stage 1 pupils should have the ability to produce cursive, legible and eventually speedy handwriting. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not with the creative and mental thinking of the children.
Although there are many opportunities to practice handwriting across the curriculum, we will also provide discrete teaching and revising these skills. The frequency and length of these lessons will vary according to the age and competence of the children.
Three stages are identified, and these form the basic organisation of the handwriting programme:
- Readiness for writing: gross and fine motor skills leading to letter formation (Early Years Foundation Stage)
- Beginning to join (Lower KS1)
- Securing joins (Upper KS1/Lower KS2)
Opportunities for linking handwriting with early phonics and spellings are used.
It is important that children hold their pencil correctly and ensure their posture is correct.
- Pencil held between finger and thumb
- Middle finger provides extra support
- Feet flat on the floor
- Head up, not resting on the desk or hand
- Paper at the correct angle
- Spare hand steadies the paper
How can your help your child?
- Have a selection of handwriting materials readily available at home. Soft pencils fibre-tip pens and some sheets of paper. A variety of items will encourage children to explore
- Always sit at a table when writing and encourage good posture
- Encourage your child to write on a line, even if they have to draw it themselves
- Let handwriting play a part in your family’s daily life, for example:
- making lists and labels
- keeping a diary
- leaving notes for each other in busy households
- keeping in touch with distant friends and relatives
- designing and making home-made notepads and greetings cards
- Praise your child for their efforts