Handwriting

As soon as a child at Parkfield is able to form letters we teach handwriting using a continuous cursive style. The selected information below has been taken from the school's handwriting policy:

Rationale

Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. If they have difficulty, this will limit fluency and inhibit the quality and quantity of their work. It is important that the child’s handwriting becomes a skill that requires little effort and thought, so that creative and physical energy can be focused on the content of writing, rather than upon the act.

We adhere to The British Dyslexia Association’s recommendation that children learn the continuous cursive style. The key advantages are:

  • By making each letter in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’ of it, making it easier to produce the correct shape

  • Because letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (like b/d or p/q)

  • There is a clearer distinction between capital letters and lower case.

  • The continuous flow of writing ultimately improves speed and spelling.

Aims

  • To raise standards in writing across the school.

  • To have a consistent approach to handwriting across both the EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

  • To adopt a common approach towards handwriting by all adults when writing in children’s books, on the whiteboard, on displays and resources.

  • For pupils to achieve a neat, legible style with correctly formed letters in cursive handwriting.

  • For pupils to develop flow and speed whilst writing, so that eventually they are able to write fluently and with confidence.

  • For pupils to automatically use clearly formed and joined handwriting in all of their writing.

  • For pupils to use their skills with confidence, in real life situations.

Teaching and Learning:

In order to achieve these aims, the following principles are followed:

  • Patterns relating to letter formations are first introduced using a variety of tools and multi-sensory methods. This develops free flowing hand movements and muscle strength.

  • Letters are also introduced in varied, multi- sensory sessions: writing letters in the air, on backs or hands; write – dance, dough-disco, orally describing letter shapes and joins with children using ‘letter speak’; using a variety of writing materials including whiteboards, chalk, paints, felt pens, crayons, plasticine, cornflour mix, shaving foam etc.

  • Correct pencil hold and letter formation are taught from the beginning and handwriting is frequently linked with spelling/phonics.

  • The cursive font, with entry and exit strokes (see appendix 1), is taught as a specific skill as soon as children are ready.

  • As digraphs are introduced, their corresponding joins are taught.

  • Displays around the school and classroom should model clear joined handwriting as well as other fonts.

  • The ‘Spectrum’ cursive font should be displayed in classrooms to ensure familiarity with the style. (appendix 1)

  • Older children, especially those joining the school, will not be expected to adopt the cursive joined style if they already have a fluent, legible handwriting style.

Entitlement and Curriculum Provision

Handwriting is to be taught regularly through short, focused sessions and may be linked with spelling, grammar or phonics objectives. Teaching generally occurs outside English lessons, although shared and guided writing also provides additional opportunities for the modelling and monitoring of handwriting.

In KS1, children will be taught handwriting for a total of approximately 30 minutes per week. In KS2, the time will reduce depending on the needs of the class and individual children. It is expected that by Y6, very few whole class formal handwriting sessions will be required.

The daily phonics session in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, provides opportunities to correct handwriting errors and staff should be aware that it is appropriate to correct pencil grip, letter formation, letter joins etc. at this time.

Handwriting Scheme

The school uses the Spectrum handwriting programme from Reception – Year 6.

Celebrating Success

  • A ‘Handwriter of the week’ will be chosen and rewarded in the weekly achievement assembly.

  • Good examples of children’s handwriting will be shared on the school website and/or on social media.

  • Examples of WAGOLL will be displayed in classrooms and corridors.

Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities

The SENCO will provide resources for those who have difficulty with fine motor skills – pencil

grips, fine motor control programmes and referrals where necessary. Children may need additional support and work in small groups or one-one.

Reception

End of Year Expectations

  • Children will start to print letters using the correct formation.

Autumn Term

Unit 1 Hand-eye co-ordination

  • To make controlled pencil movements.

  • To follow a given sequence of movements.

  • Patterns and lines

Spring Term

  • To recognise upper and lowercase counterparts.

  • To form lowercase letters correctly.


Summer Term

Unit 2

  • To produce a comfortable pencil grip.

  • To produce a controlled line that supports letter formation.

  • To write upper case letters using the correct sequence of movements.

  • To write numbers 0-9 using the correct sequence of movements.

Year 1

End of Year Expectations

  • Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.

Autumn Term

The children will continue to print letters, using the correct formation and when they are secure with this, they will then begin to look at leading into and out of letters to get ready to join.

Unit 3 Joining Letters (Cursive Upright)

  • To recognise upper and lowercase counterparts.

  • To form lowercase letters correctly that will be easy to join.

Joins

i, l, t, u, y, j, r, n, m, h, b, k, c, o, a, g, d, q, p, e, s, f, v, w, x, z, it, ill, in, ip, ick, ing, ig

Unit 2

  • To write upper case letters using the correct sequence of movements.

  • To write numbers 0-9 using the correct sequence of movements.

Joins

ABCDEFGHIJK LMNOPQRST UVWXYZ 0123456789

Spring and Summer Term

Unit 4 Joins and patterns (Cursive Upright)

  • To reinforce the link between handwriting, spelling, and the recognition of phonic patterns and letter strings.

  • To practise the correct letter orientation, formation and proportion.

  • To practice lowercase letter formation and joins in a cursive style.

Joins

ab, ack, ad, ag, all, am, amp, an, and, ank, ar, ash, atch, aw, ay, et, ell, en, est, ick, iff, ig, in, ing, ip, it, ob, ock, og, op, ot, ub, uck, ug, um, un, ut

Year 2

End of Year Expectations

  • Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.

  • Non-statutory guidance for handwriting in year 2 also explains that pupils should be taught to use a cursive style “as soon as they can form letters securely with the correct orientation”.

  • It is expected that by the end of Y2, approximately 75% of children will be joining their letters using cursive handwriting.

Autumn Term

Unit 5 Handwriting linked to spelling (Cursive Slanted)

  • To begin practising the four main handwriting joins

  • Diagonal joins to letters without ascenders, e.g. ai, ar, un

  • Horizontal joins to letters without ascenders, e.g. ou, vi, wi

  • Diagonal joins to letters with ascenders, e.g. ab, ul, ti

  • Horizontal joins to letters with ascenders, e.g. ol, wh, ot

  • Practice in basic sight vocabulary.

  • To recognise print in the environment.

  • To practice letter joins through common spelling patterns and strings.

  • To use prints for labels, notices…etc.

  • To begin using self-assessment.

Joins

sh, ch, wh, th, bl, cl, gl, cr, dr, tr, sm, sn, sp, cl, sl, days of the week, months of the year, colours, number words

Spring Term

Unit 5 Handwriting linked to spelling (Cursive Slanted)

  • To begin practising the four main handwriting joins

  • Diagonal joins to letters without ascenders, e.g. ai, ar, un

  • Horizontal joins to letters without ascenders, e.g. ou, vi, wi

  • Diagonal joins to letters with ascenders, e.g. ab, ul, ti

  • Horizontal joins to letters with ascenders, e.g. ol, wh, ot

  • Practice in basic sight vocabulary.

  • To practice letter joins through common spelling patterns and strings.

  • To begin using self-assessment.

Joins

ake, ike, oke, ade, ide, ode, ate, ite, ute, ai, ay, eigh, ea, ey, a, aigh, ee, ea, e-e, ie, ey, e, i-e, igh, ie, y, ye, ode, ai, ee, igh, o-e, oa, old, , ow, ou, ough, oo, ew, u-e, ue, u, ou, ui, ar, or, er, un, dis, vi, wi.

Summer Term

Unit 6 Practising a cursive style (Cursive Slanted)

  • To continue to practise the four main handwriting joins.

  • Reinforcement and practice of cursive and printed style to ensure consistency in size and proportion of letters and the spacing between letters and words.

  • To build up handwriting speed, fluency and legibility through practice.

Joins

ai, ar, un, er, ir, ur, air, are, aer, eir, ear, ore, oor, tt, mm, dd, bb, ou, vi, wi, un, dis, de, re, pre, ab, ul, it, mis, non, ex, co, anti, ol, wh, ot, ful, ly, less.

Year 3

End of Year Expectations

  • The target for children in Key Stage Two is to produce a fluent, consistently formed style of fully cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

Autumn Term

Unit 6 Practising a cursive style (Cursive Slanted)

  • To continue to practise the four main handwriting joins.

  • Reinforcement and practice of cursive and printed style to ensure consistency in size and proportion of letters and the spacing between letters and words.

  • To build up handwriting speed, fluency and legibility through practice.

Joins

ai, ar, un, er, ir, ur, air, are, aer, eir, ear, ore, oor, tt, mm, dd, bb, ou, vi, wi, un, dis, de, re, pre, ab, ul, it, mis, non, ex, co, anti, ol, wh, ot, ful, ly, less.

Spring and Summer Term

Unit 7 Developing fluency (Cursive Slanted)

  • To use joined handwriting for all writing except where other special forms are required.

  • To ensure consistency in size and proportion of letters and spacing between words.

  • To build up speed

  • To use a range of presentational skills, e.g.

      • Print script for captions, subheadings and labels

      • Uppercase letters for posters, title pages and labels

      • A range of computer generated fonts and print sizes

Joins

ar, ai, ab, un, ou, vi, wi, it, al, ul, ot, wh

Year 4

End of Key Stage Expectations

  • The target for children in Key Stage Two is to produce a fluent, consistently formed style of fully cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

End of Year Expectations

  • From Year 4 onwards, a pen license (given as a class reward) will be awarded to those pupils that are able to produce a fluent and consistently formed style of cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

  • At the start of each year, the new teacher will award a pen license after they’ve seen evidence of a pupil’s handwriting.

  • It is expected that by the end of Y4, approximately 50% of children will be awarded a pen license.

Autumn, Spring and Summer Term

Unit 7 Developing fluency (Cursive Slanted)

  • To use joined handwriting for all writing except where other special forms are required.

  • To ensure consistency in size and proportion of letters and spacing between words.

  • To build up speed

  • To use a range of presentational skills, e.g.

      • Print script for captions, subheadings and labels

      • Uppercase letters for posters, title pages and labels

      • A range of computer generated fonts and print sizes

Year 5

End of Key Stage Expectations

  • The target for children in Key Stage Two is to produce a fluent, consistently formed style of fully cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

  • In years 5 and 6, pupils should be taught to decide whether or not to join specific letters in order to write legibly and fluently. Non-statutory guidance adds that pupils should be taught to use a non-cursive style for use in specific situations such as writing an email address or filling in a form.

End of Year Expectations

  • From Year 4 onwards, a pen license (given as a class reward) will be awarded to those pupils that are able to produce a fluent and consistently formed style of cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

  • It is expected that by the end of Y5, approximately 75% of children will be awarded a pen license.

Autumn, Spring and Summer Term

Unit 8 The craft of handwriting (Cursive Slanted)

  • To produce ‘copy writing’.

  • To develop a personal style.

  • To consolidate and develop a style that is fast, fluent and legible.

  • To use a range of presentational skills when finishing work, e.g. presentation, layout and decoration.

Year 6

End of Key Stage Expectations

  • The target for children in Key Stage Two is to produce a fluent, consistently formed style of fully cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

  • In years 5 and 6, pupils should be taught to decide whether or not to join specific letters in order to write legibly and fluently. Non-statutory guidance adds that pupils should be taught to use a non-cursive style for use in specific situations such as writing an email address or filling in a form.

End of Year Expectations

  • From Year 4 onwards, a pen license (given as a class reward) will be awarded to those pupils that are able to produce a fluent and consistently formed style of cursive handwriting with equal spacing between the letters and words.

  • It is expected that by the end of Y6, the vast majority of children will be awarded a pen license.

Autumn, Spring and Summer Term

Unit 9 Speed, presentation and layout (Cursive Slanted)

  • To produce ‘copy writing’.

  • To develop a personal style.

  • To consolidate and develop a style that is fast, fluent and legible.

  • To use a range of presentational skills when finishing work, e.g. presentation, layout and decoration.