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We aim for our pupils to develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters that leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.

By the end of Year 6 pupils will understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.

In Reception, handwriting lessons are taught 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, art and craft activities, sensory activities
  • becoming familiar with letter shapes, their sounds, formation and vocabulary both in and out of Little Wandle lessons
  • correct sitting position and pencil grip for handwriting

In the early years, our teaching of handwriting reflects the letter formation that children encounter in phonics lessons and in their reading. This letter formation is print. At first, children are not taught to join letters or to start every letter ‘on the line’ with a ‘lead-in’ because these practices cause unnecessary difficulty for beginners. Children are introduced to letter formation alongside the teaching of graphemes in Phase 2 of our phonics programme, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.

As children move into KS1, children learn pre-cursive. Pre-cursive handwriting is the transition between printing (unjoined) letters and joining all letters in cursive handwriting. In pre-cursive handwriting, children practise adding lead-ins and lead-outs to letters, which then ensures the letters start and finish in the correct place for writing to be joined. Once children are forming all letters correctly, children then learn how to join letters correctly.

Children regularly practise their handwriting to improve letter formation, orientation of letters, consistency, speed and fluency.

Our Pathways to Spell programme integrates activities for handwriting into spelling lessons.

All teaching staff model our school handwriting style whenever writing for the children. It is expected that the handwriting style will be adapted to match the development phase of the children.

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