Handwriting is a life skill which, like reading and spelling, aids children throughout their learning. Our aim is that children at Great Coates Primary School are able to write with ease, speed and legibility. Cursive or joined handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. Handwriting is taught regularly and systematically at our school and children are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work.
The teaching of handwriting in the school is based on the guidance provided in the National Curriculum 2014 and the Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage 2014.
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children learn to write the letters of the alphabet as they learn the sounds of the letters in phonics. They are taught to form their letters correctly, as lower case letters first and then upper case letters.
In Year 2, children are introduced to joined writing if they are forming letters correctly. The skills of joined writing are practised in Key Stage 2, with writing becoming more uniform and neat. Children who find neat handwriting difficult are given additional support.
In Upper Key Stage 2, children develop a personal, neat, legible and fluent style and write with increasing speed. This may differ slightly from the schools agreed handwriting style, if the writing is neat and legible. They should be able to adapt their handwriting for different purposes, such as: a neat, legible hand for work in their books and presented work, a faster script for note making and the ability to print for posters.
Provision for left-handed children
At least 10% of the population are left-handed, the majority of whom are boys. All teachers are aware of the specific needs of left-handed pupils and make appropriate provision:
- paper should be positioned to the left for right handed pupils and to the right for left handed pupils and slanted to suit the individual in either case;
- pencils should not be held too close to the point as this can interrupt pupils’ line of vision;
- pupils should be positioned so that they can place their paper to their left side;
- left-handed pupils should sit to the left of a right-handed child so that they are not competing for space;
- extra practice with left-to-right exercises may be necessary before pupils write left-to-right automatically.