Handwriting at Sandfield Close Primary School
We aim for our children to leave in Year 6 with the ability to write using their own style of fast, fluent, legible and sustainable handwriting, as well as other styles of writing for specific purposes. In addition to teaching handwriting during our regular handwriting lessons, we have high expectations that what is taught and practiced in handwriting lessons will be used in all writing activities.
We believe that handwriting is integral to a child’s personal development and know that children’s engagement and self-esteem can be improved by their satisfaction and pride in good quality presentation.
Handwriting is a taught skill that develops at different rates for different children. All of the teachers in the school put a priority on teaching handwriting and have high expectations for handwriting across the curriculum. Our school uses Penpals for Handwriting to ensure that:
- The importance of handwriting is recognised and given appropriate time.
- The progression of handwriting is consistent across the school.
- Handwriting is acknowledged to be a whole body activity and emphasis is placed on correct posture and pencil grip for handwriting.
- Expectations of left-handed children are equal to those of right-handed children, and appropriate advice and resources are available to ensure that they learn to write with a comfortable, straight wrist.
- Handwriting is linked into grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to practice and contextualise all of the transcriptional and stylistic skills for writing.
- Children learn to develop an understanding and responsibility for improving their handwriting.
- Children learn to write in different styles for different purposes such as print for labelling a diagram, illustrated capitals letters for creating a poster, swift jottings for writing notes, making a ‘best copy’ for presentation and fast, fluent and legible writing across the curriculum.
Progression of skills
Penpals enables us to teach and secure the development of handwriting throughout the school:
- First, children experience the foundation of handwriting through multi-sensory activities (EYFS F1 and F2).
- Correct letter formation is taught, practised, applied and consolidated (EYFS F1/Y1).
- Joining is introduced only after correct letter formation is used automatically (Y1/Y2/Y3).
- Joins are introduced systematically and cumulatively (Y2–Y6).
- As children practice joining, they pay attention to the size, proportion and spacing of their letters and words (Y3–Y6).
- Once the joins are secure, a slope is introduced in order to support increased speed and fluency (Y5).
- Children are introduced to different ways of joining in order that they can develop their own preferred personal style (Y6).
In using Penpals, we ensure that our children follow the requirements and recommendations of the National Curriculum. We share the aspirations that children’s handwriting should be ‘sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum’ and that ‘problems with forming letters do not get in the way of their writing down what they want to say’.
Celebrating success & sharing weekly teacher assessments with parents
All staff will share a ‘star handwriter of the week’ on display for parents to see. These are then transferred into a display book to celebrate handwriting achievements.
All staff will also share a ‘star writer of the week’ on display for parents to see. These are then transferred into a display book to celebrate handwriting achievements.
Mrs.Dhillon and Mrs. Chowdhury will award children a pen license if children are joining very well, consistently, in all books in line with our handwriting policy.