We want all of our children to take pride in their presentation and we advocate a continuous cursive style of handwriting throughout school. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. We promote and teach pre-cursive handwriting in the Foundation Stage and Year 1 and cursive, joined-up handwriting in Year 2. As children progress through key stage 2 they will continue to work on the size and orientation of their letter formation. Once a consistent, fluid and correctly orientated script is achieved children will achieve their pen licence and will write in fountain pen.
The key advantages of our chosen school script are:
- By making each letter in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’, making it easier to produce the correct shape;
- The starting and finishing points for all continuous cursive letters are easier to remember (they all start on the line);
- As letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (e.g. b/d, p/q);
- There is a clear distinction between capital letters and lowercase;
- The transition to joined-up writing is simpler and occurs sooner, allowing children to concentrate on the composition of the writing, rather than thinking how to form letters;
- Words written in one set of movements, without the pencil being taken off the paper, helps the motor memory store spellings;
- The continuous flow of writing ultimately improves speed and spelling.
We provide an environment which is conducive to good writing by ensuring that tables and chairs of a suitable size and height are available for the children’s use; that there is adequate space and good lighting; that the atmosphere is calm and purposeful; and materials are accessible, suitable and varied, and of good quality.
Children are introduced to a variety of writing tools and equipment as they progress through the school: pencils, felt pens, handwriting pens, biros, chalk, crayons and paper of different colours, shapes, textures and types. Classrooms are equipped with a variety of materials and writing tools, to encourage and motivate children to write for their own pleasure and enjoyment, and to give them opportunity to practise handwriting skills.
We use ‘funky finger’ activities within nursery and reception as it encourages the development of fine motor and language skills that are essential for hand writing. Funky finger activities are differentiated to address physical needs and work different parts of the shoulder, arm, wrist, palm and fingers. We find that these activities have many benefits including;
- Promotes fine motor skills
- Encourages communication and language skills
- Supports hand writing skills through fine motor strength and control
- Repetitive fine motor skills in a fun way
- Through improving fine motor skills children develop independence in things such as buttoning their own coats or opening their own packets
William Gilbert Handwriting Style