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Handwriting policy

Aim of the Policy

It is our aim that all pupils should develop a fluent and legible style of handwriting.

Strategy for implementation

Burlington CE Primary School has adopted the CCW Join – it  style  which includes a font for word processing texts. Handwriting is a movement skill and one which is best taught directly by demonstration, explanation and practice. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing. The correct formation of all letters needs to become automatic and may require a lot of practice. In order for this to occur, handwriting is taught in ways that enhance fluency and legibility.
Handwriting is taught regularly throughout the week. Explicit teaching and practise of handwriting skills generally occur outside the literacy hour. Shared and guided writing during the literacy hour provides many other opportunities for the modelling and monitoring of handwriting.

Teaching and Learning

The role of the teacher:
• to follow the school policy to help each child develop legible and fluent handwriting;
• to provide direct teaching and accurate modelling;
• to provide resources and an environment which promotes good handwriting;
• to observe pupils, monitor progress and determine targets for development.
• to model appropriate handwriting to the children when using white boards, flip charts or  marking books.

Foundation Stage

The emphasis at this stage is with movement. Letter formation (starting at the right entry point and then moving in the right direction) learned at this early stage becomes automatic and has a profound influence on later fluency and legibility. To aid movement, close attention is given to pencil grip, correct posture, the positioning of the paper and the organisation of the writing space. At this stage the correct formation of letters is stressed. To encourage correct letter formation a ‘patter’ is used to aid memory eg. ‘a’- all the way round, down and flick.
Pupils are given the opportunity to experiment with a range of writing materials and implements; a multi-sensory approach is used to help pupils feel the movement in the hand. Gross motor skills are developed through sky writing letters, making patterns in the air and making different body shapes and actions. Fine motor skills are developed through bead threading, playdough modelling, finger painting etc. Pencil control is developed through tracing, pattern copying etc.

Key Stage 1

Building on the foundation stage, pupils at Key Stage 1 develop a legible style. This is achieved in Year 1 by developing a comfortable and efficient pencil grip and by practising handwriting in conjunction with spelling and independent writing. Children move on to thin pencils when appropriate.
Basic joins are introduced as soon as children are secure in the movements of each letter. In Year 1 these joins are introduced with the phonic teaching eg. ch this is taught as two letters one sound (a digraph) so it makes sense to write it as one unit. This continues in Year 2 and the four basic handwriting joins (diagonal and horizontal joins to letters with and without ascenders) are practised and letters that do not join are identified.

Years 3 and 4

In Year 3 the children consolidate their use of the four basic handwriting joins, ensuring consistency in size, proportion and spacing of letters. By the end of Year 3 joined handwriting should be used at all times unless other specific forms are required, e.g. printing on a map, a fast script for notes. In Year 4 handwriting speed, fluency and legibility are built up through practice. It is anticipated that all children will be writing in pen by the end of Year 4.

Years 5 and 6

Years 5 and 6 are used to consolidate learning for those children who have not yet achieved a fluent and legible joined script. Those who have will develop an individual style based on the principles of good handwriting taught in previous years.


Children who have difficulty developing fluent and legible handwriting receive extra support to develop their skills appropriate to their needs and through specific agreed targets within their individual education plan. The school uses a range of intervention strategies including Smart Moves and Teodorescu.

Handwriting Policy