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“Handwriting is a tool that has to work. It must be comfortable, fast and legible.”

Angela Webb, Chair, National Handwriting Association


Jerry Clay Academy adopts a cursive handwriting style from Year 1. Reception children learn to write letters using print whilst they are learning basic formation.

There are many positives to teaching cursive handwriting:

  • Prevents reversals and confusion of letters.
  • Enhances spelling ability.
  • Improves reading skills.



Jerry Clay Academy adopts the belief that having coherent, legible handwriting is a basic skill that all children should be equipped with.


How is writing taught through school?

Early Years Foundation Stage

  • Develop gross motor control
  • Develop fine motor control
  • Use a range of mark making tools such as pencils, pens and crayons, with confidence and enjoyment
  • Develop a language to talk about shapes and movements
  • Most letters are correctly formed and orientation
  • Use basic print formation.
  • Children will start in September with ‘Write dance’ to develop gross to fine motor control
  • When children are ready they will then begin handwriting sessions in addition to their RWI session


Key stage 1 — Year 1 & 2

  • Develop gross & fine motor control
  • Develop fine motor control
  • Use a range of mark making tools such as pencils, pens and crayons, with confidence and enjoyment.
  • Start pre- cursive handwriting.
  • Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.
  • Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.
  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • form capital letters
  • form digits 0-9
  • Upper and lower case letters are accurately produced in one style and used consistently
  • Daily taught handwriting sessions
  • Children can be given a pen at any time when deemed they are ready and that it will aide their writing fluency


Lower Key stage 2—Year 3 and 4:

  • Opportunities for developing fine motor skills.
  • use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left un-joined
  • increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting, e.g. by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant; that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch.


Upper key stage 2- Year 5 and year 6:

Recap on letter joins.
Build on knowledge by writing complete words and linking letter joins.

Teaching and Learning:
We teach handwriting as a specific skill rather than as an independent task.

More information can be found using the link at the bottom of this page.



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 well be necessary before pupils write left-to-right automatically.


How will teachers support my child’s handwriting?

Role of Teacher:

Teachers discuss handwriting and presentation in all subjects and aim to model good handwriting themselves.

Teachers give handwriting a high priority in classroom displays. The use of rubbers is discouraged.

Mistakes are indicated by marking through with one neat horizontal line.

Children are encouraged to have neat presentation in all books. Teachers make the presentation of books a high priority and encourage children to take pride in their work.

Handwriting and presentation is shared and celebrated through weekly handwriting awards. Pen licenses are awarded when a child is deemed ready.


 How can I support my child’s handwriting at home?

  • Be a good role model to children by using only capital letters for the beginning of names.
  • Develop children’s fine motor control- Painting pictures, using play dough.
  • Encourage children to draw patterns across a page.
  • Practise writing with children at home-line guides can be given from school.
  • Praise well presented work.
  • Encourage good presentation when completing home learning tasks.