Joined, neat legible handwriting is an essential skill which must be taught to all pupils. A consistently high standard of writing is expected across school in order to foster a sense of pride and respect in work. Handwriting must be embedded across the curriculum, it must become an automatic process allowing pupils to record their thinking fluently and legibly.
Mead Vale has adopted the Penpals Handwriting scheme from EYFS to Year Six, promoting the need for the development of motor skills in the early years as well as adopting the correct posture for writing and correct pencil grip. Handwriting is taught discretely, but embedded within the curriculum. Opportunities will be made to link phonics and spelling to handwriting. Additional intervention is planned for those whose letter formation, joining or speed require improvement.
In Early Years, pupils will be provided with a range of opportunities to make marks using a range of media and a range of activities will be provided to develop fine and gross motor control skills. Correct sitting and pencil grip is taught and pupils are encouraged to write in a straight line from left to right, leaving finger spaces between words. Some pupils are taught how to write ‘on the line’ and begin to join letters.
In KS1, pupils are taught how to join letters, maintain regular size and shape of letters and numbers. They develop the fluency of their joined handwriting at word and sentence level and are all taught to write ‘on the line’.
In Years 3 and 4, pupils work on securing joins, improving fluency and continuing spelling links. They are taught to 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. Pupils increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting (e.g. by ensuring that the down strokes of letters are parallel and equidistant).
In Years 5 and 6, pupils write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices, deciding whether or not to join specific letters, choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task.