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Handwriting is a physical skill that needs to be practiced at school and at home.


In the Foundation Stage, children will be taught to correctly form their letters using a pre-cursive style (Appendix 1). When they can form all the letters correctly, they will move on to the cursive style (Appendix 2). This can be at any time during the Foundation Stage and is led by each child's development.


The Cursive style will continue into Year 1 and throughout each year group thereafter.


Appendix 3 shows where to start and end each letter (green for start, red for stop) using the cursive formation. Children soon pick up that most letters will start and end on the line and that only four join the next letter from the top ( v, w, o, r).


Five minutes practice a day will quickly develop a child's handwriting. The Dyslexia Association advises the sooner the child develops a cursive, joined style, the easier it is to acquire literacy skills in reading, writing and spelling.


Below are three elements of handwriting we focus on at Old Bexley:


  • The correct posture

Children need to have both feet on the floor, making sure that their body faces the table.  The chair should be a comfortable distance from the table, forearms and elbows able to rest on the table.  The non-writing arm should support the work.


  • The correct pencil/pen hold

Pupils should develop a grasp that holds the pen/pencil with more than one finger on the barrel, to holding it between the pads of the thumb and index finger. The pen/pencil should be held at least 2cm from the point. A good guide is that the pencil be held on the coloured part of the shaft and not on the wood at the tip. This will encourage better handwriting and improve motor control.


  • The best angle to place the paper, especially for left-hand writers

Right-handed writers - angle the paper slightly so that the bottom-left corner is lower than the bottom-right corner of the work.  The non-writing hand should support the work.


Left-handed writers - you need to see what you are writing so angle the paper so that the bottom-right corner is lower than the bottom-left corner.  The non-writing hand should be placed above the writing hand.  This will make sure nothing gets in the way of the writing hand, as well as stopping a hook-grip from developing.

Appendix 3

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