CURSIVE HANDWRITING. Why teach Cursive Handwriting? There are a number of advantages for teaching a cursive handwriting style:

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1 CURSIVE HANDWRITING What is Cursive Handwriting? Cursive simply means joined so cursive writing is a style of handwriting that uses continuous strokes to form words. Are there different types of Cursive Handwriting? There are many different styles of cursive handwriting. We have chosen a style from the KBER scheme. What does the new handwriting style look like? A copy of our cursive lower case and upper case letters has been provided as appendices to this information. Please note that all lower case letters begin at the same point on the line and each letter has a carry-on stroke so that it can be joined. We do not join from capital letters. Why teach Cursive Handwriting? There are a number of advantages for teaching a cursive handwriting style: 1. Cursive Handwriting is Easier to Learn Cursive handwriting only requires three movements: the undercurve, the overcurve and up and down. These movements are more natural for children rather than the straight lines and perfect circles print requires. Cursive is also less confusing. Many children mix up b and d, f and t, q and p in print. In cursive, the letters require different directions which makes it is easier for them to distinguish and form the letters. This in turn helps them to read. Also, there is less room for mistakes with cursive writing, as opposed to print, because you do not have to pick up the pen or pencil after every letter. 2. Improves Spelling and Promotes Other Abilities Cursive handwriting improves spelling as the hand motions required to form the words encourage muscle memory. At the same time the natural flow helps the process become automatic. Fine motor skills develop as the pupil exercises coordination, and visual and spacial awareness. In addition, cursive helps pupils to gain more control over their small hand muscles. 3. Better for Left-Handed People Left-handed people will feel more comfortable and their writing will be more legible in cursive. In print the left handed person will write left to right, in doing so cover what they have written with their arm. In cursive they will write from bottom up and turn the paper clockwise. 4. Helps Pupils with learning difficulties Cursive handwriting is recommended by dyslexia specialists as students with learning disabilities find cursive easier to master. This is because people with dyslexia have trouble remembering the sequence of motions for print and will mix up certain letters. 5. Eliminates Reversals Because each letter begins at the same point on the line there is less opportunity for pupils to reverse their letters 6. Improves Speed If children have difficulties with their handwriting, this will limit fluency and inhibit the quality and quantity of their work. Because cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing uninterrupted movements and patterns, pupils can get their thoughts down on paper more quickly. Handwriting becomes an automatic process which frees pupils to focus on the content of their writing. 7. Helps children to join up earlier In the cursive style of handwriting, every letter has an approach stroke and a carry-on stroke meaning that letters can be joined as soon as the pupil has learned two or three letters. Joining is important as it will enable pupils to write more quickly and efficiently (see above). 8. Helps pupils to produce neater, more legible handwriting Cursive handwriting uses the same starting point for every letter and word. The use of this anchoring point helps pupils whose writing tends to float off over the page. Joining every letter also encourages pupils to leave spaces between their letters and words.

2 Will pupils in the Foundation Stage learn cursive handwriting? Yes. Most schools who use a cursive handwriting style teach it from the very beginning. Traditionally, children have learnt to print letters when they first start writing, then they have to learn a new style of handwriting when the time comes to move on to joined writing. If cursive writing is taught from the start, only one style is needed. The letters will be taught alongside phonics so children will learn a sound and how to write it. Letters written in cursive style can look quite different from printed letters in books. Doesn t this confuse younger children? Research shows that children who can read cursive can also read printed letters but the reverse is not true. Throughout Foundation Stage and beyond, children will be exposed to both cursive and print styles as well as commercial print so that they can develop an awareness for reading in print and writing in cursive side by side in their learning. This includes prompts around the classroom/school and labels on displays and also through teachers modeling of writing. My child has already learnt a different style of handwriting. Won t it be confusing to learn a new style of handwriting? For those pupils who can already join well, the cursive style will help to improve the fluency and speed of their handwriting as all of the letters in a word are joined up. For those pupils who are struggling with handwriting, the cursive style will help to eliminate any confusion caused by having to learn the different start points for each letter and word and it will help them to produce neater, more legible handwriting (See Why teach Cursive handwriting? ). How is Handwriting taught throughout the School? Foundation Stage The emphasis at Foundation Stage is with movement rather than neatness. Pupils play with writing and 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. Children take part in activities to develop gross and fine motor skills and recognition of patterns. 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. Correct letter orientation, formation and proportion are taught in line with the school s agreed handwriting style. This continues in Year 2 and the four basic handwriting joins (diagonal and horizontal joins to letters with and without ascenders) are practised. Children are taught how to form both lower case and capital letters and how to join them, whilst still developing fine and gross motor skills with a range of multi-sensory activities. Lower Key Stage 2 During this stage the children continue to have direct teaching and regular practice of handwriting. In Year 3 the pupils consolidate their use of the four basic handwriting joins, ensuring consistency in size, proportion and spacing of letters. Handwriting speed, fluency and legibility are built up through practice. By Year 4 we aim for all pupils to use joined handwriting at all times unless other specific forms are required, e.g. printing on a map, a fast script for notes. We aim for them to develop a clear and fluent style and by the end of year 4 and be able to adapt their handwriting for the following purposes: A neat legible hand for finished, presented work. A faster script for notes. Print for labelling maps or diagrams.

3 Upper Key Stage 2 Years 5 and 6 are used to consolidate learning for those pupils 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. Experimentation with different styles and writing implements is encouraged with the aim of increasing speed whilst maintaining legibility. When will my child use a pen? Handwriting pens are used from Year 5 when it is assumed that the majority of pupils will have achieved a fluent and legible joined script.

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