Joydens Wood Junior School. Handwriting Policy

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1 Joydens Wood Junior School Handwriting Policy Last review: Autumn 2014 Next review: Autumn 2015

2 Handwriting is a tool that has to work. It must be comfortable, fast and legible. Angela Webb, Chair, National Handwriting Association Handwriting is a movement skill that must be taught through demonstration, explanation and practise. Children must develop a fluent style that not only enables them to present their work to their best standard, but provides them with a skill to write their ideas quickly, whilst maintaining stamina. Aims As a school our aims in teaching handwriting are that the pupils will: Experience coherence and continuity in learning and teaching of a joined cursive style across the school. Understand the importance of clear and neat presentation in order to communicate meaning clearly. Take pride in the presentation of their work and therefore learn handwriting with a sense of enjoyment and achievement. Be able to write quickly and develop stamina to aid expressing themselves creatively and imaginatively across the curriculum and for a range of purposes. Use and maintain their skills with confidence across all subjects and in a wider context outside of school. Develop a fluent, joined handwriting style that enables them to build writing stamina ready for secondary school. Knowledge, Skills and Understanding Years 3 and 4: Write legibly, using upper and lower- case letters appropriately and correct spacing within and between words. Use the four basic handwriting joins to begin to maintain a consistently cursive style in all writing. Begin to use a pen when writing narrative pieces and longer non- fiction pieces across the curriculum. Word process short narrative and non- narrative texts. Years 5 and 6: Develop a functional cursive style of handwriting in order to write with greater quantity and at greater speed to keep up with what they want to say. Be able to write automatically so that their attention can be given to the content of their writing. Understand that different tasks require different levels of speed and legibility, e.g. for personal notes speed is usually important and legibility less so; work for display requires a high level of legibility and neatness but speed is less important. Know when to use an un- joined style, for example, for labelling a diagram or data, writing an address, or for algebra and capital letters, e.g. for filling in a form.

3 Teaching handwriting will follow the National Curriculum (DFE 2013) Teaching and Learning We teach handwriting as a specific skill with independent follow- up tasks to practise the particular join taught. Handwriting is taught weekly within the Literacy lesson in Years 3 and 4 and as necessary in Years 5 and 6 based on assessments of the children made by the class teacher. Further intervention with a Teaching Assistant in a one- to- one or group context is provided for those children who are struggling to develop and maintain a joined style. During the lesson children record their examples taught and practise the joins in their handwriting books. Whiteboards and pens may be used for some activities, as mistakes can be wiped away leaving no record of poor performance. Inclusion The vast majority of pupils are able to write legibly and fluently. However, some pupils need more support and provision will be made for this. Teachers of children whose handwriting is limited by problems with fine motor skills should liaise with the SENco to develop a programme designed for the individual child. This may involve extra handwriting sessions and access to extra resources, such as pencil grips. Other areas that could be considered are posture, lighting, angle of table etc. Outside agencies can be contacted where appropriate. 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; The learning environment In all classes, children are equipped with pencils and rubbers on their table, as well as having access to line guides in class equipment drawers. A model of the agreed handwriting style should be displayed in all Year 3 and 4 classrooms and all laptops and school computers have a cursive font installed to be used on worksheets, learning objectives, homework and Flipchart slides.

4 The contribution of handwriting to other aspects of the curriculum Teachers discuss handwriting and presentation in all subjects and aim to model good handwriting themselves. Teachers are explicit about different types of handwriting for example, personal note- taking or best handwriting for presentation. Teachers give handwriting a high priority in classroom displays. Materials used and presentation of work In Year 3, all children write across the curriculum using a sharp pencil to record and a rubber to correct mistakes. In Year 4 children work to develop a neater, more consistent joined style to gain their pen license. A pen license is awarded when the teacher has assessed a child s handwriting and has evidence of a consistent joined style across different pieces of work. Upon receipt of a pen license, children are provided with a school handwriting pen to use across all written work, except from Maths and for diagrams/drawings. This continues through to Year 6, where teachers discretion may be used to allow children to use pencil for note- taking and drafted writing in English to increase speed. Once a child has gained their pen license, they may use any pen with dark blue ink, with the exception of a ballpoint, Biro- style pen. Teachers understand that the quality of the handwriting may decrease temporarily while the child becomes familiar with writing in pen. Children should use rubbers to correct mistakes in pencil or draw a neat horizontal line through the error when using pen. Assessment and recording Teachers assess handwriting when assessing writing, using the National Curriculum criteria and APP levelling descriptors (See Appendix A) and determine future targets for improvement. Teachers aim to ensure that when marking written work, comments about neatness are kept in proportion in relation to those about content and/or meaning. The Role of Parents/Carers Parents/Carers are made aware of our agreed handwriting style and encouraged to practise this with their child at home, particularly if their child is struggling to develop a legible style. The handwriting policy is available for parents to view/download on the school website, alongside a guide on how to form all letters. Parents are also reminded of our agreed handwriting style at parents evenings and English Coffee Mornings.

5 APPENDIX A Handwriting Level Descriptors taken from APP in writing Level 1 Most letters correctly formed and orientated Spaces between words Upper and lower case sometimes distinguished Level 2 Letters generally correctly shaped but inconsistencies in orientation, size and use of upper/lower case letters Clear letter formation, with ascenders and descenders distinguished Generally upper and lower case letters not mixed within words Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Legible style, shows accurate and consistent letter formation, sometimes joined Handwriting style is fluent, joined and legible. Handwriting is joined, clear and fluent and, where appropriate, is adapted to a range of tasks

6 APPENDIX B Guide on all joined letters and stroke- related groups

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