Red Hill Primary School Handwriting Policy

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1 Red Hill Primary School Handwriting Policy Rationale At Red Hill Primary School, all children are introduced to Cursive Handwriting from the start. We believe this raises standards in the Early Years which will impact throughout the whole school, developing confidence, accuracy and fluency and improved presentation. The rules of the Cursive Style help: to minimise confusion for the child as every letter starts on the line with an entry stroke and leads out with an exit stroke with the flow of Cursive Writing, as letters naturally flow into each other, it is impossible to write separate letters without joining form spacing between words as the child develops whole word awareness support spelling, developing a child's visual memory and physical memory of whether a word looks or feels right when they write it all children's writing skills regardless of academic ability. We expect our staff to model neat handwriting in books and when writing on the board. However, it may be appropriate, particularly further up the school to model a more rushed style for when they are drafting documents. Aims To provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in handwriting. To produce clear, concise, legible handwriting. To present work to a variety of audiences neatly. To develop accuracy and fluency. To help children recognise that handwriting is a form of communication and as such should be considered important in order for it to be effective. To promote confidence and self-esteem. To encourage children to take pride in their work. To build in cross curricular links to broaden experience. To help children recognise that handwriting as a life-long skill and will be a fundamental element of all forms of written communication throughout their lives. To display neatly presented work around the school as a model of excellence for others to aspire to. Handwriting is taught each week and then practised further as necessary. All handwriting activities are undertaken as class activities for the following reasons: to develop effective and efficient pen hold to develop the habit of concentration which is crucial to good handwriting to place a strong emphasis on the insistence of perfection to provide the class teacher with the opportunity to help assess individuals' progress and monitor areas requiring reinforcement Lessons usually begin with a warm-up activity (e.g. exercising hand/fingers to music, airwriting ), including writing patterns or phonemes, etc which is led by the teacher modelling writing on the board. Children copy into their handwriting/general books, applying the same techniques, closely monitored by the teacher. In some lessons, it is also appropriate to

2 practice speed-writing (usually written at the back of their book), which also helps them to think quickly and remember spellings. Handwriting books have coloured lines to assist with accuracy and consistency in size and form, these are used in years 1 and 2 to support letter formation. Handwriting practice is generally carried out in general books from year 3. However, a child who still needs further practice on forming letters correctly may be given a handwriting book if needed. Where pages are blank or when children write on to A4 paper, they are expected to use a line guide and paperclips to hold the guide in place. Children are taught to sit in a manner that will support neat handwriting: Holding the pen/pencil in the standard tripod grip. Sitting securely on their chair. Both feet on the floor. Holding book or paper still in their non-writing hand. Book or paper tilted slightly in an anti-clockwise direction, at an angle (up to about 30 degrees) Development of learning and teaching handwriting Reception On entry, Reception children are involved in a variety of activities to develop essential prewriting skills in line with the Early Learning Goals of the Foundation Stage. Activities to develop gross motor control, for example rolling hoops and running with a hoop, ribbon movement, chalking, painting on a large scale, Interactive White Board. Activities to develop fine motor control: e.g. tracing, colouring within guide lines and pictures, pattern work, using glue spreaders in small pots, painting with the tips of the fingers, cotton buds, plasticine, threading. All these develop spatial awareness "P.E. on paper." Children are introduced to actual letter formation in conjunction with the introduction of phonic skills. Sounds are closely linked in handwriting patterns and the children's visual awareness of words is harnessed e.g. cat, hat. Practice of particular High Frequency Words helps to develop good visual and writing habits e.g. the, and. Usually by the end of the Reception Year all children will have been introduced to all letters of the alphabet through patterns as shown above and introduced to more independent writing. Children practise their names in cursive script by tracing over in the first instance and then underneath and then using motor memory. Year 1-2 As the children move to Year 1, the skills acquired in the Foundation Stage are continued, consolidating correct formation, concentration and accurate precision work. All children write in pencil. Again spellings are closely linked with handwriting activities assisting the children with phonic skills required for successful reading.

3 Year 3-4 The cursive style continues to develop through close links with the National Curriculum for literacy. Phonic, spelling and awareness of grammar are all taught through handwriting practice and as fluency and accuracy develops. Pupils are introduced to writing in year 3 with blue ink pen when they develop a confident, joined and fluent style with pencil. The stages are as follows: Stage 1 Developing a confident, joined and fluent style with pencil Stage 2 All children will move to stage 2 by the beginning of year 4 if they have not already done so (unless there is a specific co-ordination difficulty that would mean they were better off writing in pencil). Has a confident, joined and fluent style with pencil. Introduced to writing in ink in handwriting practice. Stage 3 Has a confident, joined and fluent style with pencil. Joined and fluent style is developing with ink. Introduced to writing in ink in literacy books. Stage 4 Has confident, joined and fluent style with pencil and pen. Using ink for all literacy and topic work. Pencil will continue to be used for maths work and for drawing lines for labelling and tables. Years 5-6 It is expected that all children will have moved on to stage 4 by the beginning of year 5. The children will also be taught presentation skills including drawing tables and diagrams neatly and clearly. For those children who have mastered a joined, fluent and neat cursive style, there will be a change to introduce different fonts and handwriting styles including calligraphy and italics. The use of ICT All teachers use the Interactive Whiteboard in direct teaching: use of the lined writing templates are an essential tool for learning, as the teacher can demonstrate the correct letter formation and joins clearly to the whole class at once if necessary. Younger children rehearse large letters/joins on a blank screen, using different colours and thicknesses of line. Handwriting and Reading In school, children are exposed to both cursive and print styles as well as commercial print. They develop awareness for reading in print and writing in cursive side by side in their learning, such as prompts around classrooms/school teachers lettering, labels on displays/teaching aids e.g. alphabet on tables and through teachers modelling of writing.

4 Left Handed Children Each left-handed child is identified and closely monitored by the class teacher to ensure success. The following guidelines are useful to help left-handed children. Guidelines for writing left-handed: The writing surface and chair are suitable for the child's own height. The child sits towards the left of their partner leaving plenty of space for writing on the left side of his/her mid line (this allows maximum space for arm movement). The writing paper is to the left of the child's body midline. The paper is tilted up to 32 degrees in a clockwise direction. A writing tool which moves smoothly across the paper is used. The paper is supported with the right hand. The writing forearm is parallel with the paper edge as the child writes. The writing tool is held sufficiently far from its point to ensure that the child can see what he/she is writing. Children with difficulties Children who find holding the pencil with the correct grip difficult should be given a pencil grip to support them. Sometimes some children may experience difficulties but this is often due to a coordination problem or adapting a left handed style. Activities such as Funky Fingers to develop 'gross motor skills' can be promoted as these will assist fine motor skills, as will plenty of pre-writing activities to loosen up the wrist and upper arm. Older children needing additional support are given short bursts of handwriting practice, one-to-one with a Teaching Assistant, as often as possible (daily preferably.) Use of a small whiteboard and pen is often the most successful aid as they are less restrictive and enable the child to feel less inhibited. Others may need hand muscle building games to help, such as moving counters, one at a time, from one place to another. Resources Cursive Script displayed in every classroom, scanned in and stored on system. Monitoring The presentation of all work is monitored through regular work scrutinies. Written by: Nikki Hamlin Date: September 2014 Agreed by Curriculum Committee: October 2014 Review date: September 2016

5 Red Hill Primary School Presentation Policy Aims To establish high expectations and pride in everything we do both of ourselves and of the children. To create a clear and consistent set of guidelines for the presentation of children s learning. Objectives To motivate each individual to present their work in the best possible way. To enable children to recognise work that is presented to a high standard. To ensure each child knows the standard of presentation that is expected of them. For Teachers To create consistency in standards of presentation across the school. To provide a baseline for judging acceptable standards of presentation. Expectations for Teaching Staff Remember you are the most importable role model for presentation and high expectations! Use the resources available to you eg. on the IWB lines, grids to model good practice. All handwriting which is on display for the children on the interactive whiteboard, books, flip charts, display should be joined, legible, consistently formed and neat. All children s work must be marked using the agreed marking and handwriting policy. When sticking work/labels/headings in books ensure they are straight and cut to size. Make sure that children clear work surfaces and the floor before leaving the room to reduce waste of resources. Expectations for Children Labelling of Books The labelling of books is taught progressively as a skill. In Reception, y1 and y2, the books are labelled with pre-printed labels containing: Child s name Subject Class Teacher name In Y3 and Y4, the books are labelled with pre-printed labels containing: A blank line for the child s name to be completed by the child themselves Subject Class Teacher name In Y5 and Y6, the books are labelled by the children themselves with the following information: Child s name

6 Subject Class Teacher name Children must be taught the importance of correct spelling, capital letters/lower case and neatness on book labels. Use of pencils and pens Pencils should be used in all Maths books and in draft work if appropriate. Margins in books and on paper should be drawn in pencil if required. Pens should be used for written work as soon as possible from Year 3 onwards at the point where the teacher judges the child s handwriting to be sufficiently neat, joined and fluent. Pens must be blue and fibre tip. No ballpoint, biros or felt pens should be used. Felt pens should not be used in exercise books for underlining or illustrations although they can be used on paper at the teacher s discretion. Bubbles in place of full stops or dots above the letter I are not acceptable. For illustrations in exercise books, children should use a writing pencil to draw pictures and colouring pencils to colour in. Expectations for Layout English books, Science books, topic books and RE books The mantra to be taught to children is First line date, next line learning question, leave one line, start the work. The date is written at the top on the left; with the learning question directly underneath next to the margin. The long date must be used when writing in literacy and topic work. The short date should be used on sheets. The date and title must be underlined using a pencil and ruler. If there is enough room to continue on the same page after the last piece of work, it should be ruled off. A new piece of work should start on a new page if there is not enough space. Paragraph indentation should be used as soon as the children are confident to do so. If you make a mistake, draw one neat line, using pencil and ruler, through the mistake and start again do not over-write. Write ON THE LINE. Do not write in the margin. If a child needs support or will spend the majority of learning time, drawing margins and writing dates/learning questions, it may be appropriate to adapt this by writing it for them before the lesson. Layout in Mathematics Number work should generally be carried out in the square books. Children need to be taught, one digit in each square. Children should also be given the opportunity to work in the plain books this may be for investigative work, geometry and statistics and/or problem solving. The mantra to be taught to children is First line short date, next line learning question, leave one line, start the work.

7 A margin should be drawn on the left hand side of the page. In all square books, it should be two squares wide. The date is written at the top on the left; with the learning question directly underneath next to the margin. (We do not need to draw a margin along the top of the page). If appropriate pages can be folded into two with a ruled line and a second margin (two squares wide) drawn from the middle margin. All figures must be written neatly and clearly. Numbers incorrectly formed/reversed numbers must be corrected. Children must be taught to clearly number each calculation in the margin to distinguish it from working figures. Layout of tables and diagrams Children should be taught to space tables appropriately by measuring space available and space needed accurately. When labelling diagrams, lines should be drawn in pencil but labels written in pen when a child has reached stage 4 of handwriting practice. Children should be taught to write labels sitting on a line if available or horizontally if on plain paper. Classroom Organisation and Resources Children should have easy access to the appropriate equipment: rulers, pens, pencils, colouring pencils, handwriting/general books. Each room has whiteboards available for all the children. Children and staff should check the floor and other surfaces before leaving the room, e.g. at break time for spare equipment. Outcomes of Presentation Policy Children of all abilities are able to present their work to the highest possible standard increasing their confidence and self-esteem. There is consistency across the school in terms of the standard of presentation expected. Progression in presenting work between each class is evident and understood by all children and adults. Monitoring of Presentation Policy Regular work scrutiny by staff, including subject co-ordinators will ensure the policy is being adhered to. This ensures that the policy leads to good practice in facilitating effective feedback, learning and teaching. Written by: Clare Butcher and James Looker Date: September 2014 Agreed by Curriculum Committee: October 2014 Review Date: September 2016

8 Red Hill Primary School Presentation Guide for EYFS I will stick my title sticker at the top of my page in the middle. I will start new work on the next clean page. I will use a writing pencil for my work. I will ask a grown up to help me rub out any mistakes. I will not draw on the front of my book.

9 Red Hill Primary School Presentation Guide - Key Stage 1 I will write the date on the left hand side at the top of my work. I will start a new line before I write my learning question. I will write the learning question underneath the date. I will underline the date, learning objective and title using a pencil and a ruler. I will leave one line before starting the work. I will not leave blank pages in my books. If I make a mistake I will put one neat line through it. oops I will write on the lines in my book. I will always write next to the margin. I will use pencil in my books. I will not draw on the front of my book. I will mark my work or my friend s work using a green pen. For my pictures I will use a writing pencil to draw the picture and colouring pencils to colour in.

10 Red Hill Primary School Presentation Guide - Key Stage 2 I will write the date on the left hand side at the top of my work. I will start a new line before I write my learning question. I will write the learning question directly underneath the date. I will underline the date and learning question with a pencil and ruler. I will leave one line before starting my work. I will not leave blank pages in my books. If I make a mistake, I will put one neat pencil line through it. oops I will write on the lines in my book. I will always write next to the margin. I will use pencil in my maths book. I can use a blue handwriting pen in books but only when my teacher tells me to, but I will not use felt pens or biros in my books. I will not draw on the front of my book. I will mark my work or my friend s work using a green pen. For my drawings I will use a writing pencil to draw the picture and colouring pencils to colour in.

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