Barlows Primary School. Handwriting Support for Parents/Carers

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1 Barlows Primary School Handwriting Support for Parents/Carers 1

2 Contents Section Page No Introduction 3 Policy 3, 4 & 5 Barlows Handwriting Style 6 Points to note 7 Expectations 8 Appendix 1. Handwriting Paper 2. Precursive Handwriting 3. Cursive Handwriting 4. Handwriting Joins 5. Tripod Pencil Grip Basic 2

3 In Barlows we value the partnership between staff and parents/carers in supporting your child in all areas of school life. We value your input in developing your child s handwriting and ask you to support your child when handwriting practice or tasks are sent home. At Barlows we have developed our own handwriting style to suit the needs of the pupils in our care. The Foundation Stage teach and practise a precursive style of handwriting and in KS1, when the class teacher feels that the individual child is ready, a cursive style is developed. Again, children are encouraged to join when the class teacher feels that the child is ready, starting with groups of letters and moving on to whole words, which is usually in Year 2. Children are taught handwriting in short sessions and are regularly given time to practise their handwriting. Some children may access handwriting intervention groups if the staff feels it will benefit their progress. The school handwriting style is displayed at the front of each classroom and is made available to parents/carers. Children who join the school with established fluent joined handwriting will be allowed to continue with their current style of handwriting. Policy Resources Children practise their handwriting on laminated handwriting charts and in their handwriting books. The handwriting styles are displayed around the school including at the front of every classroom and in the shared area. The school handwriting font is also available on school computers for staff and pupil use. Gross and fine motor skills Activities to develop gross and fine motor skills are essential to the development of good handwriting. Activities are planned which encourage the development of these skills. Posture Children should be taught the importance of sitting upright and correctly on their chair, with their feet on the floor. 3

4 Pencil grip Children should use a tripod grip (see Appendix 5), and be given constant reminders until this is established. Triangular section pencils and shaped pencil holders are available in school for children who find them helpful. Children should be shown how to place their pen before them and pointing towards them, and then to pick it up and allow the pen or pencil to fall back into the tripod grip. Position of paper Left handed children should be encouraged to tilt their paper slightly to the right to improve their view of what they are writing, and to reduce smudging later on when they write in ink. Right handed children may find it helpful to tilt the paper slightly to the left. Paper should be steadied with the free hand. Slopes are available for children who need them to help with posture and positioning. Paper Early writers will write on unlined paper so that they are able to write at a size appropriate to their needs. As soon as children are beginning to control the size of their writing, they will be given lined paper and exercise books, to encourage the correct placing of letters on the line. Handwriting books and laminating handwriting boards are used to practise handwriting. Correct letter formation (see Appendix 2 and 3) Children are taught to form letters correctly, paying attention to the starting point for each letter, the direction of pencil movement, the shape and orientation of the letter, and the relative heights of the body of each letter, and any ascender and descender. Teaching will be multi-sensory and appropriate to the needs of the child. Our policy is to teach a letter shape which closely resembles print for early readers, and which will not need to be changed as handwriting becomes joined. Joining letters (see Appendix 4) Children should be introduced to joined handwriting as soon as they have mastered the shape of individual letters. They will begin by joining vowel and consonant digraphs, to facilitate the recall of spelling patterns. The four basic handwriting joins will be taught systematically and then practiced in regular short handwriting sessions, linked to spelling patterns. 4

5 Correcting mistakes Use of rubbers is discouraged except in the case of work in pencil for display. Otherwise, mistakes in pencil or ink should be crossed out using a single horizontal line, and the whole word rewritten. Fonts Materials prepared in school for children will use Comic Sans, or the precursive and cursive fonts available, which have been installed in Microsoft Windows. Writing implements When children have achieved legible joined handwriting in pencil, they will progress to a biro school handwriting pen, which will then be used for all written work in school. Children must be shown how to grip the pen correctly, and this message reinforced during handwriting lessons. Ink Blue ink will be used throughout the school. 5

6 Barlows Handwriting Style Precursive Handwriting a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Cursive Handwriting a b c d e f g h I j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z UPPERCASE A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 6

7 Points to note All entry points (the beginning of the formation of letters) start on the line e.g. ªa b ªc Capital letters are never joined e.g. Barlows Primary School, Liverpool etc. Some letters can be left unjoined if it affects the flow and legibility of the word. Ascenders (letters such as b and d which extend upwards) end at the top of the line except for t which only extends three quarters. Descenders are letters which extend below the line e.g. j and g. Descenders are only looped if they are being joined and should not be looped if they come at the end of a word. 7

8 Handwriting Expectations By the end of each year group(s) children should be able to: Year 1 sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place form capital letters form digits 0-9 Year 2 form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters. Year 3 and 4 use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting, e.g. by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant; that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch. Year 5 and 6 write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by: - choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding, as part of their personal style, whether or not to join specific letters - choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task (e.g. quick notes, letters). 8

9 Appendix 1 Handwriting Paper This is the paper which children use to practice their handwriting and is also in their handwriting books. The main body of each letter goes in between the blue lines, ascenders go above the blue line and descenders go below the blue line 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

13 Appendix 5 Tripod Pencil Grip The pencil grasp (or grip) describes the way a child holds the crayon or pencil. A correct pencil grip/grasp is one which is efficient and enables your child to write neatly and at a reasonable speed without tiring. The tripod fingers (thumb, middle and index fingers) work together to control the pencil and write neatly. 13

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