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  • Children will develop hand-eye co-ordination, as well as gross and fine motor skills to support handwriting.
  • Children will use a range of tools to develop drawing lines and circles using gross motor skills, e.g swirling ribbons, batting balls, painting.
  • Children will practise manipulative skills e.g cooking, playing with constructions, threading and playing instruments.
  • Children will physically develop the movements of letter shapes using gross motor skills (linked to music and sounds) to gain confidence with the basic movements and flow of writing.
  • Children will use a range of materials to develop fine motor skills e.g. wax crayons, markers, pencils, sponges, chunky brushes, cotton wool balls, shaving foam, finger paints, etc.
  • In EYFS, children who have developed an effective pincer grip should be encouraged to hold a pencil correctly. This should be introduced as a whole class approach and individually corrected for those children who are confident mark-makers.

 In KS1, Handwriting is taught at least weekly through the ‘Penpals’ scheme as appropriate. Other opportunities to practise handwriting may be built in to the curriculum through areas such as guided reading and homework. Some handwriting support should be put in place for those children who have not achieved fluency in Year 5 and 6.


All children must observe an adult modelling good handwriting.


  • During the initial stages of handwriting, children in the Foundation Stage will make marks on plain paper. Lines will be introduced in KS1 and handwriting books in KS2 will give greater scaffold to ensure correct sizing of letters.
  • In EY and KS1 the RWI programme aligns the learning of letter sounds and letter formation. We make the physical process of writing – handwriting – enjoyable from the start, so children see themselves as ‘writers’. We use mnemonics – memory pictures – to help children visualise the letter or join before they write it down. Children need to practise handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later.
  • Pencils should be introduced as soon as a child is capable of holding and mark-making. Pencils should be used throughout KS1 and pens are awarded to those children who have received bronze, silver and gold spelling certificates.  These are awarded by teachers according to the following criteria:-

Bronze – accurate letter formation

Silver – beginning to join some letters correctly

Gold – Joining all letters accurately and fluently according to the ‘PenPals’ scheme