Handwriting is a physical activity that involves movement and recognition skills that need to be learnt and become part of the automatic cognitive skills set of each pupil. In order to achieve this, we follow the kinetic letters handwriting programme. The programme has four threads – making bodies stronger, holding the pencil, learning the letters and flow and fluency. Handwriting is taught through a series of discrete handwriting sessions from Reception through to Year 6. Whenever possible, the kinetic letters font is used to create resources and classroom prompts for the children to use. The whole-school overview shows where and when key letters, joins and skills are taught throughout the school. Further details are shown for each year group on the year group overview. Each overview gives details of the specific teaching and learning required in each of the 4 areas.
Structure of the programme
Children are taught the cognitive and physical skills necessary for automaticity when writing in discrete handwriting sessions.
The number of discrete weekly sessions delivered varies by year group and reflects the constraints of the year group timetable and the focus of the handwriting session. During EYFS and KS1, children are taught basic letter formation. During lower KS2, children are taught join letters through the joining programme. During upper KS2, children review and apply the joins already learned.
When teaching letters or joins for the first time, these are learnt in groups according to their movements. Letters and joins are taught in a progressive order using large-scale movements and a sand tray before writing using pens and white boards. Children record in their English books as appropriate during handwriting sessions.
During handwriting sessions, when children are recording on white boards or on paper, they should either be lying on their tummies or sitting facing a table (supporting images can be found in the handbook).
Structure of a handwriting session
Set up – correct writing position
Target – practise previous targets e.g. strong writing position, pencil hold or practising formation.
Attention – teach new letter/ join – air, sand, whiteboard
Reinforce – practice further – down for formation and across for flow
Targets – put target words and letters on display in the classroom to refer to throughout the week.
All staff are trained regularly by the English lead/s. Staff are encourage to seek further guidance and support as needed.