Handwriting is a complex skill involving a range of cognitive, linguistic, perceptual and motor abilities. It is a skill that children rarely acquire spontaneously. Even with expert tuition, it is something which usually takes some time to perfect. At Balby Central Primary we have adopted a cursive handwriting style. There are many positives to teaching cursive handwriting:
- Prevents reversals and confusion of letters.
- Enhances spelling ability.
- Improves reading skills.
As children progress through school, the requirement to write legibly and fluently, at speed, increases considerably and the cost of being unable to do so also increases.
The emphasis on acquiring fluent and legible handwriting has been prioritised within the new National Curriculum (2014):
Pupils who do not learn to read and write fluently and confidently are, in every sense, disenfranchised (‘Purpose of Study’ p13)
Pupils should develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. (6.3 Language and literacy – Reading and Writing)
Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting. (Programmes of study and attainment targets – Aims of English p15)
Whole School Approach
Please note the following important points:
1. Changing handwriting takes a lot of time and effort.
2. Encouragement is essential.
3. Short, regular, frequent periods of practice are much more effective than long sessions.
4. Make sure that any teaching at home does not set up conflicts for the child between home and school. (National Handwriting Association)
‘Keep it simple, do it well’ (Martin Harvey)
1. To develop within all pupils a legible style of handwriting
2. The size, shape of letters is consistent
3. Flow and movement are fluent and smooth
4. Handwriting expectations are adhered to across the curriculum 5.
A Consistent personal style can be established by Year 6
6. To raise children’s self-motivation and esteem through the establishment of best handwriting practice
7. To establish and maintain a high profile of handwriting and presentation skills by displaying and rewarding work that meets the standard as well as that which shows rapid improvement