At Reinwood Infant and Nursery School, we encourage, support and help to develop children’s handwriting skills from Nursery to Year 2. From Nursery onwards, children are introduced to letters and taught the correct print formation. They are then introduced to cursive writing during their time in Year 1 and they may move into joined-up writing, when appropriate, during Year 2.
From Nursery, we teach children to sit correctly and comfortably on a chair with their back straight, with both feet on the floor and not bending over their work. This ensures they are holding their pencil correctly, that their grip isn’t too tight and that their book is at the correct angle, being steadied with the free hand.
From Nursery to Year 2, children have the opportunity to see adults modelling writing, as it is from this that early attitudes to writing develop.
Children are taught the correct way to hold a pencil - a tripod grip - before clear letters are being formed. The provision of triangular pencils and pencil grips will be used as an aid where appropriate.
As a pre-handwriting skill, children will also have the opportunity to develop fine-motor dexterity through threading, pegboards, jigsaws etc.
Children experience forming patterns in the sand, finger and pencil tracing and are given opportunity to use textured or raised shapes. Children who have sufficient fine-motor control can copy patterns underneath. These activities help to develop the left-to-right orientation vital to the development of reading and writing.
Once a child has developed their fine-motor skills and control, they are taught the formation of individual letters, along with being introduced to the name and sound of the letter. A good place to start would be with the letters of their own name, as these are the first examples of print that have a definite meaning for a child.
In the Spring of Year 1 and during Year 2, the children are introduced to the beginning of cursive formation. The term ‘start on the line’ is used for the ‘lead-in stroke’ (where all letters start from the line in joined up script) and ‘ascender’ and ‘descender’ will be taught to the children so all letters are sized correctly. We refer to the ‘sound’ a letter makes, as opposed to its ‘name’, and describe when to use lower case and capital letters.
A child who is left-handed may need special consideration in some areas, e.g.
- They may need more space and be seated where the movement of their left side is restricted. Left-handed children should sit to the left of right-handed children to avoid their writing arms from bumping each other.
- Their book or paper needs to be to the left of their body and may need to be slanted.
- They may be more comfortable holding their pencil higher up.
- They may need to use a higher chair to obtain a more comfortable body position.
Watch this video to see good posture and pencil grip for both right- and left-handed children.
This video will help your child form the letters correctly as print. Print is introduced in Nursery and Reception.
This video will help your child with the cursive script taught from the Spring Term in Year 1.
Mister Teach cursive handwriting – how to write the alphabet.
Burfitts Road, Oakes, Huddersfield, HD3 4YL