We recognise that handwriting is a skill that must be explicitly taught and practiced regularly. At Crowle Primary Academy, we follow the ‘Achieving Excellence In Handwriting’ method for teaching handwriting. This means that we use a consistent approach of teaching handwriting throughout the school using Martin Harvey/ Debbie Watson’s guidelines and clear terminology. The style taught joins all lower case letters other than tail letters, such as g,y,q.
We teach and encourage the children to adopt an effective pen hold, and check their posture is correct when writing. This is referred to as the BBC (bottom, back in chair) and TNT (tummy near table) .Expectations of handwriting are high across the curriculum.
In years 1 to 4, handwriting lessons utilise handwriting sheets, which are collated in handwriting folders. In y5 and 6, handwriting is completed on plain paper, using a line guide. Most other writing in both KS1 and KS2, is completed on plain paper using the age-appropriate line guides. Written work that is in the form of jottings does not need line guides.
Handwriting lessons follow the sequence of lessons from Martin Harvey Debbie Watson. These are progressive starting from single letter formation to the more complex joins. Each lesson begins with a warm up which usually practises the tall, small and tail lines. Previous letters and joins are revisited as needed.
From Reception to year 3, pencil is used for writing. Black ink handwriting pens are introduced after the first half term in year 4 and then used consistently throughout the rest of KS2.
In the first half term, handwriting is practised 4 times per week. This is then reduced, and, although handwriting is still taught regularly, the length and number of lessons depends upon the needs of the children. Handwriting sessions are then, again, increased to 4 times per week at the start of the second and third term.
In all classrooms, handwriting is verbally praised. Good examples of handwriting and progress are celebrated and displayed in classrooms. These are regularly updated.
Handwriting is modelled by teachers in all areas of the curriculum, where high expectations of handwriting remain. Teachers follow the handwriting style in any written comments on children’s work. When speed is needed, for example note-making, the expectations of handwriting are eased for both staff and children and guide lines are not used.