English: Handwriting Lead
At Chadsmead we teach children to write using a continuous cursive style. We believe this speeds up writing. Children who write quickly generally get more words on the paper and produce better quality content. Cursive writing also helps with spelling as you develop a muscle memory of the movements of each word.
The teaching of cursive style starts when the children have developed the necessary visual-motor integration skills, sufficient pencil control and the ability to change direction several times within one letter shape. This is usually during KS1 and then continues through school. We monitor pencil grip, It’s important that the pad of the thumb connects with the pencil; if the side or tip of the thumb touches, it closes up the hand and restricts the flow of movement.
The more children practise patterning, the sooner they will establish the neuro-motor pathways that make them automatic, therefore, handwriting is taught weekly (y1 - 4) and practised regularly. Children are not taught letters in alphabetical order, but in groups according to their formation for example 'a', 'c', 'e' and 'o' are taught together because they're all based on an anticlockwise circle.
Good posture is important for cursive writing. We encourage children to sit with their feet flat on the floor, their back straight (no heads on the table) and relaxed shoulders.
Children write in pencil but may ‘earn’ a pen license when their cursive style is fluent and neatly presented.
Children who struggle with handwriting may receive extra support through intervention or small group work.