Early Years Foundation Stage
Children will start developing the fine motor skills they need to write from a very early age.
Throughout the early stages of school in Nursery and Reception, children are given ample opportunities to develop both gross and fine motor skills in the following ways:
- Outdoor climbing equipment
- Mark making equipment
- Dough Disco
- Squiggle while you wriggle
- Finger Gym activities
Early Years Foundation Stage provides children with the opportunities to mark-make using a variety of materials and media. Children need lots of opportunities to scribble, draw, and colour. At first, using any writing tools to make marks on paper is great practice. However, as children get older, handwriting needs to be taught in a consistent way and it is important to develop good habits.
As children progress through Reception and KS1, they develop fine-motor skills which result in a comfortable pencil grip and the ability to form letters using the correct sequence of movements.
When children begin (Phonics) at Horndale, they use the pre-cursive style. This is linked to the RWI rhymes which match each sound. Children develop fluent lines of accurate orientated letters.
Having good handwriting means that children can focus on other aspects of writing without having to worry too much about what their writing looks like.
Good handwriting skills can help improve children’s writing confidence by making the process of writing simpler and more enjoyable.
By the end of Year 2, the children are expected to use joined handwriting in the cursive style.
Handwriting in Year 1 (age 5–6)
In Year 1, children will learn to correctly use a pencil, to form letters and numbers, and to write words. The National Curriculum expectations for handwriting in Year 1 state, children will learn to:
- sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
- form lowercase letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
- form capital letters
- form digits 0–9
- understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (letters that are formed in similar ways)
- leave spaces between words.
Handwriting in Year 2 (age 6–7)
In Year 2, children will learn to form letters at the right size and to join letters when appropriate. The National Curriculum expectations for handwriting in Year 2 state, children will learn to:
- form lowercase letters of the correct size relative to one another
- start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join
letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
- write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lowercase letters
- understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways)
- use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.