*English - Handwriting

‘Aspiring to achieve, determined to succeed’
At Sandy Hill Academy, we strive to provide our children with the highest quality teaching of English. We aim for each child to become a confident writer who has consistent, neat handwriting.
At Sandy Hill, our aims for handwriting are:
  • Developing each child's fine motor skills to support handwriting progression.
  • Developing an effective pencil grip to ensure handwriting progression.
  • Developing each child's individual letter formations and joins.
  • Developing each child's ability to maintain consistency and legibility whilst writing at speed.
At Sandy Hill, we use Letterjoin as our modelled handwriting style, which splits the 26 letters of the alphabet into four groups.

Please see the document links at the end of this page to learn about the full English and Handwriting Curriculum at Sandy Hill Academy.

Handwriting in Nursery starts with the development of fine and gross motor muscles. Our physical development is really important to help us develop the skills needed for our early writing. We have enjoyed taking part in Healthy Movers activities to strengthen our muscles!
"I feel really strong!" Nursery child, aged 3.
"I can write a 's'." Nursery child, aged 4.
Children are taught the importance of letter formation from the onset. Children are taught rhymes to support the correct formation of letters. Within the Autumn term children have a weekly 'letter check' to ensure they are forming letters accurately. Following this in the Spring term, children have simple spellings to learn for their weekly check. Children practise handwriting in many different ways; from discrete taught sessions, phonics, collaborative writing on large pieces of paper or activities provided within their free play.
 "The letter rhymes help us write the letter. This one goes 'round the apple up and down the leaf'." Reception pupil, age 4. 
"I like it when we practise our writing outside." Reception pupil, age 4. 
Year 1
In Year 1 the children have been focusing on correctly forming print letters. They have learned which letters belong to which family and where each letter starts and finishes. 
"When you do your writing you have to hold your pencil with your 'froggy' fingers." Year 1, age 5.
"You need a sharp pencil to help you to do neat handwriting and you have to remember to sit properly on your chair too." Year 1, age 6.
Year 2
In Year 2 we have been working hard on our handwriting using our leading lines. We are so proud of our hard work so far. We are using our handwriting in all our lessons not just our English books.
'My handwriting is improving, I'm so proud of my work.' Year 2 pupil, aged 6.
'I am starting to use my leading lines.' Year 2 pupil, aged 6.
Year 3
Year 3 have been working hard to correctly form their letters using the 'handwriting families' for support.  They are focusing on leading in from the line and ensuring letters are of the correct size.  The children are becoming increasingly confident with the correct formation  of letters and have begun to focus on some horizontal and vertical joins to prepare us for further developing joined up handwriting. 
'I have worked really hard to make sure my letters are the right size and sit on the line.'  Year 3 child, age 7. 
'I now feel confident when forming letters from the curly caterpillar family.'  Year 3 child, age 8. 
Year 4
In Year 4, we have been working on our stamina for writing and ensuring handwriting is consistent throughout a piece of writing, across the curriculum. We have recapped some of the joins learnt in previous year groups.
Year 5
In Year 5, we have been focussing on improving the consistency of our joins of different letters. We have also been building up our writing stamina through the use of playdough. This has helped improve the strength in our writing hands and has supported maintaining our handwriting over longer writes.
"My handwriting has really improved this term!" Year 5 pupil, aged 10.
Year 6
In Year 6, they continue to apply their handwriting skills in all subjects - joining fluently at all times and ensuring spelling is accurate. 
'My handwriting has improved so much at Sandy Hill; I am proud of how it looks.' Year 6 pupil.

Useful websites for Pupils and Parents/Carers

Document Links

Teaching and Learning Principles
Curriculum Overview
Progression Overview
This document below is an example of skills progression in Handwriting from Nursery, EYFS and Years 1-6 (8 photos).

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