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.
Handwriting is so important to your child because it is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. It is also a movement skill and one which is best taught directly by demonstration, explanation and practice. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing.
Our handwriting scheme is called ‘Letter-join’
All children learn to correctly form their letters through the handwriting scheme ‘Letter-join.’ The correct formation of all letters needs to be consistent and automatic and this may require a lot of practice. In order for this to happen, handwriting is taught in ways that enhance fluency and legibility. Handwriting is a skill which needs to be taught explicitly.
Since handwriting is essentially a movement skill, correct modelling of the agreed style by the class teacher is very important. The letter formation taught is, in the first instance, a cursive style, which ensures an early transition to joined handwriting.
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! We have also been exploring different tools and materials that we can use to make marks.
"I feel really strong!" Nursery child, aged 3.
"I can write an 'O' for my name." Nursery child, aged 4.
Children are taught the importance of letter formation from the onset. Children are taught mnemonics 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 'around the astronaut's helmet and down into space'." Reception pupil, age 4.
"I like it when we practise our writing on whiteboards." Reception pupil, age 4.
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 using the formation phrases from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
"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 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.
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.
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.
Sandy Hill Academy School website design by eSchools. Content provided by Sandy Hill Academy. All rights reserved. 2022
Privacy and Cookies Policy
Last Edited: 22nd April 2021
1.1. We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of the users of our services. Our services include and will hereby be referred to as 'Our Services' (our websites used to promote eSchools services and tutorial resources, specifically
and https://academy.eschools.co.uk), 'School Websites' ( designed by eSchools and populated by individual schools themselves) and 'Platforms' (individual online services that provide teachers, learners, parents and governors with information, tools and resources) as well as our smartphone app. This policy sets out how we will treat your personal information across these services.
2. Collecting personal information on Our Services
2.1 We may process or temporarily store the following kinds of personal information:
information about your computer and about your visits to and use of Our Services (including but not limited to, your IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation paths)
information contained in or relating to any communications that you send to us or send through our website (including, the communication content) via online forms
any other personal information that you choose to send to us via online forms
manually inputted details of users added to the platform
details of users as integrated by our providers at Wonde via your MIS (if applicable to your package). For further information on integrated data please see our Data Sharing Agreement
2.2 Before you disclose to us the personal information of another person, you must obtain that person's consent to both the disclosure and the processing of that personal information in accordance with the terms of this policy.
2.5 Schools are also able to add analytics tools and can therefore gather information on visits to and use of their website (including but not limited to, IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system, referral source, length of visit, page views and website navigation paths). Individual visitors can manage their preferences through cookie preferences, as mentioned in 2.4.
2.6 Session IP addresses are retained to monitor and safeguard against improper usage of our services.
2.7 Content on the platform (added by staff, governors and students) and website content is added directly by School Users. This information is only used for to display on the platform in the way the user intends and is not used for any other purposes by eSchools. At a time when a school ceases to use our services the content is removed within a 14 day period as detailed in our agreement with the school.
2.8 Some of our services require the school to provide access to information they require for use with those services. For example a school using our communication tool, Letters Home, which enables schools to contact parents by email regarding important school information. In this situation a school will provide eSchools with access to the email address(es) they wish to send their communication to. Schools have granular access to ensure only the required data is shared and accessed by eSchools. The data is frequently updated to ensure that eSchools only retains up-to-date data.
3. Using your personal information
3.1. We may use your personal information to:
administer our services
enable your use of our services
troubleshoot and problem solve
send you email notifications that you have specifically requested. You can manage your preferences at anytime through your eSchools dashboard.
keep our services secure, safeguard against improper use of our services and prevent fraud.
3.1.1. For the purposes of providing you access to your eSchools platform and app (ie. forgotten password/login)
3.1.2. By registering for updates, School Staff/Governors are able to subscribe to our regular communications.
3.1.3. We will use any contact details supplied in an online form for the purposes explicitly detailed in said form. For example troubleshooting and problem solving or the provision of live online training as explicitly requested by you, the user.
3.2. We will not, without your express consent, supply your personal information to any third party for the purpose of their or any other third party's direct marketing.
3.3. eSchools understands our obligation to be mindful about the data we process and only process data that is required to fulfil our obligations in providing our services; to a school who enters into an agreement to use our services and you, the user.
3.4. We will not pass your information to third parties; except for the purpose of fulfilling our services to a school who enters into an agreement to use our services and you, the user or where we are required to do so by law.
4. Disclosing personal information
4.1 We may disclose your personal information to any of our employees, officers, insurers, professional advisers, agents, suppliers or subcontractors insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out in this policy.
4.2 We may disclose your personal information:
to the extent that we are required to do so by law;
in connection with any ongoing or prospective legal proceedings;
in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk);
to any person who we reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in our reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information;
to the school in the case of improper use on the platform by individuals
4.3 Except as provided in this policy, we will not provide your personal information to third parties.
5. International data transfers
5.1. Data directly collected by eSchools may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we operate in order to enable us to use the information in accordance with this policy. Any third party we use is within the EEA or they hold an existing EU SCC, as in line with requirements under the GDPR. No other third party are permitted to access the school’s data.
5.2. Personal information that an individual adds to our websites may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use or misuse of such information by others.
6. Retaining personal information
6.1. This section sets out our data retention policies and procedures, which are designed to help ensure that we comply with our legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal information.
6.2. Personal information that we process for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
6.3. Data collected through analytic cookies will be retained for 26 months. Individual visitors can adapt the data collected through cookie preferences, as mentioned in 2.4.
6.4. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Section 6, we will retain documents (including electronic documents) containing personal data:
To the extent that we are required to do so by law;
If we believe that the documents may be relevant to any ongoing or prospective legal proceedings; and
In order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk). Data will no longer be kept after the termination of the contract with the school.
7. Security of your personal information
7.1. We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.
7.2. We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure (password- and firewall-protected) servers. The web service we employ has a broad range of accreditations and certifications and the data centres used ensure the data stays within the EEA.
7.3. eSchools use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which creates a secure connection and uses two keys to encrypt data in transit. Despite this, you acknowledge that the transmission of information over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data.
8.1. We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our website.
8.2. You should check this page regularly to ensure you are aware of any changes to this policy.
9. Your rights
9.1. You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you.
9.2. We may withhold personal information that you request to the extent permitted by law.
9.3. You may change your cookie preferences at any time as referenced in 2.4.
9.4. School Staff/Governors who subscribe to our Newsletter may manage their preferences at any time through their eSchools dashboard.
10. Third party websites
10.1 Our websites may include hyperlinks to, and details of, third party websites. We have no control over, and are not responsible for, the privacy policies and practices of third parties.
11. Updating information
We will only provide communication about the eSchools platform to school staff/governors who can manage their preferences at any time through their eSchools dashboard.
Last Edited: 22nd April 2021
What are cookies?
Cookies are small data files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Cookies are widely used by online service providers in order to (for example) make their websites or services work, or to work more efficiently, as well as to provide reporting information.
Cookies set by the website owner or service provider (in this case, eSchools) are called “first party cookies”. Cookies set by parties other than the website owner are called “third party cookies”. Third party cookies enable third party features or functionality to be provided on or through the website or service you are using (such as advertising, interactive content and analytics). The third parties that set these third party cookies can recognise your computer both when it visits the website or service in question and also when it visits certain other websites or services.
We use first party and third party cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our Services to operate, and we refer to these as “essential” cookies. Other cookies enable us and the third parties we work with to track and target the interests of visitors to our Services, and we refer to these as “advertising” or “analytical” cookies. For example, the embedding of YouTube and Vimeo videos, as added by individual schools, will require “advertising” cookies to be enabled in order to successfully play them. Schools that, for example, opt to track visitor data using Google Analytics will require “analytical” cookies to be enabled in order to do so. These third party cookies are used to tailor content and information that we may send or display to you and otherwise personalise your experience while interacting with our Services and to otherwise improve the functionality of the Services we provide. We also enable schools to employ cookies and similar tracking technologies in connection with their use of our Services in order to allow them to track visitors to and interactions with their school website.
User Embedded Content
Our Services allows schools to embed code which may potentially contain cookies. Please note embedded content, if displayed on one of our websites, has been added by the school and not by eSchools. The embedded content added by the school may require additional cookies or tracking technologies to be enabled in order to function.
How can I control cookies?
You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies. Be aware that cookie preferences are set on a per device basis; therefore you may need to set your preferences on each device you use.
Initial cookie pop-up banner: You can exercise preferences about what cookies are served on our Websites by selecting your preference from this modal which appears upon visiting an eSchools website/login screen and dashboard. You can also change your cookie preferences by clicking on the link on the footer of any page. The banner will reappear annually (August 31st to coincide with the academic year) to confirm your settings.
Disabling Most Interest Based Advertising: Most advertising networks offer you a way to opt out of Interest Based Advertising. We will not, without your express consent, supply your personal information to any third party for the purpose of their or any other third party's direct marketing. If you would like to find out more information, please visit aboutads.info/choices or youronlinechoices.com.
Mobile Advertising: You can opt out of having your mobile advertising identifiers used for certain types of Interest Based Advertising, by accessing the settings on your Apple or Android mobile device and following the most recent published instructions. We will not, without your express consent, supply your personal information to any third party for the purpose of their or any other third party's direct marketing.
How often will you update this Cookie Statement?
Where can I get further information?