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At Croft Infant School, our children come to school with very little awareness of writing and its purpose. Lots of emphasis about the purpose behind writing can be found in out Writing Curriculum.

In terms of handwriting, we aim to show our children how to:

  • sit correctly at a table
  • hold a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin forming lower case 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.



At Croft Infant School we know that handwriting needs frequent and discrete, direct teaching. We do this by following the ‘Letter-Join’ scheme of learning.

In Reception children experience a daily 10 minute handwriting sessions where children are supported to develop their gross and fine motor skills and confidence. They are taught arm up exercises, how to hold a pencil using the tripod grip and how to sit at a table. We value and understand the stages of pre-writing and support this by teaching pre-writing patterns before beginning to form any letters. During this stage, children will learn the vocabulary associated with handwriting and letter-shapes and learn how to do ‘air writing’ and other actions where patterns and letter shapes can be practised on a large scale. Children will be encouraged to make marks on paper using a wide variety of mark making materials both in and out of the classroom. Adults will ensure the size of the writing implement is not too large for the children’s hands to allow them to hold it easily. Adults in Reception will spend ensuring children do not pick up bad habits in the formation of letters.

As the lesson begin to introduce forming letters (in their families), children will be given a handwriting book where adults can use highlighters to directly teaching children the correct direction and size needed. Children will use this scaffold as a starting point for forming their own letters. Adults will deploy more scaffolding as needed for individuals.

In Key Stage One, children in year one will continue 10 minute daily handwriting lessons including how to write capital letters, numbers, punctuation, maths symbols and other symbols.

As children move into Year Two there handwriting lessons will be three times a week for 20mins to build writing stamina. They will then be introduced to pre-cursive patterns and cursive letters and words, sequencing sentences, dictation exercises and the writing of high frequency words.

Writing Opportunities

As well as the direct teaching of handwriting daily, children will have the opportunity to:

  • see adults forming letters correctly following the agreed handwriting font
  • have access to a wide range of exciting and age and stage appropriate mark making implements – linked closely to our work on developing continuous provision with Early Excellence
  • have their mark making/writing valued, celebrated, displayed
  • resources to support left handed children or those that need tripod grippers
  • children will be expected to transfer their taught handwriting skills into all other areas of the curriculum
  • opportunities to strengthen their fine motor skills through activities such as cutting, threading, sewing and moulding playdough.


Time devoted to the teaching and learning of letter formation in the early years of school will pay off. Legible writing that can be produced comfortably, at speed and with little conscious effort allows children to attend to the higher-level aspects of writing composition and content.

Children with fast and legible handwriting are less likely to miss out on learning opportunities and under-achieve academically in the next stage of their education.