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How we teach handwriting at Prestwood Infant School



At Prestwood Infant School, our aim is that pupils will be supported to develop a handwriting style which is clear, joined and fluid. We aim for each child to acquire a consistent and fluent style. 


Although there are many opportunities to practice handwriting across the curriculum, we will also provide regular lessons for teaching and revising these skills. The frequency and length of these lessons will vary according to the age and competence of the children.


Formal handwriting skills will be taught regularly and systematically through the use of the PENPALS Handwriting scheme (Cambridge University Press).


Three stages are identified and these form the basic organisation of the scheme:

  1. Readiness for writing: gross and fine motor skills leading to letter formation (Foundation Stage)
  2. Beginning to join (Lower KS1)
  3. Securing joins (Upper KS1/Lower KS2)


Opportunities for linking handwriting with early phonics and spelling work are fully exploited through the PENPALS scheme.


It is important that children hold their pencil correctly and ensure their posture is correct. 


Pencil hold 


  • Pencil held between finger and thumb 
  • Middle finger provides extra support 



  • Feet flat on the floor 
  • Head up, not resting on the desk or hand 
  • Paper at the correct angle 
  • Spare hand steadies the paper

Progression from Reception - Year Two


Please download our information booklet to see how handwriting progresses across the school.




How can you help your child?


  • Have a small selection of handwriting materials readily available at home. Soft pencils fibre-tip pens and some sheets of A4 typing paper are enough for a start. 


  • Encourage your child to write on a line, even if they have to draw it themselves 


  • Let handwriting play a part in your family’s daily life, for example:

ü making lists and labels 

ü keeping a family diary 

ü leaving notes for each other in busy households 

ü keeping in touch with distant friends and relatives 

ü designing and making home-made notepads and greetings cards. 


  • Many children like to do their homework lying on the floor, but don’t let them! So do your best to provide somewhere where your child can work, the end of the kitchen table is perfect! 


  • Praise, praise praise!