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Nottingham Primary Academy

Writing

Handwriting

This year, as an Academy, a main development focus is handwriting and specifically the use of cursive script.

What is cursive script?

Cursive script is a style of handwriting that has an entry stroke, which starts from the line.

The benefits of teaching cursive script are:

  • It helps children to be clear, fluent and legible writers.
  • Having a lead in stroke avoids confusion about where to begin letter formation.
  • It has proven beneficial for children with poor hand control and also dyslexic children.
  • The pencil does not often need to be lifted from the page, which also reinforces spelling patterns and phonics.
  • Because of the flow that cursive provides, writing soon becomes quicker and easier.

How do we teach cursive?

When your child first comes into school, they will learn to form every letter with an entry stroke and an exit stroke. Children are taught that every letter starts on the line. You can support your child at home by encouraging them to trace over handwriting on a regular basis. Using coloured pens, chalk, paint, a sports water bottle, or even using a toy car can help make the activity really exciting. In addition, finger painting, or using sand can also be an engaging way to start young children off with the formation of these types of letters.

Constant repetition is the key, emphasising entry and exit strokes. The advantages of using this style is that you can quickly see when your child is forming letters incorrectly- such as when a child starts the forming at the bottom and moves clockwise, rather than anti-clockwise. As the children progress through the school, they begin to move away from forming single letters, and move on to joining letters within words and then later on, focusing on fluency, speed and adopting a style.

When helping your child at home, the following points will help you.

  • Always start forming letters from the line
  • ‘Tall letters’ will almost touch the line above (b, d, f, h,k,l)
  • ‘Middle letters’ are all the same height and stop at the middle point of the line. (a,c,e,I,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x,z)
  • Some letters stretch down below the line. The top of these letters touch the middle point. (f,j,p,q,y)
  • Capital letters never join the rest of a word.
  • Ensure your child is holding their pencil correctly.
  • Make sure your child is sitting on their chair properly.
  • Sometimes having the paper tilted at an angle can help.

Examples of each letter using cursive script. 

Free Writing Fridays

Nottingham Academy Fhas launched ree Writing Friday, a campaign set up by the Author Cressida Cowell in conjunction with the Literacy Trust to inspire children to write for pleasure. Every Friday, children will get an allocated slot of time where they can write in a special notebook, whatever and however they choose, without the fear of criticism. Writing for enjoyment boosts a child’s writing behaviour, confidence, motivation and academic attainment.