As we settle in to a new school year we always take time to review the successes of last year and explore what we could do better in the year to come. Alongside usual school improvement areas such as attainment of pupils and maintaining our high behaviour expectations we have a different things each year that we, as a school community of staff and governors have highlighted.
One area we are working on this year is handwriting.
Why handwriting? Well – believe it or not, handwriting has to be a certain standard by the end of Key Stage 2 for the children to be deemed as ‘secondary ready’ – namely they should be able to ‘maintain legibility when writing at speed’. In addition the national curriculum states that pupils should be taught to ‘use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined’.
What will we be doing? We have agreed on a standard scheme to use in order to ensure that we all teach handwriting in the same manner and that we all have high expectations of handwriting from the children. We will be using the widely-recognised ‘PenPals‘ from Cambridge Education.
How you can help: Take a look at the information above (which is split into each year group) – this gives you some idea as to what the teacher will cover and the expectations for your child. This way when they are writing at home you can gently encourage the joins and letter formation that we will be working on. Of course, please don’t out your child off writing – sometimes it is better to be thinking creatively and get ideas down and then worry about handwriting later! We always love to see any extra work done at home as well!