At Long Ditton Infant and Nursery School we believe that writing is a skill which is best taught by demonstration, explanation and practice. We recognise that children need gross and fine motor control before they are ready to be taught handwriting and that from the start writing needs to be given a real purpose.
Our aim is to ensure that all children will be able to write fluently and confidently and the majority of children will be able to write with a cursive script by the time they leave us. In order to do this, we have planned a progressive writing strategy across the school.
Nursery – In Nursery we teach our children patterns, shapes, mark making, pre-writing shapes and when appropriate letter writing. Adults will model writing in print with the correct letter formation. Nursery children will be given 'real life' writing opportunities and encouraged to write in all areas of the Nursery curriculum.
Reception - In Reception children are taught the basic letter shapes and formations using a print style. Adults will model writing in print with the correct letter formation when writing. In Reception specific writing areas for independent learning are provided as well as independent or supported writing tasks given.
Year 1 – In year 1 children will be introduced to the lead in and lead out stroke for the letters ready to join. Adults will model writing with lead ins and lead out strokes with the correct letter. Writing for real reasons and across the range of curriculum subjects is included every day. Successful writing at all levels is celebrated and displayed.
Year 2 – In Year 2 joined writing (including individual letter lead ins, loops and exit strokes. Adults will model cursive writing with correct letter formation and joining. Editing writing for errors and presentation is introduced to help children appreciate the art of displaying knowledge and skills learned.
While we recognise that our handwriting journey will suit most children we also know that some children may need support or extending. We will assess individual children’s needs and adapt our teaching and expectations accordingly. Fully joined writing (including all letters joined) is introduced once children have appropriate gross and fine motor control (by Year 2 for most children).