At Haltwhistle Academy, we follow the 'Read, Write Inc Handwriting' approach from Nursery to Year 2. In KS2, children follow Nelson Handwriting which is a whole-school programme designed to help all children develop a confident, legible and personal handwriting style and meet higher curriculum expectations.
In addition we provide opportunities to develop the motor skills required to develop a fluent handwriting style through continuous provision and adult supported learning in early years and Year 1 (see Launchpad for Literacy motor skills strand).
Teachers understand the typical development of a correct pencil grip with the aim that all children will have developed a static tripod grip by Year 1 and a dynamic tripod grip by the end of year 2. We recognise that a small number of children may need additional support to develop a tripod grip as a result of muscle weakness, hypermobility or other needs. Pencil grip correctors are often used in these cases as an aid to develop the muscle memory required to maintain an efficient pencil hold.
Some children require additional support to develop the physical skills required to write neatly. Following assessment of their needs we also provide targeted intervention using:
- Launchpad motor skills continuous provision and targeted intervention
- Write from the start
- Derby OH handwriting programme
A range of pencil supports may also be used to help children to develop the muscle memory required to maintain a dynamic tripod grip.
Where maintaining a comfortable and correct seating position is required, teachers may also incorporate additional gross motor skills promoting core strength activities during PE lessons and 'brain breaks'.
Left-handed children -
- Left-handed pupils should sit to the left of a right-handed child so that they are not competing for space.
- Pencils should not be held too close to the point as this can interrupt pupils’ line of vision.
- Extra practice with left-to-right exercises may be necessary before pupils write left-to-right automatically.