At Park Lane we teach cursive (joined up) handwriting as we believe this helps children achieve writing fluency. The new 2014 curriculum also states children need to start joining in Year 2. By Year 3, they need to concentrate on increasing the legibility, consistency and quality of their joined handwriting. Throughout Key Stage 2, children need to keep up the quality of their handwriting, and concentrate on increasing their speed.
Cursive writing also helps with spelling as research shows it develops a muscle memory of the movements of each word.’
In Reception, children are taught pre cursive handwriting. This means each letter has a lead in line. When writing the lead in line we say ‘whoosh up’ then we continue to say the ditty to remind us how each letter is written (refer back to Part 1: Phonics) e.g.
a = whoosh up, round the apple and down the leaf.
In Key Stage 1 this moves into fully cursive handwriting where all letters are joined.
When teaching handwriting the children are not taught letters in alphabetical order but through letter families. Letter families group together letters that have a similar movement or direction. Such a long ladder, curly caterpillars, one-armed robots and zigzag monsters
A good point to note when teaching handwriting is that a good posture is important for cursive writing. Children should sit with their feet flat on the floor, their back straight (no heads on the table) and relaxed shoulders.