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New Quilters Junior School Handwriting Initiative

Dear Parents and carers,


In light of the added requirements of the new National Curriculum we have decided to update our approach to the teaching of handwriting at Quilters Junior School. 


Even in this modern age of computers, tablets and smart phones, writing is a fundamental skill at which all primary school children should become proficient during their time at primary school.


Our aim is for children to leave Quilters Junior School with the ability to:


  • write legibly, using correct letter sizing and formation and joining where appropriate

  • write fluently with increasing speed

  • adapt their writing style to suit audience and task

  • to present written work in a neat and clear manner in order to communicate effectively and to show pride in their work


In order to achieve this, from January 2016, formal handwriting teaching will take place in every classroom at least once a week. Every child will receive a new triple-lined exercise book in which to practise their handwriting. Children will be taught the correct letter formations and how to join their letters properly. There will be regular opportunities in class to practise new skills and presentation of work will be given increased status.


We will be adopting the Nelson style of handwriting, a plain, modern style which joins the majority of letters but has no lead in stroke at the start of letters. We feel this style is contemporary and more manageable than some of the fully cursive styles.


It is generally recognised that writing with pencil is the easiest way for pupils to learn to join efficiently and effectively.  It is easily corrected, less prone to smudge and the movement of the pencil, while joining, is virtually effortless.  To use a pen before they are ready will impede a pupil’s progress and development.  For these reasons, we have decided to take a ‘back to pencil’ approach across the school. From Monday 11th January 2016, all pupils (regardless of previous pen usage) will go back to writing in pencil. This will be explained fully to the children in assembly, on Wednesday 6th January 2016, so that no child is left feeling demotivated or set back in any way. We wish every child to have a ‘clean sheet’ with regards to pen usage and we will be working hard to motivate children to work towards the responsibility of using pen. 


Once pupils have demonstrated that they can write consistently in a clear and legible way, they will be awarded a ‘Pen Licence’ and a school handwriting pen. This is an achievement to be celebrated and one which pupils will be encouraged to work towards, as it is an important and relevant life-skill. For some pupils, this will happen very quickly; for others persistence, patience and lots of practice will be required.


As an additional incentive, well presented work may be chosen to be displayed in the Quilters Museum or on our website. Books which contain good quality writing may also be chosen to be shown to a visitor, which will earn the author one of the more difficult to obtain Quilters Quest stickers!


We know that the children will rise to this new challenge with their usual energy and enthusiasm. We hope that you too will support us in our efforts to raise the profile of good presentation and clear, legible handwriting.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Kind regards,


Mrs Amanda Friary