At Spalding St Paul’s Primary School, we want to ensure that the vast majority of children develop age appropriate handwriting skills leading to a fast, fluent, comfortable, legible, joined handwriting style.

We want to ensure children:

  • Develop a recognition and appreciation of pattern and line
  • Learn conventional ways of forming letter shapes, lower case & capitals
  • Understand the importance of clear presentation to communicate meaning
  • Take pride in the presentation of all their work
  • Are able to write quickly in order to express themselves for a range of purposes

Formal handwriting skills will be taught regularly and systematically through the use of the Penpals Handwriting scheme (Cambridge University Press) and also practiced as part of RWI daily work in KS1.  

All pupils have at least one 30-40 minute Pen pals handwriting lesson per week with further ‘short burst’ opportunities to revisit and practice skills. In Early Years and KS1 children also have opportunities to practice handwriting as part of their hour RWI Literacy session.

Children need to practice handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later.

Early Years and KS1:

Children start by developing fine and gross motor-skills with a range of multi-sensory activities both through continuous provision, RWI sessions and formal Penpals activities.

Children are taught the letter formation in formal handwriting sessions following the Penpals Scheme. To support this, we use the RWI ditty or rhyme to help children with the correct form and orientation of all the letters of the alphabet (with the exception of k so we change the RWI phrase to ‘down the kangaroo tail, round his tail and leg’).

In RWI sessions children also have the opportunity to write letters but only when they know all of the 25 phonics sounds. Handwriting should be discussed within and linked to phonics sessions but these are not formal handwriting sessions.

In Early Years and KS1 the highest priority is given to teaching the correct letter formation before any attempt is made at joining.


In KS2 Children will continue to have regular practice of handwriting, securing the joins and developing speed and fluency. By the end of Year 6 pupils should have a clear, fluid handwriting style.


Children will have the opportunity to earn a ‘pen license’ from Year 3 upwards and may use a handwriting pen rather than pencil at the discretion of the teacher.

The intended impact of using the full range of Read Write Inc and Penpals Handwriting resources, including display, will be seen across the school with an increase in the profile of handwriting.

Following the scheme, will give our school a consistent approach where handwriting expectations are clear and the same technical vocabulary is used with, and spoken by, all teaching staff and learners.

Handwriting lessons should not feel like a chore for teachers and pupils and should encourage a sense of pride in pupils’ written work.

Our children’s handwriting will become automatic and to a high standard so that they are able to focus on the content of their writing rather than the presentation.

The impact of good handwriting should be noticeable within written work in all areas of the curriculum.