UK National Curriculums for handwriting

UK National Curriculums for handwriting - FS

Foundation Stage (4 - 5 year olds)

The degree of focus on handwriting in the National Curriculums varies depending on the area of the UK a school is situated, however the one consistent element in all the UK National Curriculums is that handwriting needs to be legible for the reader.

England

Reception (4 - 5 year olds)

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage – 1st September 2021

Early Learning goals - Literacy

"ELG: Writing (page 13)

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.”

Early Learning goals - Physical Development

"ELG: Gross Motor Skills (page 12)

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

"ELG: Fine Motor Skills (page 13)

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.”

Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five; Published: 31 March 2021; Effective: 1 September 2021(Department for Education)

Development Matters Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage; September 2020

The Department for Education has also published this additional document to support and guide practitioners in developing a varied and rich curriculum that meets the requirements of the statutory framework for early years foundation stage.

Development Matters Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage; September 2020

Northern Ireland

Year 1 (4 - 5 year olds)

Literacy Indicators: Progression in Writing

By the end of Year 1 most children should:

‘‘Northern Ireland Curriculum: Language & Literacy in the Foundation Stage Framework for Literacy Development: produced by the CCEA, copyright on website 2016’

Scotland

P1 (4 - 5 year olds)

Literacy & English: Tools for writing – using knowledge of technical aspects to help my writing communicate effectively within and beyond my place of learning:

Experiences & Outcomes:

I explore sounds, letters and words, discovering how they work together, and I can use what I learn to help me as I read or write. ENG 0-12a / LIT 0-13a / LIT 0-21a
As I play and learn, I enjoy exploring interesting materials for writing and different ways of recording my experiences and feelings, ideas and information. LIT 0-21b

Benchmarks to support practitioners’ professional judgement:

Education Scotland: Benchmarks Early Level All Curriculum Areas: March 2017’

Wales

Reception (4 - 5 year olds)

Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework: Language, Literacy and Communication Skills:

Strand: Writing

Children are able to (areas associated with handwriting):

Foundation Phase Skills Ladders for Assessment

Age range 48 months to 60 months (4 to 5 year olds)

Outcome 3: Handwriting

Children able to: recognise the alphabetic nature of writing and write letters and simple words and phrases, writing from left to right.
Children may be observed: discriminating between letters, applying their phonic knowledge to write letters and simple words/phrases, e.g. from the environment or high-frequency words. They will consistently write from left to right when producing pieces of emergent writing.

Outcome 3: Holding a mark-making implement

Children able to: hold a crayon/pencil using two or three fingers and thumb.
Children may be observed: holding a crayon/pencil using their thumb and two or three fingers, they sometimes revert to earlier grips but do not yet show a dynamic grip. Some grips which fit this description are inefficient and should be discouraged (examples given on p87).

Outcome 3: Fine manipulation

Children able to: string beads onto a lace and are able to manipulate and lock together appropriate resources.
Children may be observed: locking together jigsaw puzzles and construction materials; fluently threading a few large beads onto a hard tipped string; making a dough model with some attempts at detail; tapping a touchscreen, using a computer mouse, doing up front zips and large buttons.
Accessing technology would include some independent use of a mouse and touchscreens.

‘Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework (revised 2015): OGL 2015; Digital ISBN 978 1 4734 4217 7
‘Welsh Government: Foundation Phase Profile Handbook; OGL: September 2017; Digital ISBN 978 1 78859 477 6’

https://hwb.gov.wales

UK National Curriculums for handwriting - KS1

Key Stage 1 (5 - 7 year olds)

The degree of focus on handwriting in the National Curriculums varies depending on the area of the UK a school is situated, however the one consistent element in all the UK National Curriculums is that handwriting needs to be legible for the reader.

England

Key Stage 1 (5 - 7 year olds)

Year 1 (5 - 6 year olds)

Statutory Requirements - Handwriting

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Handwriting requires frequent and discrete, direct teaching. Pupils should be able to form letters correctly and confidently. The size of the writing implement (pencil, pen) should not be too large for a young pupil’s hand. Whatever is being used should allow the pupil to hold it easily and correctly so that bad habits are avoided.
Left-handed pupils should receive specific teaching to meet their needs.

Year 2 (6 - 7 year olds)

Statutory Requirements – Handwriting

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should revise and practise correct letter formation frequently. They should be taught to write with a joined style as soon as they can form letters securely with the correct orientation.

‘English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 National curriculum in England’; September 2013’ (up-dated for implementation September 2014); Department for Education.

Northern Ireland

Year 2 Foundation Stage and Year 3 Key Stage 1 (5 - 7 year olds)

Year 2 (5 - 6 year olds)

Literacy Indicators: Progression in Writing

Progressing towards Key Stage 1 most children should:

‘Northern Ireland Curriculum: Language & Literacy in the Foundation Stage Framework for Literacy Development: produced by the CCEA, copyright on website 2016’

Year 3 (6 - 7 year olds)

Levels of Progression in Communication across the curriculum: Key Stage 1

Requirements for communication – Writing
Pupils should be enabled to:

Level 1

Pupils can:

Level 2

Level 3

‘From 2017/18 Assessment Arrangements In relation to pupils in the final years of Key Stages 1 and 2 for Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT: produced by the CCEA, copyright 2017’

Scotland

First Level – Year P2 and P3 (5 - 7 year olds)

Curriculum for excellence: Literacy and English experiences and outcomes: tools for writing: using knowledge of technical aspects to help my writing communicate effectively within and beyond my place of learning:

First Level

First Level Benchmarks to support practitioners’ professional judgement of achievement of a level:

‘Curriculum for excellence: Literacy and English experiences and outcomes'
‘Education Scotland First Level Benchmarks All Curriculum Areas March 2017’

https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland/scottish-education-system

Wales

Foundation Phase – Year 1 and 2 (5 - 7 year olds)

Year 1 (5 - 6 year olds)

Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework: Language, Literacy and Communication Skills:

Strand: Writing

Children are able to (areas associated with handwriting):

Foundation Phase Skills Ladders for Assessment

Age range 60 months to 72 months (5 to 6 year olds)

Outcome 4 – Handwriting

Children are able to: write words, phrases and letters, forming upper and lower-case letters, which are usually clearly shaped and correctly orientated.
Children may be observed: forming single upper and lower-case letters which are clearly and correctly formed. Letters may not show correct sizing between upper and lower-case letters, but will mostly follow a ‘baseline’ and be correctly orientated.

Outcome 4 – Holding a mark-making implement

Children will be able to: sometimes hold a pen/pencil with a dynamic (mature) grip.
Children may be observed: with their thumb and two or three fingers making contact with the pencil/pen. The pencil/pen may be held further from the point than is usual for an adult’s writing hold.

Outcome 4 – Fine manipulation

Children will be able to: tie a knot, construct models using kits and have good control over creative materials and resources.
Children may be observed: using buttons, zips on self and toys without help. Manipulating materials for play at this stage would include tying a knot and building basic models using construction kits. Accessing technology would include some independent use of a mouse and touchscreens.

Year 2 (6 - 7 year olds)

Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework: Language, Literacy and Communication Skills:

Strand: Writing

Children are able to (areas associated with handwriting):

Foundation Phase Skills Ladders for Assessment

Age range 72 months to 84 months (6 to 7 year olds)

Outcome 5 – Handwriting

Children will be able to: write words, phrases and letters, forming upper and lower-case letters accurately, with consistent size and orientation.
Children may be observed: forming letters correctly and with consistent size and orientation the majority of the time. Errors will be infrequent at this stage.

Outcome 5 – Holding a mark-making implement

Children will be able to: often hold a pen/pencil with a dynamic (mature) grip and good control.
Children may be observed: with their thumb and two or three fingers making contact with the pencil/pen, with movement of the writing tool coming from the finger tips. They should usually hold the pencil/pen close to its point.

Outcome 5 – Fine manipulation

Children will be able to: start to use hands and fingers with confidence, control and appropriate pressure to accurately manipulate resources for a range of purposes.
Children may be observed: manipulating materials for play including building increasingly complex models out of construction kits or modelling materials, using a range of materials and tools to make images and artefacts, manipulating equipment for science experiments or independently using a mouse and touchscreen

‘Curriculum for Wales: Foundation Phase Framework (revised 2015): OGL 2015; Digital ISBN 978 1 4734 4217 7
‘Welsh Government: Foundation Phase Profile Handbook; OGL: September 2017; Digital ISBN 978 1 78859 477 6’

https://hwb.gov.wales

UK National Curriculums for handwriting - KS2

Key Stage 2 (7 - 11 year olds)

The degree of focus on handwriting in the National Curriculums varies depending on the area of the UK a school is situated, however the one consistent element in all the UK National Curriculums is that handwriting needs to be legible for the reader.

England

Key Stage 2 (7 - 11 year olds)

Lower Key Stage 2 - Year 3 and 4 (7 - 9 year olds)

Statutory Requirements - Handwriting

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should be joining handwriting throughout their independent writing. Handwriting should continue to be taught, with the aim of increasing the fluency with which pupils are able to write what they want to say. This, in turn, will support their composition and spelling.

Upper Key Stage 2 - Year 5 and 6 (9 - 11 year olds)

Statutory Requirements - Handwriting

Pupils should be taught to:

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils should continue to practise handwriting and be encouraged to increase the speed of it, so that problems with forming letters do not get in the way of their writing down what they want to say. They should be clear about what standard of handwriting is appropriate for a particular task, for example, quick notes or a final handwritten version. They should also be taught to use an unjoined style, for example, for labelling a diagram or data, writing an email address, or for algebra and capital letters, for example, for filling in a form.

‘English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 National curriculum in England’; September 2013’ (up-dated for implementation September 2014); Department for Education.

Northern Ireland

Key Stage 2 – Year 4, 5, 6 and 7 (7 - 11 year olds)

Year 4 (7 - 8 year olds)

Levels of Progression in Communication across the curriculum: Key Stages 1 and 2 (Levels 1–5)
Requirements for communication – Writing

Pupils should be enabled to:

Level 3

Year 5, 6 and 7 (8 - 11 year olds)

For Levels 4 and 5 there are no specific handwriting progression statements as it is assumed that the handwriting criteria has already been achieved when a child is assessed as Level 3.

Requirements for communication – Writing
Pupils should be enabled to:

Level 4

Pupils can:

Level 5

‘From 2017/18 Assessment Arrangements In relation to pupils in the final years of Key Stages 1 and 2 for Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT: produced by the CCEA, copyright 2017’

Scotland

Key Stage 2 – Year P4, P5, P6 and P7 (7 - 11 year olds)

First Level – Year P4 (7 - 8 year olds)

Curriculum for excellence: Literacy and English experiences and outcomes: tools for writing: using knowledge of technical aspects to help my writing communicate effectively within and beyond my place of learning:

First Level

First Level Benchmarks to support practitioners’ professional judgement of achievement of a level:

Second Level – Year P5, P6 and P7 (8 - 11 year olds)

Curriculum for excellence: Literacy and English experiences and outcomes: tools for writing: using knowledge of technical aspects to help my writing communicate effectively within and beyond my place of learning

Second Level

Second Level Benchmarks to support practitioners’ professional judgement of achievement of a level:

Reviews and corrects writing to ensure it makes sense, is technically accurate and meets its purpose. Makes appropriate choices about layout and presentation, including in digital texts, to engage the reader, for example, headings, bullet points, fonts, graphics and/or captions.

‘Curriculum for excellence: Literacy and English experiences and outcomes:’
‘Education Scotland First Level Benchmarks All Curriculum Areas March 2017’
‘Education Scotland Second Level Benchmarks All Curriculum Areas March 2017’

https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland/scottish-education-system

Wales

Key Stage 2 – Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 (7 - 11 year olds)

Key Stage 2 English Programme of study Strand: Writing – Elements - Writing accurately; Aspects - Grammar Punctuation Spelling Handwriting

Year 3

Learners are able to: produce legible handwriting and present work appropriately joining letters in some words.

Year 4

Learners are able to: produce handwriting which is clear and legible and may be cursive.

Year 5

Learners are able to: produce legible, cursive handwriting with increased fluency.

Year 6

Learners are able to: produce fluent and legible handwriting.

Attainment Targets 3: Writing (Handwriting element only shown here)

Level 1: Letters are usually clearly shaped and correctly orientated.

Level 2: In handwriting, letters are accurately formed and consistent in size.

Level 3: Handwriting is legible and work is appropriately presented.

Level 4: Handwriting is clear and legible and, where appropriate, presentation is adapted according to the task.

Level 5 - Level 8: Work is legible and well presented.

Exceptional Performance: Work is legible and well presented.

‘Curriculum for Wales: Programme of Study for English Key Stages 2–4; 15/07/17’

https://hwb.gov.wales