Home Page

Pirehill First School





We aim for our children to leave in Year 4 with the ability to write using fluent, legible and sustainable handwriting, as well as other styles of writing for specific purposes. In addition to teaching handwriting during our regular handwriting lessons, we have high expectations that what is taught and practiced in handwriting lessons will be used in all writing activities. We believe that handwriting is integral to a child’s personal development and know that children’s engagement and self-esteem can be improved by their satisfaction and pride in good quality presentation.


Handwriting is a taught skill that develops at different rates for different children. All of the teachers in the school put a priority on teaching handwriting and have high expectations for handwriting across the curriculum. At Pirehill First School we use Penpals for Handwriting to ensure that:

  • The importance of handwriting is recognised and given appropriate time.
  • The progression of handwriting is consistent across the school.
  • Handwriting is acknowledged to be a whole body activity and emphasis is placed on correct posture and pencil grip for handwriting.
  • Expectations of left-handed children are equal to those of right-handed children, and appropriate advice and resources are available to ensure that they learn to write with a comfortable, straight wrist.
  • Handwriting is linked into grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to practice and contextualise all of the transcriptional and stylistic skills for writing.
  • Children learn to self-assess their own writing and develop understanding and responsibility for improving it.


Penpals enables us to teach and secure the development of handwriting throughout the school:

  • First, children experience the foundation of handwriting through multi-sensory activities (EYFS F1 and F2).
  • Correct letter formation is taught, practised, applied and consolidated (EYFS F1/Y1).
  • Joining is introduced only after correct letter formation is used automatically (Y1/Y2/Y3).
  • Joins are introduced systematically and cumulatively (Y2–Y4).
  • As children practice joining, they pay attention to the size, proportion and spacing of their letters and words (Y3–Y4).


In order to support the development of your child's handwriting at home you may find the following documents useful.