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Handwriting age related guide

Children 1 to 3 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children experiment with mark making on surfaces. They move to making scribbles containing both drawing and writing like shapes. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 3 to 4 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children begin to form a few letters correctly, for example, using a capital letter for the first letter of their name and lower-case letters for the remainder. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 4 to 5 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children use a pencil and hold it appropriately for their stage of development to form recognisable letters, most of which are formed correctly. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 5 to 6 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children show increased control over their formation of the capital and lower-case letters size and spacing. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 6 to 7 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children are forming letters correctly, for the majority of the time, and with consistent size and orientation. They are learning how to join their lower-case letters correctly. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 7 to 8 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children continue to refine their use of the strokes that are needed to join letters and understand that capital letters never join to their lower-case letters. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 8 to 9 years old: Expected handwriting level

Children continue to develop their handwriting legibility, consistency and quality with writing spaced so that letter ascenders and descenders do not touch. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Children 9+ years old: Expected handwriting level

Children's handwriting is clear and legible and presentation is adapted to the task. Through continued practise legibility, fluency and speed are developed. Click here for more information and support ideas.

Check your child’s handwriting progress against our age specific guides by clicking on the age range buttons below..

If they are at the expected levels or above they are fine and you don’t have to worry about anything.

If they are not meeting the expected requirements use the year group below’s page to support your child.

If your child doesn’t meet the expected requirements for the year group below then we would recommend looking at the handwriting difficulties page.

Checking your child’s handwriting ability