Handwriting in Key Stage 3 & 4 (11 - 16 yrs)

Why teach handwriting in Key Stage 3 & 4

It is quite often said that by secondary school age it is too late to be addressing a student’s poor handwriting and that they are better off being given a computer for their work. If only this was true!

Legible, fluid and speedy handwriting is still very much a valid and important skill set for secondary school students to maintain or acquire.

The benefits of handwriting
Why students start secondary school with such poor illegible handwriting
How to help your students

If your students are struggling with their handwriting it is either because they haven't been taught what to do or they don't have all the physical strengths needed to handwrite comfortably and so limit how / what they write.

Using the Key Stage 2 section of our website should help you identify the causes of the poor writing and provide ways to overcome them.

If you would like a more structured approach then we do sell a Secondary School Handwriting Recovery Program.

Secondary School Recovery Program - £275 + VAT

Our Secondary School Recovery Program takes a holistic view of teaching handwriting, developing both a student’s Key Strengths (Gross & Fine Motor Skills) and Key Abilities (Knowledge). It’s systematic, differentiated and progressive approach supports students of all ability levels.

The assessments and intervention program can be implemented by a teacher or trained support staff (teaching assistant). Assessments evaluate your students’ abilities and weaknesses. Based on these outcomes the program can be used to provide tailored support for them.

A generic eight-week intervention program provides a structured approach to improving your students handwriting. Obviously based on their current skill levels this will need to be adapted, and possibly extended, to accommodate their specific difficulties.

Key Abilities

Key Abilities lesson plans and resources support the intervention program and cover:

The Program teaches the capital letters together with your choice of the three main lower-case font styles taught in UK Primary Schools: print (manuscript), cursive and continuous cursive. Each font is taught in family groups.

Due to the wide range of primary schools that a secondary school has to cater for it is difficult to know how that intake has been, if at all, taught to handwrite. Even though the teaching of handwriting is a statutory requirement of the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 National Curriculum it does not state which font or letter version are to be taught.

This also makes it incredibly difficult for a secondary school to implement one particular handwriting font style in their school. However, that being said, we would recommend the following:

A few SEND students may need to be taught a print handwriting font style as due to their abilities they will be unable to move on to a cursive joined handwriting font.

It is important to look at each student’s needs on a case by case basis; making decisions based on practical and realistic solutions.

The Secondary School Recovery Program provides you with all four Teaching Routes, so that all your students can be catered for, all you have to choose is the letter version combination of w, x and z.

Cursive Letter Versions

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Continuous Cursive Letter Versions

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Key Strengths

Often handwriting difficulties are caused by poor gross and fine motor skills (Key Strengths). Without these skills students find it difficult to hold and manipulate a pen and sit correctly for long periods of time when completing handwriting tasks.

The Key Strength areas are supported in two ways:

1. Handwriting Session Warm Up Exercises
2. P.E Warm Up & Cool Down Activities - Supporting:

As all teaching staff need to be familiar with the handwriting recovery program, although they may not be actively involved in it, a teachers’ section is included which provides information so they can support handwriting improvements in their lessons.

If you are interested in purchasing the program then either call us on 01298 938559 or send us your details through the Contact Us form.

Secondary School Recovery Program contents

Secondary School Recovery Program Manual

The Recovery Program Manual includes:

  • Detailed, colour coded, lesson plans have been designed to be accessible to all educators and provide:
    • lesson aims,
    • learning objectives,
    • resource list,
    • lesson instructions, and
    • plenaries (round up).
  • Lesson plans cover:
    • Pen grip.
    • Paper position and tilt.
    • Single letter formation.
    • Letter joining.
    • Dictation to build speed and fluidity.
  • Other Recovery Program Manual contents
    • Gross and fine motor skills activities.
    • Word lists.
    • Differentiated dictation sentences.
    • Staff handout information sheets.

USB Memory stick

On your USB stick there are over 1,000 worksheets that progress from large lined colour clue worksheets through to normal handwriting lined worksheets with colour prompts at the start of the line. You choose the correct worksheet for the students and only print what you need.

The posters you need for the lessons are also included together with desktop letter crib sheets and alphabet friezes.

The worksheet development level is identified by a colour and shape.

You get on your USB stick:

  • 6 levels for pre-handwriting patterns
  • 6 levels for capital letters
  • 6 levels for lower-case letters
  • 6 levels for joining letters
  • 6 levels for numbers
  • 6 levels for symbols
  • 3 paper line styles for each level

School Animation Channel

Your animation channels - one for cursive and one for continuous cursive just hosts the videos for your chosen Letter Version.

In addition to the free animations on our website your channel has an animation to support every one of the Recovery Program worksheets.

School Photocopy Licence

As part of the Program the school is allowed to photocopy (not digitally copy), for its use only, from the Recovery Program Manual.