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Ashmead School

Ashmead provides its children with two everlasting things, one is roots, the other wings.


At Ashmead School we use the PenPals handwriting scheme (up to Year 3)

Handwriting will be taught using this scheme as it allows clear progression year on year. The daily 'taught' handwriting sessions progress through the following stages:


1. Physical preparation for handwriting: development of gross and fine motor skills

2. Securing the correct letter formation

3. Beginning to join

4. Securing the joins and practising speed and fluency

5. Developing a personal style


Penpals recommends just two basic join types:

  • Diagonal join
  • Horizontal join


Children are not taught the formation of letters in alphabetical order but in groups according to their formation: for example, a,c,e and o are taught together because they're all based on an anticlockwise circle. All of the correct formations can be found below.


It is our intention that all children will be able to join fluently by the time they enter Year 4 and be working on speed, fluency and presentation skills after this time. Those children finding letter formation particularly challenging will have the opportunity to receive extra support with a Teaching Assistant.


All children are taught to write with a pencil. Consistently well formed, legible handwriting will lead to children gaining their 'Pen License' in weekly assemblies. There is also a presentation page on the website where we publish, each half term, excellent examples of handwriting. Please go and take a look.


Curly Caterpillar letter formation