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On this page, you will find a range of videos and documents to help support handwriting for your child. As a school, Holy Rood Catholic Primary school hold the teaching and development of every child’s handwriting as a high priority. We encourage all children to take pride in not only the content of each piece of work they produce, but also the presentation.


Throughout each year group in Holy Rood, children take part in handwriting lessons delivered in whole class teaching input or small group intervention activities. This is the case from the foundation stage up to year 6 with the aim of:

  • developing effective and efficient pen/pencil hold
  • developing the habit of concentration which is crucial to good handwriting
  • placing a strong emphasis on the insistence of perfection in presentation
  • providing the class teacher with the opportunity to help assess individuals' progress and monitor areas requiring reinforcement.


As a school we follow the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. Nelson Handwriting is a whole-school programme designed to help all children develop a confident, legible and personal handwriting style and meet higher curriculum expectations. 


In this section you will find a range of fine motor activities you can do at home to further support and develop your child’s ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands and wrists. These activities help to strengthen these muscles therefore making the skill of handwriting easier and increasing their hold over their pencil/pen.




In this section you will find a video to help you warm up your hands so that you are ready to write. The video also explains the best position to sit in when getting ready to write.



In this section you will find two videos. One video shows you how we teach all children to form their lowercase letters and the other video shows you how we teach all children to form their uppercase letters.

Letter formation practise

Uppercase Letter Formation

Lowercase Letter Formation

Joined handwriting practise (in line with the Nelson Handwriting Scheme)

Applying for a pen license

Earning a pen licence is a proud moment for many primary-school child. We celebrate and mark this transition by awarding children a pen licence: a special certificate card that states that they are now allowed and expected to use pen for both their schoolwork and homework. 

Handwriting is a statutory requirement of the National Curriculum and having a pen license is an excellent incentive to get all children focusing on their handwriting. 


Some of the skills that children need to demonstrate to earn a pen licence include:

  • Using a correct pencil/pen grip
  • Writing on the line
  • Joining letters correctly (see the section 'Joined handwriting practise (in line with the Nelson Handwriting Scheme)' above)
  • Starting each letter in the correct place
  • Keeping letters the same size
  • Forming letters with the correct shape
  • Leaving appropriate gaps between words
  • Ensuring that ascending and descending strokes are the right length
  • Writing clearly enough for other people to read their work


When a child would like to apply for their pen license, or if their class teacher feels they are ready to apply, the child will be asked to write a short letter to Mrs. Braund to showcase their amazing handwriting. Mrs. Braund then takes this letter and the child's book into account when deciding  if the pen license will be awarded.


If a child is not successful on their first try, please do not worry. They can try as many times as they like and their class teacher will support them and work with them to help get them ready.