Handwriting in Years 3 & 4 / P4 & 5 (age 7–9)
For ideas to support your child’s handwriting development at home, take a look at our handwriting at home pages.
Handwriting in the curriculum
The National Curriculum in England
In England, the National Curriculum requires that children in Years 3 and 4 are taught to:
- use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
- increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting (for example, by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant; that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch).
Scottish Curriculum for Excellence
In Scotland, most children aged 7–9 will be working towards the following first level experiences and outcomes:
- I can present my writing in a way that will make it legible and attractive for my reader, combining words, images and other features. (LIT 1-24a)
Teachers and practitioners will be supporting children as they learn to:
- write independently, punctuating most sentences accurately, for example, using a capital letter, full stop, question mark or exclamation mark
- present writing in a clear and legible way using images and other features as appropriate.
Foundation Phase Framework and the Programme of Study for Wales
The list below provides a summary of the expectations set out in the Foundation Phase Framework and the Programme of Study for Wales, with regards to handwriting.
Year 3 children are able to:
- produce legible handwriting and present work appropriately joining letters in some words.
Year 4 children are able to:
- produce handwriting which is clear and legible and may be cursive.
Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum
In summary, the expectations set out in the Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum, with regards to handwriting, require that:
- by the end of Key Stage 1 the majority of children will be able to use a legible style of handwriting
- by the end of Key Stage 2 children will be able to use a swift and legible style of handwriting.
Handwriting in Years 5 & 6 / P6 & P7 >
Handwriting at home >