The correct pencil grip is very important to help children become fluent and confident writers. Most children don't naturally have a tripod pencil grip which is the most effective grip. They can initially find it very difficult due to weak muscles in their fingers - fine motor control. Children need to develop greater fine motor control by taking part in exercises and activities such as playing with playdough, painting, cutting and sticking activities, finger action songs, threading and lacing with beads, using pegs, using tweezers and even being encouraged to use the smaller Lego blocks. At St Anne's, we call the correct pencil grip "Duck Fingers". Once children have stronger fine motor control, they will find the correct pencil grip easier to manage. However, it is very easy for children to get in to bad habits, so they might need constant reminders until the tripod grip becomes natural.
This is the handwriting style we use at St Anne's. The children will initially learn to write and form letters that are not joined, but will be easy to join once taught. The correct formation is very important. Children will learn that when writing, letters always start on the line. Later in the year when the Phase 3 digraphs are reviewed, the children will be taught to join the digraphs and trigraphs. Please do not let your child join letters until we have taught this in school as this can lead to bad habits being learned. Through Year 1 and Year 2 they will continue to join more letters and it is hoped that all children are joining their writing from Year 2 / Year 3.
Since introducing this handwriting style in April 2019, we have seen vast improvements in the children's ability to join and also the presentation of their writing.
Below are documents that will help you support your child at home: