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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

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Cavendish Primary School


At Cavendish Primary School, we believe that high standards of handwriting and presentational skills are essential to success across the curriculum. This policy sets out a systematic programme of teaching handwriting, which enables children to learn how to form and join letters correctly and to take pride in their work. In order to support pupils in developing their handwriting skills, and to foster values of pride and high aspirations, Cavendish Primary School follows the Martin Harvey Handwriting  programme Achieving Excellence in Handwriting. Children use the handwriting skills they have been taught to present work across the curriculum in an attractive way that develops personal pride and a strong sense of achievement.

To support handwriting development pupils will:

  • Learn how to develop the correct pencil grip.

  • Develop a handwriting style that is consistent in size, orientation and formation, leading into a joined style.

  • Develop a legible and comfortable handwriting style with increasing confidence, fluency and speed.

  • Become competent when using a range of writing implements.

  • Develop good writing habits and understand the benefits to be gained from working in a clear and tidy area.

  • Receive rewards for effort and achievement in handwriting.

  • Feel a sense of achievement in completing their work to the best of their abilities.

  • Understand that writing is a high priority and valued by their teacher.

  • Be motivated by the celebration of their written work in classroom displays.

  • Receive high quality teaching of handwriting.


At Cavendish Primary School, we use a consistent approach of teaching handwriting throughout the school using Martin Harvey's guidelines and clear terminology. All members of staff support and believe in the drive for excellence in handwriting. A consistent approach is taken to the handwriting style and the shape of the letters being taught and the language used when teaching handwriting.

Establishing Good Habits

The Martin Harvey method emphasises the importance of establishing good working habits in order to consistently achieve high quality handwriting and excellent presentation of work in every class. We aim to have these habits in place across every class in the school, during every lesson across the curriculum. These include:

Two hands on the paper - Children are encouraged to use two hands when writing: One hand to hold the paper or exercise book and one hand to write with.

Correct posture - Good posture and correct seating position are vital components of developing good handwriting.

There are four ways in which we ensure the correct seating position:

1. Six feet on the floor - The child's two feet and the four feet of the chair. Children are discouraged from kneeling on a chair or to sit cross-legged on the chair. The chair's feet stay on floor so that children do no rock forward or forward on the chair.

2. BBC - Children should be expected to sit at tables in the BBC position (Bottom Back in Chair), this means that children do not sit with their chairs sticking out, making the classroom half its real size, with bottoms on the front edge of the chair. They pull the chair towards the table, so bottoms are at the back of the chair.

3. TNT (Tummy Near Table) - Children are expected to sit with their tummy near the table, but not squashed up to the table. This prevents sitting with the chair a long way from the table so that the children needs to slouch forward to do their word.

4. Paper Position - When writing, the paper or exercise book should be placed in an upright position. A slight angle is acceptable; however, this should not be more that 45 degrees.


The Martin Harvey Style

Progression of Objectives in Handwriting

The following table shows the progression of the statutory requirements for Handwriting from the English Programmes of study:

Key Stages 1 and 2 National Curriculum in England.

The objectives for EYFS are taken from Development Matter Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Early Learning Goals from the Early Years Foundation Stage profile.







Year 1

Year 2

Year 3/4

Year 5/6

Early Learning Goal: Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing - using the tripod grip in almost all cases

Sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortable and correctly.

Development Matters: Learn to form lower-case and capital letters correctly.


Early Learning Goal: Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

Begin to form lower-case and capital letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place.

Form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.

Increase the legibility, consistent and quality of my handwriting

Write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task

Form capital letters

Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters.

Write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters.

Form digits 0-9

Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters.

Use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters

Understand which letters belong to handwriting 'families' and to practice these.

Understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.

Understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined


Use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.


Important Documents

Handwriting Policy