Part 2: Learning letter formation

Good handwriting

The following list covers the basis letter knowledge needed for good handwriting:

  1. No letters start on the line
  2. All the letters are the same size except: seven letters have sticks above the body of the letter: ‘b, d, f, h, k, l and t’. (Note the ‘t’ is not as tall as the other tall letters) and six letters have tails that go below the line: ‘f, g, j, p, q and y’.
  3. Most letters go down towards the line first: ‘b, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, t, u, v, w, x, y and f’. (Note ‘f’ has a little hump backwards before it goes down).
  4. The following letters start like a ‘c’ – ‘a, d, o, g, q’. In Jolly Phonics these are referred to as the ‘caterpillar c’ letters.
  5. ‘z’ and ‘e’ start by going towards the end of the page. (Note the ‘e’ starts lower than the other letters and comes back over like a ‘c’).

Parents can be of invaluable help here. They are in a good position to encourage correct formation and a good pencil hold. These can be explained at the parents’ meeting.

The children are told that the letters in a word are written close together but without bumping. They are also told to leave a space between words.

It is important regularly to revise the formation of each letter. When the children are writing it is a good idea to check the pencil hold and make sure the letter formation is correct.