Getting Ready to Write – Part One looks specifically at the connection between handwriting and phonics.
Preparing students to write independently or with support first requires a strong foundation based on whole letter knowledge and the skills to form letters. Whole letter knowledge includes knowing what letters look like, their name and the sound they make individually. This is known as phonics. Being able to form letters comes from controlling the fine motor movements in your hands and fingers to make marks which represent letters. This is handwriting.
Handwriting is a multi-sensory activity, it involves students seeing, hearing and saying the letter names and sounds, while using their hands and fingers to form the letters. In addition to this, the physical movement involved helps children remember the shape, the sound and the name of the letter. It allows students to slow down and engage for longer with each letter. Students are therefore in a better position to notice and retain the specific, unique construction features of each letter as well as the sounds connected to them.
Our Literacy Programme seamlessly links handwriting and phonics. Students are taken through daily sessions where a phoneme, the smallest sound in a word, is introduced, explored, named and formed. This knowledge is continued throughout the day, drawing connections in story writing, reading, and in other learning areas. Developing the skills and the knowledge of letter sounds, letter shapes and letter names is part of the strong foundation learners need when getting ready to write on their own.
Keywords: Handwriting, Phonics, Writing
Curriculum Links: English Level 1; Processing and Strategies; Students will make connections between oral, written, and visual language when creating text.