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Our Lady and St. Patrick's Catholic Primary School Part of the Mater Christi Multi-Academy Trust


Early Letter Formation 


Children in Early Years and Key Stage One are taught to form their letters using the guide below, (from Read Write Inc). This includes a picture and a phrase or rhyme for each letter, which children remember and use when learning to form the letters themselves.


Please see the images of the letters and pictures below, along with a guide to how the letters are correctly formed. Underneath are PDF documents which will give you more information about this, including a copy of the phrase / rhyme which accompanies each letter and picture


Correct early letter formation is essential in supporting later joined handwriting, which is taught from Year 2 onwards.

More Information on Early Letter Formation

Letter Formation


We follow the 'Nelson Thornes' handwriting scheme.


We begin with teaching children un-joined letters, although all the letters  are taught with 'flicks', so they are ready to be joined later on.


All letters should be consistent and regular, before children begin to join them together. They should also be accurately sized and orientated, as follows::


  • Small letters (a,c,e,i,m,n,o,s,u,v,w,x,z) should be the same size as each other, and should all sit on the line
  • Ascenders: Tall letters should stand up 'tall and proud' from the line (b,d,h,k,l, t)
  • Descenders: 'Dangly' letters should sit on the line with their 'tail' dangling down below the line (f,g,j,p,q,y)


Children's un-joined letters should look like this:

Joined Handwriting


Once children are able to form their letters correctly, we begin  to teach them to join them together.


This is usually from Year 2 onwards for the majority of children. However, if children are still struggling with basic letter formation we do not teach them to join until they they are ready.


The joins are taught in a structured way, so that children learn to join their handwriting in a systematic and cumulative way. This helps them to keep their handwriting neat, accurate and ensures that letters are correctly joined.


More information about the order of how the handwriting joins are taught