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Teachers do not expect children to know their alphabet or be able to write sentences when they start school. A good foundation to being able to write is to develop your child’s fine motor skills. This is because good fine motor skills enable a child to hold a pencil firmly as they are writing. Here are some resources that could support the development of this skill, including the use of scissors:

If your child is ready and interested in writing, encourage them to write simple words or sentences. Initially, begin by focusing on your child’s name as this will also help with reading and name recognition. Encourage them to write their name into greetings cards, on to artwork they have done or on to letters.


Before your child starts to write, check that their feet are flat on the floor and the table is at a comfortable working height (the forearms should be supported on the table).


Check that the paper is positioned correctly.  In general the paper should be on the same side of the body as the handwriting hand. Also check that the non-dominating hand is anchoring the paper securely.  It should move down the page as the wrist moves.


Check this handy guide that shows you what to do to solve issues like incorrect pencil grip.

If your child prefers to use their left hand, use this document for some guidance.