PENPALS for Handwriting

At Horsenden we use a handwriting program called Penpals which runs from Nursery through to Year 6.  

The program focuses on 5 stages of handwriting:

  1. Physical preparation for handwriting (EYFS)
  2. Securing correct letter formation (Key Stage 1)
  3. Beginning to join (Key Stage 1)
  4. Securing the joins and practicing speed (Lower Key Stage 2)
  5. Developing a personal style (Upper Key Stage 2)

All year groups will begin with a discreet lesson at the beginning of the week which introduces the new learning. Lessons include whole body and hand warm up movements, on-screen animations to show the correct formations for letters and joins, examples of handwriting for pupils to assess and plenty of opportunities for practicing. Many elements of the year group spelling and grammar curriculum are reinforced during these sessions.

Other lessons in the week are much shorter and provide pupils with further opportunities to practice formations. This is done in their personal handwriting workbook. For pupils who need additional handwriting intervention, there is a separate program that is used to ensure accelerated progress. Handwriting homework may also be given for these pupils.

For more information about the Penpals program you can view the following video: Penpals for Handwriting: An introduction to Penpals

For examples of what the pupils do in lessons you can view these screen capture videos for Year 2 and Year 4 lessons:


For further information about what is covered in each year group, please see the following document below: