At Carr Lodge, children will be taught handwriting using a semi- cursive style. An example of each letter can be seen here:

The main difference between this style and the previously taught cursive style is that the letters do not have a ‘lead- in’ stroke. This means that letters are formed the same way whether they are joined or not. We hope this will make it much easier for children to really grasp how to write letters without the need to change their approach when learning how to join.

Children in KS1 will be initially taught each individual letter before learning how to join them. In KS2, if children are already joining, they will continue to use the approach they have learned. However, where children have not yet grasped this- they will be taught to join using the semi- cursive style.


Handwriting Lines
‚ÄčChildren are supported with different sized spaces between the handwriting guide lines depending on the size of their handwriting and fine motor ability. The children learn the vocabulary of top broken line, top solid line, bottom solid line and bottom broken line to refer to each of the guide lines. The consistency in this means that all children and adults can explain where letters begin and how they are formed. 


Types of letters
Letters that reach the top broken line are referred to as 'tall' letters. Letters that sit between the two solid lines are 'short' letters and those which reach the bottom broken line are 'tail' letters. Here are some examples:

Tall letters:

Short letters:

Tail letters:

Letter families
Lowercase letters are grouped into the following letter families.

The straight line family: Letters based on a single vertical line:

The coat-hanger family Letters based on a 'c' shape:

Letter e (the distant cousin of the coat-hanger family, begins differently but still based on a 'c' shape:

The bridge family:  Letters that have a vertical down stroke followed by a diagonal movement to the right:

The bridge family continued...

The zig-zag family: Both letters start on the top solid line, have a diagonal stroke and have joining mark that sits on the top solid line:

The smile family: Both letters start on the top solid line, begin with a downward stroke, curve back up to the top solid line and then down to the bottom solid line:

The misfits! Letters that are unique and individual and do not fit with any other letter groups:

Joining letters
When children are ready, they are taught when, how and when not to (we call these break letters) join letters together. Have a look at our example again to see where these break letters are: