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Handwriting - What do I need to know?

October 24, 2017

One of the most common referrals to Occupational Therapy is for handwriting. It is important to recognise that like anything, if you want to improve at it, you need to practice, practice, practice.  This is absolutely the case with handwriting.  If you want to improve, you need to practice! HOWEVER, it is essential that you practice correctly!


This is template shows the correct style that children are, or will be learning in any NSW school.  This is called the NSW Foundation Style.  From kindergarten they will be learning the Foundation Print, from year 3 they will begin the Foundation Pre-Cursive writing.



The outcomes for a kindergarten student in NSW in regards to handwriting are:

  • To be able to produce most lower-case and uppercase letters

  • Understand the movements that are required to achieve the NSW Foundation style

  • Begin to understand the sequence of letters

  • Write from left to right and leave spaces between words

It is important for children to check their postures when they are handwriting.  The ideal position for them to sitting in is a 90-90-90 seating position.  What this means is that their ankles, knees and hips are all aligned at 90 degrees.  For even better positioning their feet should be firmly planted on the floor.


In regards to your child's grip, please don't be to concerned if they do not have the perfect grip.  Research has consistently shown that normal handwriting performance can be achieved with a variety of grasps.


However, try to bring awareness to how tightly your child is holding their pencil.  Having too tight a grip results in fatigue of muscles.

To help your child reduce pencil grip, ask them to colour in a picture using different