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By Fiona Corkhill-Hibbert

Schools are increasingly reluctant to devote sufficient time to the direct instruction of handwriting.  As a result, standards have gradually deteriorated.  The argument that greater use of computer technology has rendered handwriting less important ignores the fact that school and university examinations still require the vast majority of students to produce lengthy handwritten responses under timed conditions.  

For this reason, handwriting lessons used to be built into the primary academic curriculum on a daily basis. Expectations were high and children, through daily drills, learned to write neatly, legibly and at speed.  The ability to write quickly and clearly allows your child to focus on producing top-quality academic work rather than having to concentrate in part on keeping their handwriting neat.

Tidy and legible handwriting is the result of correct technique and if this technique is not taught from an early age there will be problems in the future.  It is therefore important that parents are vigilant during their children’s early years at school. The following three aspects must be mastered to achieve a neat and legible script:

  • Correct pen hold

The correct pen hold is a triangular grip with the pen resting on the child’s middle finger. This allows the fingers and hand to be relaxed.

  • Neat shapes


Children must be taught to neatly shape their upper and lower case letters and to form them in the correct stroke order.

  • Joining letters


Children must understand the rules for the correct joining up of letters.


The following are examples of handwriting produced by children before and after having had proper instruction:

  • 1. Josh, 8 years old and dyspraxic




  • 2. Cameron, 7½ years old


  • 3. Ginny, 8½ years old




About the Author

Fiona Corkhill-Hibbert
Children’s Handwriting Expert

As a specialist educator with over twenty years of experience, Fiona Corkhill-Hibbert has developed a multidisciplinary approach to learning that enables school children to achieve their academic potential.

Her work has proven especially effective in helping children with learning disabilities, confidence issues and behavioral difficulties in the classroom.

Fiona has also applied her techniques as Professor of Harp at the Royal College of Music and as a consultant with the Rugby Football Union, the Football Association and the Marylebone Cricket Club youth squad.

T: +44207 633 9567
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