Shenton Primary School

Empowering and nurturing young minds to achieve excellence

EARLY Writing

Writing is not just about holding a pencil and correctly forming letters. Writing is a skill that children have to learn gradually. Children begin to develop writing skills when they are babies.  They do this by exploring spilt food or water with their fingers and leaving marks behind. Every activity is a learning opportunity for young children.   

Ideas for mark making activities you could do with your child can be found here. 


Developmental stages of pencil grip - 

  1. Palmar grasp: this is where the child's whole hand wraps around the pencil, so it's grasped in the palm of the hand.
  2. 'Hand on top of the pencil' grasp: Here, the child begins to grip the pencil with their fingers, with their wrist turned so that their hand is on top and the palm pointing towards the paper. 
  3. Static tripod grasp: Children start to hold their pencil with a three-fingered grasp, using the thumb and index finger to pinch the pencil with the middle finger behind. 
  4. Dynamic tripod grasp: The thumb and first two fingers hold the pencil, while the ring and little fingers curl into the palm, creating a circular grasp. Children are now able to practice and perfect their letter formations.

Once your child has the correct pencil grip they are reading to form letters.  Below is the way we teach letter formation at Shenton. 

Name writing

Teach your child to write their name using only 1 capital as the first letter of their name and the rest lower case letters.

Encourage your child to hold their pencil properly - it is harder to break a bad habit, so help your child get it right now. Click here for some helpful advice on how to do this correctly. Also try and teach your child to form the letters correctly, this will help them later when they are learning to use joined up handwriting. Click here to see how to form letters correctly for your child if they are right handed or left handed. Your child will naturally      prefer to use their left or right hand, do not force them to use their right if they are left handed as this can cause problems all the way through their school life, and slow their progress down.

Helping my child write their name.