We are proud to share with teachers and tutors our method of
teaching children to write. Here is the handwriting that we teach first:
We call this Fitzroy Print. It is designed for ease of teaching, ease of
writing, ease of recognition and ease of later conversion to cursive script.
We first teach children to print– writing letters separately. We have designed the Fitzroy Print alphabet specially for this purpose. We then go on to introduce cursive writing in Year 3.
Why do we do this? Because children are surrounded by print. All the books they read, and most of the signs and labels they see in the world around them are printed with separate letters. We want their world of writing to resemble the early world of reading.
Developing their confidence in their ability to read and write is all-important at the critical early stage.
Style of Print:
With so many fonts in the world of print, how do we choose our style of lettering? We teach the absolute essentials of each English letter, the core elements that are common to all the fonts children will see – without any tails or serifs. This means they are using the simplest possible script and can write sooner. It also means that others can all the sooner decipher what they have written. This rewards beginners and builds their confidence.
Little children are not very good at drawing letters in proportion, but we have made the designs very obvious so that they will write a legible version. In commercial fonts, the ascending letters like d and the descending letters like g are quite short (so that lines of text can be printed closer together). We have deliberately made our ascenders and descenders longer so that the child can readily distinguish between similar letters such as a & d and h & n, and can more easily draw the curves on y & g:
We have also added the tail to q because otherwise children are inclined to confuse q & p (just as they do with b & d):
And we have made all letter sizes simply short, tall, hanging or capitals:
There are only two heights of print.
We have used Fitzroy Print on the children’s pages of the Fitzroy Alphabet Book, which is our introduction to sounding, recognising and writing English letters – and reading the first few words. We believe you will be happily surprised how easily children progress through the written alphabet.