What your child learns in Nursery: English and literacy
From learning new vocabulary to mastering the correct pencil grip, here are the literacy skills your child will start to develop in Nursery.
Rebuilding your child’s confidence with literacy
If your child's reading, spelling and handwriting are rusty after time away from the classroom, read our expert advice on helping them find their feet with literacy again.
Best cookery books for kids
Help your child master kitchen skills that’ll set them up for life with these brilliant cookbooks for every age. From cookery basics to elaborate bakes, they’ll enjoy getting stuck into a whole range of family-friendly recipes.
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
Best handwriting apps for kids
Handwriting is a vital skill for primary school children to master. We've rounded up the best apps to help your child learn. It’s always best to check with your child’s teacher before introducing a handwriting app to ensure it complements – rather than contradicts – the methods they’re using at school.
Handwriting in the National Curriculum
Handwriting may seem an outdated skill, but it’s still important in the primary school classroom. We take a look at what’s expected of our children.
Best apps for new readers
Reading doesn't always have to involve books. We've rounded up the best apps for children who are learning to read, ranging from traditional tales to interactive games that will improve their reading as they play.
What is a pen licence?
Earning a pen licence is a proud moment for many primary-school children, but what does your child need to do to achieve this milestone?
How handwriting helps your child’s learning
Handwriting may seem an out-dated skill, but it can give your child’s learning a boost in almost every area. We explain how learning to write fluently helps children succeed.
Handwriting aids: pencil grips
Does your child struggle to hold their pencil correctly? Handwriting tutor Michelle van Rooyen explains how a pencil grip could help with their handwriting.
Handwriting aids: pens and pencils
With a return to greater emphasis on handwriting in primary schools, could a special pen or pencil help your child master the art of neat writing? Handwriting tutor Michelle van Rooyen explains what handwriting pencils and pens are available.
Video: Correct letter formation
Your child will be taught how to form the different letters of the alphabet differently, according to the ‘movement groups’ they fit into. Our explanatory video shows you how to form all letters (Long ladder, Curly caterpillar, One-armed robot and Z for Zig-zag monster) correctly, stroke by stroke.
Video: Letter formation, Zig-zag monster letter family
Help your child form each letter of the alphabet correctly with our step-by-step and stroke-by-stroke videos, with experts from the National Handwriting Association. In this video we look at the Zig-zag monster letter family: z, x, v, w, y and k.
Video: Letter formation, One-armed robot letter family
Help your child form each letter of the alphabet correctly with our step-by-step and stroke-by-stroke videos, with experts from the National Handwriting Association. In this video we look at the One-armed robot letter family: r, n, m, h, b, k and p.
Video: Letter formation, Curly caterpillar letter family
Help your child form each letter of the alphabet correctly with our step-by-step and stroke-by-stroke videos, with experts from the National Handwriting Association. Here we look at the Curly caterpillar family: c, a, d, g, q, o, e, s and f.
Video: Letter formation, Long ladder letter family
Help your child form each letter of the alphabet correctly with our stroke-by-stroke videos, with experts from the National Handwriting Association. In this video we look at the Long ladder letter family: l, i, u, t and y.
Video: Handwriting letter families
The letters of the alphabet can be divided into ‘movement groups’, based on the movement made to start writing the letter. Each group has a lead letter (L for Long ladder letters, C for Curly caterpillar letters, R for One-armed robot letters and Z for Zig-zag monster letters) and our handwriting advice video outlines the different letter families and how to practise writing them.
Video: Handwriting aids for children
Could a writing slope or an adaptive grip help improve your child's handwriting? Occupational Paediatric Therapist Catherine Elsey explains how to use commercially available handwriting aids in our handwriting advice video.
Video: Tripod grasp quick trick
Make sure your child holds their pencil correctly every time they pick it up with this quick trick, as outlined in our video by National Handwriting Association Occupational Paediatric Therapist Catherine Elsey.
Video: Handwriting posture and seating advice
A step-by-step video guide to establishing a good seating position for comfortable handwriting, with expert advice from the National Handwriting Association and an explanation of why postural stability is vital for children.
Video: Pre-writing activities using scissors
Invest in a pair of child-safe scissors and try some of our pre-handwriting activities, as recommended by the National Handwriting Association experts in our video for parents. Who knew cutting and sticking fun could be so educational?
Video: Pre-writing activities to support handwriting
Support your child's pre-handwriting development in nursery and Reception with fun activities and play, all designed to help build essential motor skills and hand muscles. Our video features experts from the National Handwriting Association, sharing practical ideas you can try at home.
Video: Handwriting development stages explained for parents
From anti-clockwise circles to letter formation, find out about your child's handwriting journey and how you can support them at home in TheSchoolRun's video, featuring experts from the National handwriting Association.
Video: correct handwriting grip and positioning for new writers
Help your child establish great handwriting habits from Reception and KS1 with our expert advice video for the parents of new writers. From the correct pencil grip to paper positioning and posture, the National Handwriting Association's Catherine Elsey explains what to look out for and how to make immediate improvements to help your child.
Video: Pencil grasp development
From eighteen months to five years, TheSchoolRun's handwriting video explains how children's pencil grasp changes over time, how to establish good handwriting habits early on and what to expect in every stage.
Video: The dynamic tripod grasp explained
Video advice and tips to help establish a good handwriting position, including details of the dynamic tripod grasp (the ideal hand position for writing) and why it's best for children to hold their pencil in this way when they're writing.
Video: The dynamic tripod grasp for better handwriting
Children who hold their pencil or pen in the ideal handwriting position, the dynamic tripod grip, can write comfortably for longer. The National Handwriting Association's Catherine Elsey explains how to help your child establish a confident tripod grip and how it helps avoid hand pain.
Video: Correcting pencil grip
Does your child struggle to hold their pencil correctly? Our handwriting tips video offers expert advice on correcting pencil grip and establishing the ideal dynamic tripod grasp, with tips from the National Handwriting Association.
Video: Right-handed handwriting tips and expert advice
Right-handed handwriting tips and advice from the experts, with practical examples of the best way to position paper correctly and hold the pencil with a tripod grasp. Experts from the National Handwriting Association feature in TheSchoolRun's new handwriting video series.
Video: Correct wrist position for handwriting
TheSchoolRun's new handwriting videos feature experts from the National Handwriting Association offering tips to help parents improve their children's handwriting. This video offers advice to help position the wrist correctly for fluid, comfortable handwriting.
Video: Left-handed handwriting tips and expert advice
Left-handed handwriting tips and advice from the experts, with practical examples of the best way to position paper correctly and how to hold your wrist in the optimal position for writing. TheSchoolRun's new handwriting videos feature experts from the National Handwriting Association.
'He struggled to form his letters correctly and his handwriting was illegible'
Cécile Watson, from Bromley in Kent, describes her experience of the SEN and school system with her son Jean-Pierre, 11, who has dysgraphia, and shares her tips for other parents.
Primary literacy glossary for parents
From adjectives to writing frames, TheSchoolRun's primary-school literacy glossary offers a complete guide to all the concepts children are taught in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 English. Brush up on your own literacy skills, clear up homework confusion and understand exactly what your child is learning at school by reading our basic definitions (with links to more detailed explanations, teachers' tips and examples).
Common handwriting problems and solutions
Illegible handwriting? Huge letters? Strange pencil grip? Struggles with left-handed writing? If your child is finding handwriting hard, perhaps it’s one of these four issues. Find out more about how to tackle these common problems with advice from the National Handwriting Association's Angela Webb.
Dyspraxia: parents' questions answered
Dyspraxia, or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), causes problems with language, perception and thought – most specifically issues with co-ordination. Around one in seven children has this learning difficulty and if your child is affected it can be hard to know how to help for the best. Here we answer some of the most common questions parents ask.
21 things every parent needs to know about cursive handwriting
Learning to print letters was hard enough, and now your child is being encouraged to join them up. Lucy Dimbylow explains everything you need to know about cursive writing, and how you can support your child at home.
Handwriting practice: what all parents need to know
If you’re worried about your child’s handwriting and want to help them improve, you’re not alone – handwriting is an essential skill, but we all have to learn it, and it’s a very complex task. Legible, neat handwriting takes lots of practice – here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re working with your child at home.
4 ideas for homemade playdough
Help your child develop the motor skills needed for handwriting with these no-skills-needed ideas and recipes for playdough and similar slimy substances – ideal for sensory play and scientific investigations!
8 great handwriting activities
Put the fun into handwriting practice! From everyday shopping lists to rainy day bookmaking, there’s something to inspire children of all ages and interests to pick up a pencil, says teacher and mum-of-two Phoebe Doyle.
Handwriting dos and don’ts
Practising handwriting at home doesn’t have to be about copying out rows of letters and reaching writing targets. Make writing fun with these helpful tips from primary school teacher Phoebe Doyle.