Handwriting and composition

Mar 12, 2021


Handwriting has a low status and profile in literacy education and has tended to  attract little attention from teachers, policy makers and researchers into mainstream educational processes. In this project, we carried out a programme of research into handwriting, drawing upon previous studies located in the domains of special needs education and psychology which suggested that it was time to re-evaluate the importance of handwriting in the teaching of literacy. Explorations of the way handwriting affects composing had opened up new avenues for research, screening and intervention which had the potential to make a significant contribution to children’s writing progress. In particular the role of orthographic motor integration and automaticity in handwriting was now seen as of key importance in composing. Evidence from existing studies suggested that handwriting intervention programmes could have a real impact on the composing skills of young writers.  In particular, they could positively affect the progress of the many boys who struggle with writing throughout the primary school years.

Our work was reported on Channel 4. Watch the video below.


You can download papers arising from the Handwriting and Composition project here: