Stage of Research: Implement Team Members: 4
Handwriting Motor Skills

Helping Handwriting Shine

Handwriting (producing letters and words using a pen) underlies much of how children’s attainment is measured. However, up to a third of all children struggle with this skill, with some children finding the demands of the mechanics of writing interferes with the ability to generate ideas, others finding their writing is too slow to allow them to get their ideas down on paper in a set time, and others being marked down because their writing is illegible.

Helping Handwriting SHINE is an intervention to improve handwriting that aims to train teachers to use approaches normally used by occupational therapists to improve handwriting. A Randomised Control Trial (RCT), funded by the Educational Endowment Foundation, was carried out in 100 schools across the North of England. There was some evidence that it was effective when carried out with targeted groups in Year 5. You can read about the findings here.

There is a need for evidence-based interventions to be made more widely available to schools. The intervention described here is intended to provide the first intervention step in a graded approach, facilitating earlier and wider access to intervention, and allowing specialist services to target those with more severe or complex needs.

Project Image for Helping Handwriting Shine

Fundamental Research

Core Science

Fundamental Research

Discovery and Design


Trials and Assessment


Large Randomised Controlled Trial

Refine and test across ~ 100 schools


Regional Rollout


Evidence-based Policy

Our team members

Avatar Image for Katy Shire

Dr. Katy Shire

Bradford Institute for Health Research - Programme Manager - Age of Wonder

Avatar Image for Jo Atkinson

Jo Atkinson

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Occupational Therapist

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