National Literacy Learning Progression

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Handwriting and keyboarding description

This sub-element describes how a student uses handwriting and keyboarding skills with increasing speed, accuracy and fluency to compose and edit text, or complete tasks for different purposes. It describes how a student develops a fluent, legible handwriting style, beginning with unjoined letters and transitioning to joined handwriting. Students become increasingly confident, proficient and flexible with keyboarding and handwriting.

Not all students will use handwriting to create texts; some will express themselves using augmentative and alternative communication strategies. This may include digital technologies, braille, real objects, photographs and pictographs.

Each sub-element level has been identified by upper-case initials and in some cases lower-case letters of the sub-element name followed by ascending numbers. The abbreviation for this sub-element is HwK. The listing of indicators within each level is non-hierarchical. Where appropriate, examples have been provided in brackets following an indicator.


  • produces simple handwriting movements
  • experiments with pencils, writing implements or devices
  • writes letters which resemble standard letter formations


  • uses pencils or writing implements appropriately
  • writes or types some letters or words correctly


  • correctly forms most lower-case letters
  • correctly forms some upper-case letters
  • writes or types a few words
  • uses numeral keys


  • correctly forms all letters
  • uses spaces between handwritten words
  • positions letters and words on a line
  • demonstrates keyboarding skills by typing short letter clusters and short common words as single units (er, ing, the, my)
  • types using spaces between words and sentence punctuation


  • fluently writes clearly formed, unjoined letters
  • writes all letters with consistent size and spacing between words
  • begins to use joined letters
  • maintains legible handwriting throughout a text
  • uses some features of text editing applications
  • recognises and uses keys to show more complex punctuation or symbols


  • writes using joined letters of consistent size
  • slopes writing if appropriate to script
  • begins to develop quick finger action when keying
  • fluently handwrites and types to produce a range of texts


  • writes with a legible, fluent, personal handwriting style
  • uses a range of digital applications to compose and edit
  • self-corrects using appropriate keyboard and screen functions


  • uses handwriting efficiently in formal and informal situations
  • demonstrates automaticity when using keyboarding and screen functions