97% of children in a class improved when using Write Size pencils

Peter Griffin from Open Doors Therapy  wanted to find out the impact our Write Size pencils have on children’s handwriting.

Following on from his last study on a group of six to seven year old pupils (where 24 out of 30 improved pencil flow and control with Write Size pencils) Peter wanted to know more.

 This time completing a test on a class of Year 3’s, and the results speak for themselves…


Key findings of the study:
The Pencil Control of all but one child improved when using the ‘Write Size’ Pencil.
The Writing Speed of 75% of the children increased when using the ‘Write Size’ Pencil
There is a potential that increased pencil control and faster writing speed could have significant impact not only on Handwriting but also on the children’s performance in Numeracy and Writing
31 out of 32 children in a class improved their handwriting with Write Size pencils.

The Tests

  1. Pencil control and fluidity;
  2. Handwriting Speed.

The results

  1. Pencil Control and Fluidity;

The Pencil Control is measured by the ability of the pupil to draw between parallel lines without touching or crossing those lines.

Out of thirty two, seven to eight year old pupils, thirty one showed improved pencil control and fluidity using a ‘Write Size’ pencil compared to their usual standard classroom pencil.

The average number of errors with the ‘Write Size’ pencil was 15 and with the usual pencil 22.

Improvement in Pencil Control when using a ‘Write Size’ Pencil
Number of Children Percentage of Class of 32
 Better 31 97%
Same 1 3%

The accuracy of pencil control for 27 out of the 32 children improved by 20% or more and for nearly half the children it was 30% or more.

Handwriting Speed

The Handwriting Speed was measured by the number of letters per minute written by the pupil when repeatedly writing their name.

On average the pupils wrote 12% faster using the ‘Write Size’ pencils which equates to an average of 8.25 letters per minute (1.5 words per minute).

The increase in the number of letters per minute, for the majority, is sufficient to suggest that using a ‘Write Size’ pencil could have an impact upon their level of performance not just in Handwriting but also in National Curriculum Writing and Numeracy.

Number of Letters per minute
Standard Pencil 90 85 82 82 80 75 72 72 70 66 65 64 62 60 47 45
Write Size Pencil 86 86 86 85 86 87 79 75 75 78 145 73 80 57 55 51
Improvement Letters/min -4 1 4 3 6 12 7 3 5 12 80 9 18 -3 8 6
% Improvement -4% 1% 5% 4% 8% 16% 10% 4% 7% 18% 123% 14% 29% -5% 17%  



Faster Writing and National Curriculum Performance.

 Pete’s summary as a primary school head teacher was that there were two key essentials to a child’s handwriting:

  1. The handwriting has to be reasonably and easily legible
  2. Handwriting has to be done automatically and quickly.

Handwriting may be done for a number of reasons, perhaps to communicate to someone else, perhaps to clarify and express one’s own thoughts or as an aid memory.


In order to do these things effectively we need to write quickly. This has been borne out in a number of small scale studies that I have done which has compared the speed of children’s handwriting to their levels in National Curriculum Core subjects.

There is generally a link between writing speed and attainment in Writing and Numeracy but no correlation in Reading. In crude terms ‘No matter what is in my head, if I can’t bung it down quickly I can’t show you how good I am, and my thinking may be slowed down as well!

So anything that will speed up my handwriting is going to help me to do better in Writing and Numeracy’.

Pete Griffin – Neuro Motor Developmental Therapist and Educationalist


Open Doors Therapy



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