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Penpals for Handwriting Second Edition

Penpals for Handwriting Second Edition, is a new revised series of resources following up on the internationally best-selling series of Penpals first Editions. 

Handwriting is a key literacy skill that needs to be taught actively through frequent, discrete lessons. The Penpals scheme will help you to do this with DVD-ROMs for whole-class sessions, pupil practice books and write-in workbooks with  GPS contexts. Comprehensive and easy-to-use teacher's books support you with unit-by-unit lesson plans, clear links to the corresponding practice books and workbooks with suggestions for group and independent work and guidance on common errors and what to do about them. 

The Penpals philosophy is that developing the necessary fine and gross motor skills in readiness for handwriting is vital to setting children on the right path – and that warming up for handwriting is equally important for older children. That’s why each interactive DVD-ROM in the series comes complete with Penpals Gym – a series of age appropriate fine and gross motor skill exercises to start lessons off.

And because we think learning to write should be fun, we’ve developed a range of classroom posters and a wall frieze to bring colour to the classroom along with pen licence certificates and business cards to celebrate handwriting achievements.

We're proud to announce that our Penpals for Handwriting Interactive resources are finalists in the BETT (British Educational Training and Technology) 2017 Awards for Primary Digital Content. 

  • A whole school handwriting scheme for 3 to 11 year olds
  • Written by experts, tried and tested by teachers
  • Clear progression from Foundation 1 stage to Year 6
  • Animations modelling pattern and letter formation and, later, joins
  • Penpals Gym – fine and gross motor skills warm up videos for all age groups
  • Clear and comprehensive teacher’s books with unit-by-unit guidance
  • Write-in disposable workbooks with GPS contexts for additional practice
  • PC and Mac compatible

Penpals uses a combination of DVD-ROMS for whole-class teaching and practice books and write-in workbooks for small group and individual work. Our approach has been tried and tested in schools and is proven to drive up handwriting standards.

  • Five unique developmental phases provide clear progression for children aged 3 to 11.
  • DVD-ROMs support interactive, direct teaching to the whole class using an interactive whiteboard.
  • Practice books and workbook provide essential practice and reinforcement.
  • Links to GPS underpins essential learning.
  • Sky-writing and lesson warm-ups develop the fine and gross motor skills that are crucial for handwriting.
  • In Years 5 and 6 basic handwriting issues are revised and speed and fluency improved

1. My school already has Penpals, what’s different in the new edition?

The teaching philosophy and structure are unchanged, but we’ve updated the scheme to fully comply with all statutory requirements and non-statutory guidelines for National Curriculum ’14. In addition, based on feedback from customers, we’ve extended Practice books to cover Years 1-6 (previously 1-4), and added disposable write-in Workbooks for Foundation 2 to Year 6. Year 5 and 6 content is now separated and we’ve added more support for GPS teaching (via the Workbooks).

2. Do the DVD ROMs still come with a perpetual site licence?

Yes, the licence still covers the whole school.

3. Can we get the digital content online?

At the moment the digital content is only available on the DVD ROMs but we are exploring how we can make it available online as well.

4. I’m new to Penpals, can you explain the scheme to me?

Penpals is the UK’s only handwriting scheme which covers Foundation 1 to Year 6 (ages 3 – 11) and comprises: DVD ROMs for whole-class teaching, including warm-up exercises for fine and gross motor skill development. Teachers Books to provide clear unit-by-unit guidance on how to teach the scheme, ensuring consistency across the school. Pupil Practice Books for use in small groups once the learning outcomes have been modelled. Practice Books support independent study, allowing children to build confidence in pattern and letter formation, and later joins. Write-in Workbooks – two colour disposable Workbooks are ideal for practise at home and provide additional GPS support.

5. Do we have to purchase the whole scheme?

We recommend that schools adopt a handwriting policy across the board to give children consistency of approach, however, you can buy individual elements should you wish.

6. Will Penpals work on Apple Macs?

Yes, the Penpals Second Edition DVD ROMs will work on Apple OS X 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10. The old edition DVD ROMs aren’t Mac compatible.

7. Is Penpals fully cursive?

No, Penpals is not a fully cursive scheme, we do not use entry strokes and, in line the updated National Curriculum recommendations, we incorporate break letters.

8. I have installed the Penpals Font CD but I cannot get it to join as I type.

The ligatures for the Joined and the Joined Line versions of the font will only work with Microsoft® Office® 2010 and 2011, on Windows® and Mac® respectively. To enable the joined versions of the Penpals font to join together in Word make sure that ‘Use Contextual Alternates’ is enabled in the OpenType features section. Within Word: 1. Right click on the page and select ‘Font’ (or Ctrl +D). 2. Click the ‘Advanced’ tab. 3. Check ‘Use Contextual Alternatives’. 4. Click ‘Ok’. Note: ‘Use Contextual Alternatives’ will not be available for earlier versions of Word doc, such as Word 97-2003. If you are working with such a document in Word® 2010, save a new version of the document (Save as > Save as type: Word document (*.docx).) Stylistic sets can also be chosen from the Font menu. Stylistic sets allow you to choose alternative font styles such as the two-stroke ‘k’, a ‘t’ which joins from the cross-bar, and capital ‘I’ and ‘J’ without serifs: Set 1 (Alternative k); Set 2 (Cross-bar t); Set 3 (Mixed t joins); and Set 4 (I J without serifs). Refer to the User Guide for more information on joins and stylistic sets.

9. Do I need to buy any additional licences to use Penpals for Handwriting?

No. Every disc includes a perpetual site and network licence for your school.

10. Can Penpals be installed using an MSI?

Yes, an MSI is included on every Penpals DVD-ROM.

11. I have lost a Penpals disc, what should I do?

Please call our Customer Services team and they will be happy to supply this to you for £25.

12. Who can I talk to for help?

If you have a technical query which our FAQs haven’t answered, please email us at ptsupport@cambridge.org for advice. To help us assist you, please include the product ISBNs in your query.

13. What is the minimum technical specification for Penpals?

Windows 7, 8, 10. Apple OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10

14. How can I install Penpals Interactive on my RM CC4 network?

Note: These instructions assume you are installing Penpals Interactive Foundation 1. The same model will work for other Penpals Interactive DVD-ROMs. 1.Create a folder in the P drive (RMPublic) for the installation e.g P:\Penpals\Penpals Foundation 1... 2. Copy the MSI folder from the DVD-ROM to the P:\Penpals folder created above... 3. Import the package into the RM management console, selecting the Community Connect 3 Package option and then select browse... 4. Navigate to the P:\Penpals\Penpals Foundation 1\MSI\ folder and select the file Penpals Foundation 1.ini... 5.Once imported assign the package to the required stations and add the shortcuts to the appropriate user program sets

Kate Ruttle has been a primary school teacher in the UK for nearly 30 years. She has been involved in educational publishing for over 20 years and has published extensively in primary literacy, assessment and special needs with a range of UK publishers. She is the co-author of the best-selling series Cambridge Primary English.

Gill Budgell has 25 years’ experience in education; teaching, providing training around the world and now working as a consultant publisher, researcher and writer. She is the co-author of the best-selling series, Cambridge Primary English.

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Titles in this series

Title Price (GBP) In your shopping list Approval copy

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 1: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845658335

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 1: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845656690

£35.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 2: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845655167

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 2: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845655341

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 2: Workbook One (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845654658

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 2: Workbook Two (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781316501269

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Foundation 2: Workbook Three (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781316501221

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 1: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845653385

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 1: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845659844

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 1: Workbook One (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845654405

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 1: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501337

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 2: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845655839

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 2: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845655549

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 2: Workbook (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845652982

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 2: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501375

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 3: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845658977

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 3: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845654863

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 3: Workbook (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845659929

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 3: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501412

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 4: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845658915

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 4: Teacher’s Book

ISBN: 9781845655631

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 4: Workbook (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845653859

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 4: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501467

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 5: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845653279

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 5: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845659998

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 5: Workbook (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845658618

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 5: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501504

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 6: Interactive

ISBN: 9781845655563

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 6: Teacher's Book

ISBN: 9781845657413

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 6: Workbook (packs of 10)

ISBN: 9781845656775

£13.95

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition) Year 6: Practice Book

ISBN: 9781316501542

£7.50

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition): Poster Pack

ISBN: 9781845656072

£14.99

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition): Alphabet Wall Frieze

ISBN: 9781845658168

£7.99

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition): Pen Licence Certificate (packs of 300)

ISBN: 9781845655853

£9.99

Penpals for Handwriting (second edition): Pen Licence Business Cards (packs of 200)

ISBN: 9781845657949

£9.99

Penpals for Handwriting: Font CD-ROM

ISBN: 9781845657185

£137.00

Penpals for Handwriting Intervention Book 1: Securing Letter Formation

ISBN: 9781845654092

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting Intervention Book 2: Securing the Joins

ISBN: 9781845655556

£28.00

Penpals for Handwriting Intervention Book 3: Securing Fluency

ISBN: 9781845656966

£28.00
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