Schools in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) follow the Foundation Approach to teaching handwriting, which was created as a result of research involving students, staff and parents from forty schools in the region.
It consists of Foundation Handwriting Movements, a set of three fine-motor movements, and NSW Foundation Handwriting Style. NSW Foundation Handwriting Style comprises two progressive stages: unjoined letters (known as “manuscript handwriting” in NSW), followed by a semi-joined cursive style.
The foundational shape of the letters is oval, they are slanted and narrow, and don’t feature any ornamentation. The x-height and the length of extenders is equal. Letters are connected by students when they are ready to do so. Loops may be introduced in the descenders of letters such as y, g, j and f, and in the ascenders of letters such as f, k, b and l, to aid with joining. Uppercase letters are usually unjoined in the cursive style, but some combinations of uppercase and lowercase can feature joins, once fluency develops.