Friday, 23 October 2015

The Writing Rant.

Joined up - "cursive" writing is part of the National Curriculum. This is what my the 10 year old's Year 6 teacher told me at last weeks parents evening when I also brought up my issue that he's not allowed to use the blue pen he has as it's "the wrong colour blue"  - I kid you not!

When they sit their KS2 SAT's they are marked down if they cannot display they are able to employ cursive writing.  

The National Curriculum states:

Pupils should be taught to:
Write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
Choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
Choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task.

It's recommended that:
Pupils should continue to practise handwriting and be encouraged to increase the speed of it, so that problems with forming letters do not get in the way of their writing down what they want to say. They should be clear about what standard of handwriting is appropriate for a particular task, for example, quick notes or a final handwritten version. They should also be taught to use and unjoined style, for example, for labelling a diagram or data, writing an email address, or for algebra and capital letters, for example, for filling in a form.

The 10 year old has neat writing, when it's not joined up.  When he adds curls and swirls and flicks and ticks it's an illegible mess.

I agree children need to know when to use capitals, how to speak and write using the correct grammar.  Don't get me started on how often the boy says "I am going FOR a toilet" instead of going TO the toilet!  Children need to know how to complete paperwork like job applications correctly for adult life but I disagree with the NEED for their written work to be joined.

When children get into their secondary schools the teachers don't care if their pupils writing is cursive, as long as it's legible. Is there any evidence that teaching joined-up writing early is necessary or useful? Do kids need to be taught any more than the basic stand-alone forms of letters? Can they not be allowed to develop fluency for themselves?

There are less and less professions these days where you actually need to physically write. I've even given up sending Christmas cards as it's too much effort to sit and write them.  Most of us already use whatever technology is available.  Even in Year 1 at school they use interactive white boards and iPads.  

If we can concentrate on the basics, the rest will follow and we might have a generation of Doctors where you can actually read what they have written*

What are your thoughts on cursive writing for children?

*All prescriptions and case notes are of course entered electronically these days.

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  1. Hmmm not sure on this one. I learned joined up writing and I love it. My heart sinks a little when I see adults write a card or note and it's in bubbly, childish letters. I love calligraphy though, so kind of fascinated by how we form letters. Agree that there is less and less need for handwriting these days - instead we should be teaching children how to type properly in primary school - is that on the curriculum? As for the colour of blue pen - what the hell?!

    1. I admit my brother and I were taught italic writing in our primary school. My writing is still fairly "spiky" my brothers an un-intelligable scrawl. Everyone finds their own writing style but I agree I don't like adults with "bubble" type writing either.

  2. I write a mix of joined and none joined up. I always have. The teaching of joined up writing led to me developing my own writing style. However it played havoc for my brother who is dyslexic and really struggled. He now writes in capitals. I think it needs to be child led x

    1. It depends on the day, my mood, the weather and many other factors on how my writing is. Some days are neater than others. If you have the basics of being able to form the letters to start with, joined up will come (or not) but it should be a choice.

  3. I with you. Writing needs to be legible and grammar needs to be good. Joined up writing is neither here nor there. With technological advances, I doubt your grandchildren will even need to pick up a pen in school. x

  4. I do feel that proper hand writing should be taught, even though we rarely use it as everything is digital. I don't think it matters whether it is joined up or not as long it is legible. I think schools should be more concerned with grammar and punctuation. I learned cursive writing in school, but not how to use any punctuation other than the basics.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes