4 OUT OF 10 BOYS AND 25% OF GIRLS AGED 11 FAIL TO MEET THE REQUIRED STANDARDS FOR THEIR WRITING IN THEIR NATIONAL TESTS

Prof Carey Jewitt, from London University’s Institute of Education, said students’ handwriting skills were “absolutely appalling”, adding that many failed to get the practice they needed at home or in the classroom. Other academics warned that a failure to teach children to write may stunt their development and hold them back in the classroom.

There is nothing more frustrating for a child to work twice as hard as other children but to do only half as well. As a result of seeing so many pupils with bad, messy handwriting, the unique Magic Link handwriting programme was created. Suitable for primary (from age 6 years) and secondary school children, as well as adults. It has been proven to improve neatness as well as speed and has been highly recommended by educational psychologists, head teachers, teachers and parents.

RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT HANDWRITING WIRES THE BRAIN FOR LEARNING.

Early explicit handwriting instruction has been shown to increase brain activation for higher level learning, provide a foundation for literacy development and critical thinking in reading, writing, language and mathematics and boost performance in all academic subjects. Speed and fluency in handwriting allows students to focus on the content and meaning of their writing, rather than on the formation of individual letters and words. The Magic Link handwriting programme focuses on fluency of letter formation to teach these important necessary skills.

THERE ARE WELL OVER 25 DIFFERENT HANDWRITING SCHEMES IN THE U.K!

Because of the absence of a standardised, accepted, uniform way of teaching handwriting, schools are forced to randomly decide their own handwriting policy. Research into handwriting programmes indicates that there are well over 25 such schemes in the U.K market. Which one a school selects appears to be a random choice, often based on tradition or the ease in which worksheets can be printed off and reproduced to the class. In addition, teachers are themselves generally not taught how to teach handwriting in teacher training colleges and simply follow whatever handwriting policy their school chooses. It is often left up to individual teachers to decide to teach an entry stroke to each letter, whether children ‘loop’ their ‘y’ and ‘g’ letters, and at what age joined-up (cursive) writing should be taught. All these decisions seem to be arbitrary and without logic, and this leads to inconsistency. Children often receive conflicting advice from different teachers and become even more confused. Furthermore, when teachers or children move schools they have to alter the font the school has chosen, which further adds to the confusion. No wonder so many children and adults have such bad handwriting!

PUPILS LOSE MARKS IN EXAMS DUE TO POOR HANDWRITING

Research has shown that the rise of digital technology is having a major impact on pupils’ handwriting skills, with teachers unable to read exam scripts. Students may be missing out on vital marks in GCSEs and A-levels because of a significant deterioration in handwriting skills. Figures show almost two-thirds of teachers admit to marking down teenagers’ work amid concerns over “illegible writing”. In addition, large numbers of students are being left with blisters and aching hands after being forced to write for long periods because of lack of practise. The Magic Link handwriting programme teaches pupils to have a comfortable pencil/pen grip and how to form letters to achieve neat, fluent, cursive writing.

Handwriting problems affect many people regardless of their intelligence, or which school they went to or whether private school, grammar school or state school. Handwriting is a national problem and with the examination boards now allocating extra marks for neat handwriting, it is now more important than ever to address this issue to enable pupils to maximise their scoring potential in exams. Research shows that the act of writing is an excellent way to reinforce reading and phonic skills.
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