For many years, people have postulated that handwriting would become obsolete or archaic with to advent of newer technologies – tablets, mobiles that were super-computers in disguise, voice activated software, and software than can speak for you. A brave new world.
For many years some schools, including us, believed that handwriting was merely a functional tool that was more about creating your own personal style or finding a more efficient/effective way of writing. Handwriting was incidental and an outcome from writing – not something to be taught explicitly as if it were the 1970’s again.
Both of these beliefs are wrong. We believe in teaching handwriting, using it properly in all types of written work and cherishing it.
It is something that should be held to high standards in how it is introduced, modelled, taught and commented upon. This is not about copper-plate calligraphy from the Victorian era. This is something essential in every child’s and adults toolkit. We believe that when children take pride in their presentation – this includes handwriting, spelling, setting out etc that they will produce better writing. Their endeavours will nourish and encourage them to maintain high standards. They will enjoy writing when it is legible, meaningful and respected by those who read it.
In January 2018 we re-looked at our handwriting approach and changed it. Quite a lot in fact. We re-taught our children how to write in an efficient cursive script that looks great, is efficient to use and will stand the test of time. In September 2019 staff and children at Wyndham Park Infants’ School began using the same cursive script. This way children from aged 4-11 would be taught the same handwriting technique from the word go. Simple.
We use Letter-join as our font or script. Click here to watch an introduction to Letter-join video. There are many activities parents can do e.g. by logging in etc to help their children at home to support and reinforce this new way. We know some children may feel confused or disappointed about re-learning something they may have been happy with. However, we can reassure parents that the standard of handwriting, pride in presentation and even improvements in spelling have been significant and substantial at St Mark’s in the last two years. Indeed, many parents comment on it during book look activities.
Don’t just take our word for it. There are multiple op-ed pieces and scholarly articles on the internet that supports the claim that cursive is good for many reasons. Like most things it is a little tricky to start with but you soon get the hang of it. Here’s what it looks like: