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cursive handwriting or not in the early years?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lesleysmith60, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. I have taught in the Foundation Stage for over ten years and have just moved to KS2. I am also Literacy co-ordinator. I am now handing the Reception class over to an inexperienced (but good and keen) Reception teacher. We are a single form entry school, I have never taught cursive script to my Reception children and they have always gone on to develop good handwriting skills in KS1. In fact for many years I taught a R/Yr1 mixed class and had no problems teaching the Yr 1 children to join their handwriting beautifully. We do, however, teach cursive script throughout the rest of the school. Our new teacher wants to know whether to teach cursive script to the Reception class. My instinct and experience say 'No!' but I have never done it myself. Can anybody advise me please?
  2. Thank you so much for this Msz you have just confirmed exactly how i feel and i will now stick to my instincts and experience! Lesley
  3. I find cursive handwriting (as described in the link in a previous posting) very easy to teach whatever the age - and the children don't find it hard to do.
    I just don't think it is necessary or really appropriate for four and five year olds to learn.

  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We teach a cursive style print (if that makes sense... with the exit stroke but not starting from the line sassoon font) in reception so it is very easy for the children to move onto fully cursive joined script by the start of Y2.
  5. I was wondering why you believe that cursive handwriting is 'not necessary or appropriate' if it is 'easy to teach' and if it will be taught later on in school meaning that you will have a change what they have already learnt? Cursive writing is seen throughout the world and taught in many international school so how can it be unnecessary for younger children?
  6. Does the fact that it is taught make it necessary? What is necessary? A legible joined handwriting by the time children need their writing to be efficient and clear. You might think it's desirable, but that's something else.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think it is easier when children are first learning letter phoneme correspondence to learn individual letters (recognition and formation). If they are taught a "cursive" style such as sassoon it is a simple step to add the entry stroke and join so no real change is necessary
  8. I have seen boths way taught in reception and must say I was over the moon to find out that my DD would not be taught cursive writing in reception.
    The reception class where I had seen it taught had children trying to trace over the letter for they day which had been written repeatedly in their handwriting books in yellow felt tip by the teacher. Even though they were shown where to start and how to write it (f) they all still traced the lines in any way they liked. They had little if no concept of where the pencil should have gone to trace the letter properly. Further through the school a big thing was made about using joined up 'school handwriting' and to be honest the children would write joining up all the letters but without writing the actual letters properly or joining them correctly. There were a few who had got to year three and their writing was illegible because they joined everything together any old how!
    My daughter will be introduced to cursive script when she starts year one in Sept and so far has lovely writing, just like most of her class has.

  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I know nothing about handwriting development. My first child did not learn to print very well in reception - some letters the wrong way round, some letters where formation was not done correctly although the finished letters looked OK. I think this was just because very little time or attention was paid to handwriting in reception. She then learned beautiful cursive script in year 1. I don't know whether now if I asked her to print again if it would have improved her printing - I've not tried asking her to. It might be an interesting experiment one day.
    So I'm not sure if the beautiful printing stage is necessary or not. I only printed until year 3, and then learned beautiful cursive. Then at a later stage I moved on to my own style - somewhere between cursive and printed and which is much quicker in exams than either printing or perfect cursive. I write extremely fast but I don't know which part of my handwriting "training" is responsible for that.

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