1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Is Ofsted nit-picking - or is this to be expected?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chelsea2, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    I've just read this in the Ofsted report of a local primary school which has now been graded RI.

    It seems to me very mean-spirited - handwriting is something which many SEN children and those with disabilities find really difficult. Given their problems, actually doing the work is often an achievement; to criticse their handwriting seems unnecessary.

    Most pupils take pride in their work. Leaders’ focus on improving pupils’ handwriting has had a positive impact. However, a small number of pupils do not present their work neatly, including pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities, particularly in mathematics.
    yodaami2 likes this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

  3. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Words fail me too.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So now we can expect book checks for handwriting ... and teachers being put out on capability for their pupils handwriting.
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    This' smacks of someone just looking for things to criticise. The whole system stinks.
  6. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Wait, let me guess, this is a non-academy primary school which will now be adopted by a MAT.
  7. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I understand that children in KS2 cannot get expected in their writing sats if they don't write clearly with joined handwriting. Nevermind the content, if they don't join letters, they're below expected standard. It's stupid.

    Edit: sorry, that might just be for greater depth. still stupid.
    Lara mfl 05, InkyP and colpee like this.
  8. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    So a perfectly normal school then!

    Both young Pees struggled with the mechanics of handwriting, despite being way above average in literacy and numeracy starting school, and years later untidy handwriting remains the bane of their otherwise exempary scholarly success. I think they inherited written neatlessness:oops:
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    We were chatting about this the other day. What is the fixation with joined up handwriting? To my mind, far too much early school effort goes into something that is purely artistic serves no academic purpose.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    That must be one of the most stupid ever ofsted comments.
  11. Norsemaid

    Norsemaid Lead commenter

    One more thing to criticise teachers and children with. Yes, it's a pleasure to look at neat handwriting, but I have witnessed many times beautiful looking work books , very precise letter formation, yet the pupil had NO idea what any of it actually meant , never mind retain the information recorded .
    I remember having handwriting lessons in primary school( late seventies yr 4) and being made to repeat ad nauseum rows of the letter 'r' for the lesson .No reason given and I was the only one.
    Oddly enough it hasn't put me off writing and I still enjoy writing now, but , I still remember thinking why is my letter 'r' not good enough . Wasn't helped that I am left handed and that particular teacher struggled with the fact that I was a leftie - in fact I remember him asking me WHY i held the pencil in my left hand and then sighed and said in a mournful regretful tone , well I suppose it's too late to change you over now . For what it's worth I have lovely handwriting to boot !

    But I do understand that children who struggle are put off and I do understand that for whatever reason , some people have beautiful handwriting and others don't! But, I have never ever held it against a student or judged their academic capability on it . The mind boggles .
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and lanokia like this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    My granddaughter (YR3) has shocking printing. But it's legible. And correctly spelled. Mostly. Ahem.

    She doesn't have learning difficulties. She's just more of a social being. Also a good swimmer. I don't care.

    I speak as someone whose handwriting was routine,y criticised, I didn't care. I was too busy writing my poetry (for which I won a national prize). My writing was also legible. Some of my peers had much prettier calligraphy. But, in purely academic terms, they didn't set the world alight.

    OFSTED comment?

    Also undermines any confidence anyone could ever have in their pontifications. Like a judge saying the maximum sentence for drinking and driving is 10 years but she doesn't like the offender's shirt and tie combo so is adding an extra 6 months.

  13. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Yes, of course it’s ridiculous, because children with SEND are going to have difficulties- that’s why they have SEND and handwriting may well be one of the challenges they face.

    I do think though, that joined writing helps the muscle memory and therefore aids accurate spelling. Writing that isn’t joined obviously doesn’t have the flow that cursive script does.

    In the grand scheme of things, it’s less of a need these days and the Ofsted comment is indeed, nit picky and that of someone who clearly lacks understanding of SEND.
  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    One more problem with the 'one size fits all' and with inclusion (for some students). How can a child with disablilities such as partially sighted or cerebral palsy be expected to have neat handwriting?
    OFSTED................not worth the paper they write on.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    You know we had a 'similar argument' many years ago when my dyslexic son was diagnosed and provided with one of the first computers for school. many arguments about, 'How will he get on in life if he doesn't learn how to write by hand? etc..
    But these days, how many of us use handwriting very often? Mostly we use computers, so it doesn't make a great deal of difference to employment opportunities.

    What it did was provide some self-esteem and belief in himself, which was far more important. Which is what we should be doing for all students and even more so for SEND. Not criticising them. :mad:

    Plus as we found out very quickly, he has a kinaesthetic memory and can actually spell much better, not because he remember how to spell words. but because words he has typed many, many times, he remembers the movements over the keys. In fact if you ask him to spell a word, he can't, but allowed to type invariably gets it right.
    colpee and grumpydogwoman like this.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Whoever wrote this piece of nastiness would criticise pathologists for their poor patient recovery rates!:mad:
  17. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Hope they don't check my handwriting
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I once went to a Year 2 Sats moderation meeting and realised that I would never have passed.
  19. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    This is a school then with a substantial enough number of SEND kids to make an impact on their rating (via handwriting - words fail me).
    It's hard working in a school like that. It's hard being the parent of an SEND child. It's hard being a parent who has no choice but to send their child to that school, and then be told the school is officially siht.
    What possible positive function does this system have? Yes, in many cases there are failures of management and staffing problems that need addressing, but does publicly slapping a FAIL notice on a school help? Anyone? In any way?
    It disgusts me.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So the handwriting of some students leaves something to be desired?

    Left-handed but not adequately catered for?
    Other gross/fine motor problems?
    Too little time given to complete a task?
    Task too hard and child struggling generally?
    Classroom too cold?
    Tables too high?
    Seating poor?

    And even more importantly?

    Why does it matter?
    Is it a CV?
    A letter of application?
    A rough draft.
    Jotting some ideas.

    You simply MUST teach kids when it's appropriate to make an effort with their handwriting and when it's NOT necessary! Legibility is the key. Aesthetics is no longer important. "Correct" letter formation will make it easier to progress to cursive but it's very much a bonus if a child develops a "good hand".

    Cost/benefit analysis
    Given you have the kids for about 5 hours a day? How much time should you spending on this?
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.

Share This Page