Handwriting Intervention programme? KS3 and 4?

(30 Posts)
HexBramble Tue 01-Jul-14 22:08:14

My school is looking at a number of pupils who have terribly bad handwriting, where dyspraxia and any other developmental delay has been ruled out.

Has anyone ever heard of, or better still, done any handwriting intervention with this age group?

Esker Tue 01-Jul-14 23:11:42

No answers here, but I too face this problem and would love to hear any advice from others!

One thing I think though is that in my school, we (including myself), don't tend to insist on good presentation as much as we should. Sometimes I find myself praising my class because everyone has handed in their homework- never mind the fact that some of it is a disgrace!

Particularly with year 7s, I think we need to go nuclear with them from day one to prevent bad habits.

Justtoobad Wed 02-Jul-14 19:47:09

I think this should be done even in ks2 as an intervention procedure. Or let them have laptops to ensure learning but during formal assessments they write, so the same as an exam.

I think intervention would be better.

HexBramble Thu 03-Jul-14 05:01:07

Justtoobad I couldn't agree more. We've identified as a school a shockingly high number of pupils, some MAAT, so a wide range of capabilities, whose handwriting is illegible. Not even on the line.

I'm trying to look at handwriting intervention techniques but getting nowhere fast. These kids are given laptops for assessment but feel by then that they are really disengaged from their work because the appearance of their work is terrible.

The alternative measure is to allow them laptops all the time, but the LEA aren't keen.

Considering the alarmingly high rate of poor handwriting, I'm a bit shocked that strategies weren't put in place at KS2.

BucksKid Thu 03-Jul-14 05:19:48

It's very hard yo change bad handwriting in KS3. That is why there are no interventions available.

But probably your best bet is 'speed up' and 'write from the start'

Are you sure they don't have dyspraxia? Tis probably easier to get them diagnosed with dyspraxia then to change their handwriting at this point. If they haven't been seen by an OT then they should be. As well as looking for dyspraxia the OT will be able to tell you any other physical problems which are causing poor handwriting.

For example not writing on the line can be caused by visual perception problems, which an OT checks for.

BucksKid Thu 03-Jul-14 05:21:16

Poor Handwriting loses you one mark in SATs.

It's far easier for primary's to get you a scribe or a laptop than to correct poor handwriting. So they don't bother.

SanityClause Thu 03-Jul-14 05:39:52

I'm interested in this, if anyone has any information.

DS is dyspraxic, and has terrible handwriting. He is allowed to use a laptop for longer English work, but it's not practical for maths or some shorter Q&A type work.

He has been seen by an OT, who gave ideas for hand strengthening exercises. He has had loads of input from teachers - writing book being sent home each week for writing practise, buried anything it seems to get worse. It is so bad as to be practically illegible.

He can read it, though.

Justtoobad Thu 03-Jul-14 19:22:26

I have students whose writing is so bad, they can't even read it.

HexBramble Thu 03-Jul-14 21:06:21

Is there any research on this? I'm getting nowhere fast looking.

BucksKid Fri 04-Jul-14 03:28:20

Research on what? The most effective intervention?

There is no effective intervention for pupils that age.

They need a laptop. I don't understand why it's up to the LEA whether or not pupils in your school use a laptop (or alpha smart) during class.

minecraftismysaviour Sat 05-Jul-14 07:42:19

We do it... the kids are going to be sitting the 100% exams are going to have to get over 'not writing much because it's too scruffy'and 'cba writing it's too much effort'. They need to practise in the traditional sense and our lsa is fab. She makes her own resources using topic appropriate key words and phrases. .. right up to Of Mice and Men extracts.

reup Sat 05-Jul-14 07:51:34

I would love to know if there is anything. My son got no help at Primary except in y3 a sparklebox print out! We did loads at home including write from the start and he has seen an of and has exercises. School used a scribe for SATs. He is doing a touch typing course for dyslexics now as his spelling is poor too. He has no official diagnosis just that he has elements of dispraxia. They use laptops a lot at new secondary I think.

WinningStreak Sat 05-Jul-14 11:15:47

Speed Up Kinaesthetic Programme

Have a look at this book. It is designed for older children and should be delivered in small groups.

I haven't used it myself but my school are investigating using it next year. Handwriting is a big problem for a significant number of pupils in Year 7.

HexBramble Sat 05-Jul-14 21:39:50

WinningStreak thank you - I'll certainly buy this. It sounds like it has a good balance of exercises and theory and I need both - this is a bit of a pilot study and if the SMT are happy, we may run it through our SENCO.

BucksKid Sun 06-Jul-14 05:46:26

Hex. This is so rude of you.

I recommended speed up in my first post and you ignored me. Now someone else recommends it and you thank them.

Totally rude.

Speed up is a program for kids with physical problems. And you've already said these kids don't have physical problems.

It does say it's for kids 8-13 but I've only ever seen it be successful in lower KS2.

Littleturkish Sun 06-Jul-14 06:10:09

This made me jump! I'm running a programme exactly on this. PM me and I'll send you the research I've based my programme on, my six week plan and add you to my group of schools doing it.

It does work, it is worth doing at KS3 and we've had fantastic results.

hedwig2001 Sun 06-Jul-14 06:48:07

I'm trying to help my Yr 8 DS with his handwriting.
Littleturkish - is your programme something an individual could do?

HexBramble Sun 06-Jul-14 14:08:21

Bucks, sorry?
Tbh, I found your post really helpful and made notes about it but was in the process of doubly checking IEP's about the dyspraxia. I wanted to get back to you properly.

Thank you anyway.

BucksKid Sun 06-Jul-14 16:03:09

I guess I'm just as frustrated as you are that handwriting interventions aren't done whole heartedly in the infants and lower KS2, when they have a much greater chance of working.

BucksKid Sun 06-Jul-14 16:32:17

I'm also frustrated at how often dyspraxia is missed. Most people don't know what to look for at all, so unless a pupil has been seen by an OT it's very hard to know if they have dyspraxia or not.

The majority of students with dyspraxia remain undiagnosed. Poor handwriting is one symptom of dyspraxia.

blueemerald Sun 06-Jul-14 16:43:32

We also have a problem with this at my school so I'm grateful for all the info here.

I have mild dyspraxia and had terrible handwriting. One thing that made a massive difference was writing bigger. I was the TA for a student with severe visual impairment for 2 years and has to write everything for her in size 24 print. This was when I was 24/25 and at nearly 28 my handwriting is still better than it ever was at school.

Littleturkish Sun 06-Jul-14 16:48:57

hedwig you could try. PM me your email and I'll add you to my group.

HexBramble Sun 06-Jul-14 17:37:04

Bucks, no problem. If I am completely honest, this whole thing started with me as a research 'challenge' and I was, at first a little frustrated at the added workload. Now, after studying the names of kids and their quality of their work, I am starting to see its more of a major issue.

We are also focusing a lot on FSM kids and many of these same names are popping up. Dyslexia and a dyspraxia are terms that are bandied around a lot in schools, but as you pointed out, not many actually know the ins and outs so potentially, we are missing it.

Apart from Professor Google, how else can I learn more about this condition, in super quick time? I see this as top priority at the moment. How many kids are slipping through our fingers when we could be giving intervention that could make a huge difference?

Frustrating indeed. Again, sorry for making you think I was ignoring you. I really wasn't.

BucksKid Sun 06-Jul-14 20:08:15

Here are some links:

www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/handwriting_and_dyspraxia.pdf

www.nha-handwriting.org.uk/handwriting/about-handwriting-difficulties

If a child only has handwriting problems, and no other problems, then they probably don't have dyspraxia etc. But if they have poor handwriting + virtually any other problem ( poor attainment, poor concentration, poor behaviour.... ) then I'd seriously consider if they might have dyspraxia and would benefit from a referral.

All sorts of vision problems (again may exist as part of dyslexia / dyspraxia ) will cause handwriting problems. 'Write from the start' ( www.amazon.co.uk/Write-start-Programme-Perceptual-Handwriting/dp/1855032457/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404673262&sr=1-1&keywords=write+from+start ) is a handwriting intervention that focuses on vision problems. Unfortunately it's best used aged 4 - 8.

Engaging Eyes ( www.engagingeyes.co.uk ) improves other vision problems that cause handwriting problems.

'Speed Up' focuses on the physical problems which cause handwriting problems. Poor shoulder strength / hand strength / core strength etc. If a child does respond well to speed up, then they really should be seen by an OT to be properly assessed - because, by defn, they have physical problems which are causing their handwriting problems.

There's also some very cool precision teaching resources you can use to try and improve handwriting. Which I'll try and dig out for you.

I think it's very unlikely poor handwriting is caused by being lazy or lack of practice - unless ASD or something like that, which causes them to be very resistant to work, is also in the mix.

BucksKid Sun 06-Jul-14 20:12:07

Here's a way of using precision teaching to improve pencil grip - www.home-school.com/Articles/teaching-fluent-handwriting-skills.php

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