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Do children in P1 primary not learn to write anymore?

(20 Posts)
cherryberrymum Tue 23-May-17 14:44:52

My little boy is in primary one. We have had issues with bullying and now he is painfully timid and shy and has fallen behind as he hasn't spoken up in class and has been overlooked. I want to make very clear here I do not blame his teacher. She has a class of 31 and is doing her best as many of them are very "confident"

Anyway since Easter I have been working with him at home and so far have caught up with his Jolly phonics and seems to be reading well.

However his handwriting is a disaster. He has no technique and it's all a scrawl. Do teachers not teach handwriting now?

Could anyone direct me to resources to help me teach him to write please

Thanks in advance?

cherryberrymum Tue 23-May-17 15:54:04


Badbadbunny Tue 23-May-17 18:53:57

Do teachers not teach handwriting now?


mrz Tue 23-May-17 18:57:30

I can't speak for Scotland but handwriting is a statutory element of the English National Curriculum

mayoli Tue 23-May-17 18:58:40

A class of 31 sad

IME, no. I volunteer in a P1 class and have never taught them handwriting. They do lots of writing in general but there's not much emphasis on neat handwriting.

mrwhitesfly Tue 23-May-17 18:59:44

Of course teachers teach handwriting. Some children are just not developmentally ready to even hold a pencil properly let alone use it to write correctly formed letters at that age. 'Teaching handwriting' includes developing fine motor control with activities such as play dough, threading and Lego.

mrwhitesfly Tue 23-May-17 19:01:36

As for helping him you could start by asking his teacher about the style of handwriting they teach at school so that you can use the same at home.

RedScissors Tue 23-May-17 19:01:39

Primary 1 classes are capped at 25. A class of 31 is illegal.

bigkidsdidit Tue 23-May-17 19:02:57

Yes they do, and 31 is too big for P1?

cherryberrymum Tue 23-May-17 20:36:43

We are in NI and 31 is the average class size in our area. We have one teacher and 3 classroom assistants in his class and I guess now you mention it they do write but there is no emphasis on neatness.

I have approached the teacher before and she told me to concentrate on his reading.

Badbadbunny Wed 24-May-17 08:03:33

there is no emphasis on neatness.

We brought this up year after year, as our son's handwriting was terrible (and still is at 15!). Every single teacher we mentioned it to (both primary and secondary) just shrugged off our worries, with glib comments such as "you should see some of the others!". My experience is that the teachers don't regard neat, legible handwriting as important.

EducationOpinionsRUs Wed 24-May-17 08:28:33

Let's face it, it isn't important in the way it was when some of us were children. In adult life, someone who doesn't enjoy handwriting will hardly ever have to write more than a sentence, and that's now. They have (for now!) to be able to write fast enough to get through exams, and then most likely they'll never write as much again. For exams, all that matters is legibility (by people like these teachers who are practised at reading bad writing!). So while neat handwriting is still a fine hobby, I think it's correct that it receive far less attention at school than it used to.

Badbadbunny Wed 24-May-17 18:44:37

In adult life, someone who doesn't enjoy handwriting will hardly ever have to write more than a sentence, and that's now.

Lots of jobs still involve lots of handwriting. Lots of people still write letters, lists, notes, fill forms in, etc. It's not going to disappear any time soon. I do a lot of writing at work every day and spend a large proportion of my working day working from other peoples' handwriting.

MyfatheristheKing Wed 24-May-17 18:49:17

DS is in a class of 31 or so but they have two full time teachers. Very common here where they physically don't have the space for another class. DS writing isn't perfect but I need to remember he is only 5 (January birthday) and they are still so little. P1 is about a lot more than just the academic side, settling into school, making friendships, becoming part of the school community. Handwriting will come in time smile

Bonbonchance Fri 26-May-17 22:50:38

Yes I have to teach it! Focus on correct formation I don't worry too much about neatness (within reason) from some children who don't have more developed fine motor skills. Children usually catch up eventually.

Do lots of fun hand strengthening with your son - playdough, lego, squeezing sponges in water, playing with pegs (squeezing) unscrewing lids, writing in shaving foam etc. Anything using all the little muscles in the hands. Encourage writing on a vertical surface too (easels or sheets of paper on the wall), writing with sticks in mud etc. Whiteboards are fun & easier to write on (laminated bits of paper/mirrors can also work), or reasonsbly thick (e.g. Berol) pens on paper (more glide than pencils). Drawing with detail or colouring intricate pictures (mindfulness ones might be good) can help develop fine motor skills too. Keep it fun!

NapQueen Fri 26-May-17 22:54:02

What age is P1? Dd is reception class so 5 years old, is that the same?

Anyways, all I care about is she knows the letters, writes them the correct way round, and in the right order.

Once shes nailed that then further into the school she can learn about the presentation of the words.

MyfatheristheKing Fri 26-May-17 23:40:34

nap to have started p1 in August 2016 you had to turn 5 from march 2016 till end of February 2017.

prettybird Sat 27-May-17 09:27:24

OP is in Northern Ireland so not sure when the cut-off dates are.

cherryberrymum Mon 29-May-17 07:11:37

Thanks BonBon that is very helpful. My wee man was 4 in March 2016 and so started P1 in Sept 2016.

MaryTheCanary Wed 07-Jun-17 04:23:49

A very important reason for handwriting is the ability to take notes by hand later on--very important for learning anything esp at university level and other further education.

My own experience is that getting my daughter to write properly and reasonably neatly was a big motivating factor in getting her to write more and to want to write. If a child scrawls away at a page, looks at what they have done and sees that it looks like a dog's breakfast, it's hard for them to feel proud or motivated about what they are doing.

I don't think schools should make a fetish of handwriting, but reasonably good penmanship is important IMHO. It should be legible, fluent and quick.

Try Debbie Hepplewhite's free online resources for teaching HW if the school is not doing their job.

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