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Cursive styles help

(11 Posts)
littlepinkmouseofsugar Wed 17-Aug-16 14:44:28

Joy of joys, the school is changing the cursive style they teach from Sept. My child is not a keen writer and her printing/unjoined writing is not her strong suit and had been a battle for 3 years now - it's barely legible at the end of year 2. Her attempts to learn joined up writing have been stressful as well unsurprisingly, and she's come out of school distressed after handwriting sessions, so telling her oh guess what, what you learnt last year was all wrong and the style has changed is not going to go down well, to say the least.

Unhelpfully, the year 3 teacher couldn't tell me the name of the script they are now to teach the children, or suggest any workbooks or anything so my plans for getting head start over the holidays have ground to a halt. Apparently the loops are different and rather than looping all the way up any joining into the next letter mid-word, the loops stop in an open, curved umbrella handle type of shape (I think) if that makes sense. I assume there are probably other differences as well, but the teacher didn't elaborate.

So my questions are:

Is there one national cursive script as part of the curriculum? Or do they vary from one school/county/country to another? When I grew up in another country there was one standard style taught everywhere and later on there were a couple for schools to choose from, but they had distinctive names so you could get relevant computer fonts or workbooks or what have you.

Does anyone know what the names of the main/more popular school handwriting styles taught in England? If I know the name, then I can look them up/print something out to get a head start on this while we are at home on holidays with time and relaxed non-stressed children.

mrz Wed 17-Aug-16 15:35:50

No there isn't a national handwriting style schools are free to choose their end style.
Sassoon is a very common style used in primary schools.
My school uses our ex deputy heads handwriting model - nameless!

littlepinkmouseofsugar Wed 17-Aug-16 17:13:19

It's odd the govt is so prescriptive re the curriculum yet has no national style, oh well.

Will have a google for Sassoon, thanks.

mrz Wed 17-Aug-16 17:40:26

The curriculum sets out a minimum entitlement of what must be taught not how it should be taught.

mrz Wed 17-Aug-16 17:41:07

The curriculum sets out a minimum entitlement of what must be taught not how it should be taught.

catkind Wed 17-Aug-16 17:56:18

From your description it sounds like they are talking about getting them to do a non-joined pre-cursive style, with out-loops (? and in-loops) ready to join. Have I understood that right?

Have they definitely said that this is going to affect year 3? Only I'd expect them to be joining by then however they started. Also it seems really late to change style. I wondered if it might be they're teaching pre-cursive from reception instead of printing, to make joining easier for those children. May be completely on the wrong track though, their description is somewhat vague.

catkind Wed 17-Aug-16 17:59:42

Maybe practice your current style with in and out loops but without actual joins, then she's moving in the right direction but not learning anything new that might be wrong. Like these?

littlepinkmouseofsugar Wed 17-Aug-16 21:13:30

Ah that makes sense MrsZ.

Catkins, yes she said that the new style is being introduced across the whole school, especially for those just starting off or in early stages of cursive and not too established yet, so I guess that means year 2/3, rather than for the years 5/6 I suspect who are too set in their ways. Could well be they are planning on teaching cursive from the get go (I don't agree with that personally and prefer printing to begin with) in reception as well. It was a brief 20 seconds informal chat (I know the teacher as child no. 1 had the teacher 2 years ago so I was just saying hello and mentioned some writing I saw in her class or something) at the open evening at the end of term.

I think they've covered joins, it was just the new style involves not joining loops so much, I think. Sorry I should have said descenders rather than loops in my original post - I'm not getting much sleep so I don't always explain properly I suspect.

Thanks for the link, that's interesting there are at least 25 styles in use across the UK! I think from what the teacher was describing maybe they are changing to something like style 11 or 22 from the description, whereas before they were taught something more like style 1 or 6 I think at a guess.

catkind Wed 17-Aug-16 23:15:32

Ah I see what you mean, the tails we used to call them. That's really small differences then, I would just keep practicing the way she used to write, it will still help.

My DS struggles with handwriting, and I have to say starting off with a cursive style (like in the link I gave, not actually joined but with lead-ins and lead-outs) has been a huge help to him compared to classmates who started printing and then had to learn joining on top. (He moved from a starting-cursive school to a starting-printing school.)

Couple of other things that really helped him sort himself out.
Handwriting lines - we printed out some that have bottom/middle/top of letters, it was one less thing to think about and really made a big difference pretty much immediately.
And doing a tiny bit in the holidays, just 5 minutes a day or something, because we could 1:1 supervise and make sure it was right, and he wasn't reinforcing bad habits for the rest of the day like he was in term time.

I won't claim it's completely legible, but such an improvement. Also starting year 3.

mrz Thu 18-Aug-16 06:43:30


littlepinkmouseofsugar Fri 19-Aug-16 13:11:42

Thanks, yes that's sort of what I think she meant, I think...

Yes, think we will just get on with the practising then and hopefully that will build her confidence and then the teacher can refine the tails or specifics if need be. It would help if the school gave parents copies of what they do at school so we can be consistent at home, but communication is not their strongpoint alas.

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