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Yr 2 SATS- no "greater depth" without cursive?

(56 Posts)
oncewasawarrior Mon 06-Nov-17 08:16:02

Had DSs Yr 2 parent consultation thingy this morning. All very positive- he’s a bright chap, gets on with people, needs to be a bit less chatty- the usual for him!
However, she mentioned at the end that it was a shame he probably wouldn’t get “greater depth” for his literacy in the year 2 Sats as his handwriting wasn’t great! His content, punctuation and spelling are all excellent (greater depth standard), he’s got a reading-age of 12+ BUT because he can’t do cursive he can’t get greater depth. His writing is perfectly legible btw- just not cursive.
Is this actually A Thing? Surely as long as handwriting’s legible and neat enough then it should be all about the content? I don’t particularly care about YR2 SATS but this has annoyed me. Anyone know if this is really the case?

irvineoneohone Mon 06-Nov-17 09:12:11

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/510913/STA-Exemp2016-KS1-EW-Ali-NoAnn_PDFA.pdf

"Working at greater depth within the expected standard
The pupil can write for different purposes, after discussion with the teacher:
......
• using the diagonal strokes needed to join letters in most of their writing."

PickleFish Mon 06-Nov-17 09:35:49

Surely he has many months left before the SATs to improve his handwriting - why write the possibility of getting greater depth off now? No need to give up on him yet. There are lots of things that can be done to improve handwriting, from making sure he has good finger strength and fine motor control, to making sure he is making his letters the correct way, to teaching him carefully how to make the various joins (not all at once). There are a variety of intervention programs that can be used as well, if it seems to be more of a concern than usual for this age - but really, if he's at the start of year 2, then it seems very premature to be making conclusions about what he won't be able to do by May.

(totally ignoring the point about whether cursive writing should be compulsory for particular levels, as that's a whole separate ball game!!)

irvineoneohone Mon 06-Nov-17 09:53:49

Totally agree with Pickle.

My ds had same problem, he had perfectly legible but not cursive handwriting and forced to do cursive and struggled.
But unless gov. standard changes, they need to do it sooner or later.

He used to write way neater and faster before, but was told he couldn't get LV3 for writing unless he masters cursive in old NC.

It's really not a big deal to get GDS or not, but when he is in KS2, he may get pushed even more to write in cursive in everyday lesson. So, if your ds is willing, I would start practicing them now. And he may achieve GDS as a reward for his hard work.

oncewasawarrior Mon 06-Nov-17 10:00:50

His handwriting isn’t great and he really struggles. He’s spent a long time focusing on just making it legible so this seems a bit of a kick in the teeth. Teacher did show me his handwriting book and we both looked sadly at it.
Genetics has shafted him. In the late 80s when I was reading English my tutors insisted I bought a new-fangled electronic word processor as they couldn’t read my essays. My mum as an English teacher in the 70s was asked not to hand write worksheets. His sister was year 5 before she got her pen license and even then I think it was more out of pity. His Dad is a doctor and his handwriting lives up to the stereotype!
Honestly I don’t care about handwriting as long as it’s legible. I really don’t want to have to spend ages teaching something that will be largely irrelevant in later life.... 😡
I mean, this is STUPID isn’t it?

Ginmummy1 Mon 06-Nov-17 10:08:49

We had a very similar report at parents’ evening for our Y2 DD. DD is working at greater depth in all other areas of her writing, but she needs to neaten her writing and use cursive writing in order to tick all the boxes to get ‘greater depth’ in writing.

DD’s school have been quite slow to introduce cursive – a little bit (joining certain combinations of letters) in Y1, and a bit more so far in Y2 (one short handwriting lesson per week), and we had never pushed DD to learn to join prior to this, preferring to let the school dictate the pace of learning. (and also, to be honest, neatness in writing and colouring have not been DD’s favourite activities!) It was therefore a surprise that the teacher said she needed to be joining all of a sudden!

However, DD has really taken it on board, and now, two weeks later, is writing joined up almost all of the time. She writes much more slowly, but is really focussing on neatness as well, so I hope her joined up writing will become secure with a reasonable style very soon. I must admit I was getting worried that school were slow to start joining (compared with friends’ children’s schools locally), and hadn’t even taught pre-cursive, but DD has made the switch very easily. I don’t have enough experience to have a strong view on whether it’s better to learn cursive from the start, but I definitely feel that DD has switched to joining at the right time for her.

Has your DS been taught to join and is he refusing to try, or is his school a bit like DD’s and is suddenly springing it on him?

I don’t know why his teacher would say he probably wouldn’t get ‘greater depth’ by writing in the required manner by the end of the year, given that it is only November! Surely there’s time for him to improve? Can you turn it into a positive challenge for him?

irvineoneohone Mon 06-Nov-17 10:28:20

My ds had issue with gross motor skills since he was bed ridden most of his toddler years. Fine motor skills were fine, since he did loads of them on bed. But doing fun things to improve those weak areas did really made a difference.
If he struggles to write in the first place, have you considered strengthening fine/gross motor skills? They will definitely make difference.

I think it's stupid. I totally agree. But that's how it is. Either you need to get him diagnosed with something that enables him to use laptop,etc., if he is physically impossible to do it, or he will be forced to do it during primary. sad but that's how it seems.

Alyosha Mon 06-Nov-17 14:16:53

It's not irrelevant or stupid. Research shows that writing notes (as opposed to typing notes) i.e. in lecture theatres/at school makes it more likely you will remember it.

Speed of writing is key to accurate note taking, so developing good, legible cursive writing is very much a good life skill to have.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 06-Nov-17 15:54:06

It’s stupid tbh. Ds has dyspraxia and will struggle with cursive. But tbh it’ll just knock their results and I’ll tell ds never year that it doesn’t matter.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 06-Nov-17 15:55:07

I’ve never wrote cursive in my life and never had issues taking notes.

Alyosha Tue 07-Nov-17 10:54:06

The majority of people have greater writing speed in cursive than in printed.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 07-Nov-17 11:56:40

But then I have an incredible type speed yet I only type with one hand.

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Nov-17 12:04:55

Yes, I can see that cursive can benefit some people, even young children, if you can nail it.
But I think for some children, it's far better to write with the most easiest, legible and fastest way for them in primary school. They don't really need so much speed even in sats.
Tbh, I am quite sceptical. Most of ds's past teachers' handwriting were not so great, I do struggle to read it most of the time. How can they expect more than they can do themselves?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 07-Nov-17 12:08:53

Are all the teachers also writing everything in cursive? If not, why not? Don’t they know it’s faster?
And the muppets in the education policy departments?

wingwalker9 Tue 07-Nov-17 16:41:09

Tomorrow - did you not know teachers didn't create this curriculum, if not, why not? Therefore they are teaching what is required by the government. I do recall they tried to strike, I hope you supported that strike. If not, why not?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 07-Nov-17 18:12:50

Tbf NC like most of the government policies is pretty screwed, made by people who haven’t got a clue.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 07-Nov-17 18:13:43

And, yes, I think they had a right to strike and with amount leaving profession I think it’s only way to get message across.

GHGN Tue 07-Nov-17 18:15:21

wingwalker9
You are missing the point. Many teachers insist that cursive writing is better than other form of writing. Tomorrow just expressed the opposite and asking why don't teacher do the same? If they think it is better, why don't they use cursive writing themselves? If they don't think it is better then don't defend the NC.

I read a couple of research on benefit of cursive. The stats is not conclusive in my opinion.

Scabbersley Tue 07-Nov-17 18:16:37

Why are you bothered? He's in year 2. I'm pretty sure getting 'in greater depth' is not that important is it?

I do agree good joined up handwriting is very helpful but he's got years before he has to take notes in lectures!

Norestformrz Tue 07-Nov-17 18:43:45

*“*^*If they think it is better, why don't they use cursive writing themselves?*^ *“* all the teachers I know do use cursive writing 🤔

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Nov-17 18:53:06

mrz, yes, at my ds's school teachers use cursive. But most of their writing is illegible for me. There was only one out of 6 teachers who had beautiful handwriting so far. This year's teacher is the worst, I couldn't decode her hand writing on his books on open day. grin

wingwalker9 Tue 07-Nov-17 20:07:09

GHGN, teachers are expected to in class. They are expected to model what they want the children to use. Also many parents have only the experience of their own writing and maybe one or two children. Teachers have to be seen to support the NC, they can't express at parents evening that what they are teaching is a load of bollocks now can they? Teachers are often not allowed a political opinion without facing the wrath of big chiefs so they say what they are meant to say not what they want to say.

irvineoneohone Tue 07-Nov-17 20:13:24

"They are expected to model what they want the children to use"

So far, I have seen my ds's teacher has been using different style of handwriting to school one(which was very beautiful, and the one I use), or totally illegeble, or mixture of print and cursive.

Not a very good model, imo. (Though I am not blaming teachers for stupid expectations. )

wingwalker9 Tue 07-Nov-17 20:29:07

Doesn't sound like it is a good model, maybe that school isn't hot on that policy.

Coconut0il Tue 07-Nov-17 20:51:18

We use cursive from reception. We have a school style and all the staff have to use it. We have one teacher who really pushes it and makes sure it's always being used.
The children who have used it from reception seem to have neater, more consistent handwriting than the children who had to start it in the higher years when we first began using it about 5 years ago.

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