Is cursive handwriting part of the national curriculum?

(54 Posts)
teabag20048 Fri 16-Mar-18 13:18:32

DD year 4 struggles with cursive handwriting, she is given extra support and whilst practicing on 1-2-1 basis feedback is good but once back in class under timescales you cannot read her writing. Teacher has said if she doesn't join marks will be taken off any assessments. If she writes without joining her handwriting is neat and clear. I would like her to just be able to write as long as you can read it, but School have said it is an expectation. I was wondering if it is part of the national curriculum?

OP’s posts: |
FallenAngel89 Fri 16-Mar-18 13:20:50

No idea but my DD is in Y2 and we were told she has to do it or she'll lose points in her sats for it! Didn't think it was entirely fair either tbh hmm

Randomname234 Fri 16-Mar-18 13:24:07

Yes. Kids must begin to join from year 3,and use the downward strokes required to join from year 2.

Norestformrz Fri 16-Mar-18 17:44:22

Yes very much so

Sparklesdontshine Fri 16-Mar-18 17:45:56

My daughter's school teach it from the word go, so they don't have to learn 2 styles

PlateOfBiscuits Fri 16-Mar-18 17:50:21

Yes it is.

Coconut0il Fri 16-Mar-18 18:04:04

It is part of the curriculum, it's needed for the writing assessment but she won't lose marks in the Y6 Reading, Grammar, Spelling or Maths test if she doesn't join.


JellySlice Fri 16-Mar-18 18:31:28

It may be assessed as part of SATs, but it does not truly matter. Legibility is far more important. As is her self-confidence.

My dc have all been pestered and pestered to write the 'standard' way, and have had bad handwriting throughout primary. Pestered, but not supported. The moment the older ones started Y7, nobody cared at all how they formed their letters. By Y8 all of them had developed their own, clear, legible styles, and their work has become neater and neater. One of them printed all the way to Y10. As the amount he had to write increased with GCSE work, he started joining letters naturally, and he now writes in a semi-cursive style.

Waiting to see what will happen with my youngest, currently in Y6, who has just been given a booklet to improve his handwriting hmm.

Verbena37 Fri 16-Mar-18 19:34:30

This is one of the biggest barriers to learning schools have imposed on children.

It matters not a jot in Yr 2 SATS if she loses points.
In Yr 6, whether they join or not isn’t counted....and that’s the point they (IMO stupidly) base GCSE target grades on so doesn’t matter then either.

By the time she is Act secodnary in Yr 7, cursive isn’t even on their radar. They really don’t care how they choose to long as it can be read.

DS, we thought had dysgraphia because he was in pain when writing all the way through primary. In year 4, having had him privately diagnosed with hf ASD, when I mentioned dysgraphia, the sendco said “what’s dysgraphia, can you explain it to me?”!

They did nothing and had an Ed Paych look at his work. What she didn’t see was how long it took him.
However, once he started in Yr 7 they said didn’t care how he wrote and although it still hurt after a few lines and he was extremely slow still, his writing was beautifully neat and easy to not dysgraphia.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when he was privately assessed by a sensory integration OT, as part of or EHCP assessment, who confirmed he has low muscle tone and is slightly hyper mobile!

It took until year 8 for someone to notice there was something wrong with his ability to write! You can imagine how cross I was because I’d been telling school from about Yr 1/2 onwards and non of them picked up on it.

I think age 4 is extremely young (I mean from school’s point of view) to be worrying you about whether your dd can do cursive or not.

Feenie Fri 16-Mar-18 19:49:53

There are no points to be lost in the Y2 or Y6 Writing Assessments - either all the objectives are achieved and they are awarded 'Expected' (or perhaps Greater Depth) or they aren't. All or nothing.

mercurymaze Fri 16-Mar-18 19:51:38

I find the importance schools place on handwriting very antiquated

Feenie Fri 16-Mar-18 20:01:08

They have no choice - the Dfe set the curriculum.

teabag20048 Fri 16-Mar-18 20:09:21

DD is in year 4 not 4 years old, sorry for the confusion.
Thanks everyone for your replies
JellySlice I feel it is knocking her confidence, she has asked not to join and been told once you have started you need to continue.
I am not worried about her losing marks in primary school assessment, but to be honest I am worried about her losing marks in the 11+ if the examiner can't read her writing, in all other aspects at school she is doing really well. I would just like her to be able to write how she wants.

OP’s posts: |
JellySlice Fri 16-Mar-18 21:22:19

It is frustrating. Handwriting is important, but not for a discipline or stylistic reason. It is important simply for legibility, for communication.

Children are taught cursive because studies have shown (apparently) that flowing, cursive writing frees the mind to focus on the content, rather than jerking from stage to stage of the spelling. In order to achieve this children need to be taught how to hold the pencil effectively, how to angle the paper correctly for their handedness, how to form the letter correctly. From the moment they start pre-writing skills.

Does this happen? No. Then at some point in KS2 teachers start making a fuss, by which time it is too late - the physical habits are too entrenched to be changed without huge commitment from the child. If you're lucky, the child gets 20minutes a week handwriting intervention.

Sorry, this makes me cross. All of my children have been or are going through this nonsense.

(Strangely, my printing-only dc managed to achieve 9s and A*s in essay-based subjects at GCSE. hmm)

ihearttc Sat 17-Mar-18 07:22:18

DS1 wasn't taught cursive until y4. He is now in Y8 and his writing is awful. Lots of badly formed letters which you can hardly read.

DS2 is in Year 2 and was taught pre-cursive from reception and now has the most beautiful cursive handwriting all beautifully joined and a lovely size.

Same school by the way...they'd just worked out by the time DS2 got there that it made sense to teach it once rather than them have to learn it later.

DS1 got amazing results in his Year 6 sats so it definitely didn't hold him back.

PlateOfBiscuits Sat 17-Mar-18 10:25:03

It’s not the schools, mercurymaze, it’s the government.

mercurymaze Sat 17-Mar-18 10:38:45

yes i know i should have said the importance schools have to place on handwriting

Littlepic Sat 17-Mar-18 10:42:34

Handwriting has recently become assessed at KS1 and 2 SATS. As I understand it is now part of reaching the Age Related Expectation.
My school however are using a scheme called Penpals, which slowly develops joining because they were finding cursive from the beginning was too complex for some children and was a barrier to writing.

twomadefour Sat 17-Mar-18 10:49:22

My daughter had to do it in primary as soon as she went to secondary they didn't give a shit ! Also as her writing is legible she should be fine in later life! People make so much crap out of stupid shit.

NorthernKnickers Sat 17-Mar-18 13:24:54

@Verbena37 It now DOES matter in Year 6!! Last year 'cursive' script was only 'needed' to get Greater Depth in Year 6 writing (which only a very small percentage of children met). This year, however, the writing descriptors have changed and to get Expected level in Year 6, writing MUST be cursive. Schools are now clearly working very hard to get children to meet this criteria as by not having a near, legible, cursive script children cannot get to Expected. Of course, the minute they move up to high school, this won't matter...go figure! (A tired, stressed-out Primary teacher 😩)

Please don't blame the teachers/schools!! We don't agree to this assessment/testing system's antiquated and pointless and serves no one apart from the Government!!

Fluffybat Sat 17-Mar-18 13:59:43

Hi, I'm a primary teacher and yes it is part of the curriculum and the interim assessments to pass year 6.

Verbena37 Sat 17-Mar-18 14:08:55

@northernknickers....I meant in the grand scheme of things when yr6 SATS are used as GCSE target levels....handwriting isn’t used in that respect. It will just be their scores for English and maths SATS that go towards GCSE expected grades.

Ivymaud Sat 17-Mar-18 14:15:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feenie Sat 17-Mar-18 14:15:13

I meant in the grand scheme of things when yr6 SATS are used as GCSE target levels....handwriting isn’t used in that respect.

But, as others have pointed out, pupils can't even be awarded 'expected' without it - and GCSE targets are set from that. It IS used in that respect.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sat 17-Mar-18 14:19:27

This is a big bear if mine. Our old school enforced this from primary one and DD hates it. We spent a long time practising it and her writing was cumbersome.

She then moved schools (because we moved house, not because we didn’t like the school!). New school didn’t do cursive and DD dropped the cursive writing as soon as she could an much prefers creative writing now. It was really holding her back.

Her writing is a little odd looking as a couple of letters are still done in cursive.

This is a weird fad

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