School and homework materials in cursive font

(14 Posts)
parrotonmyshoulder Sat 28-Apr-18 15:09:49

DS (age 5, year 1) can’t read the materials sent home from school - this weekend it’s ‘alien words’ to practise for the phonics screen. Class teacher has told me that ‘they all have to be able to read and write in cursive’. Obviously I can rewrite this stuff in a way that he can read (he can manage with lead in and out strokes but not when joined) but am I doing the right thing?

OP’s posts: |
IAmMotherOfDragons Sat 28-Apr-18 15:44:51

I cant imagine that the phonics test will be written in cursive writing!!! surely phonics screening is about knowing the sounds and blending them together, it is phonics screening, not cursive writing screening.

I personally would write in a way he can tell what letters they are, the important part is that he is learning the sounds and letters and knows to blend and recognise real and nonsense words.

theres some past papers on here to look at... www.satspapers.org.uk/Page.aspx?TId=21#Phonics

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 28-Apr-18 15:55:28

I don’t really want to practise the ‘test’ with him. If he can’t do it yet, then he can’t do it. I don’t want him overlooked in year two in terms of support if he needs it.

OP’s posts: |
Norestformrz Sat 28-Apr-18 16:01:17

The phonics check is not written in cursive. In the booklet the words are written with the exit flick but it's possible for teachers administering the check in any font they wish. There is no national requirement for children to read cursive font. Are the children taught to write in cursive from the start?

BlondeB83 Sat 28-Apr-18 16:03:24

The teacher is doing herself a disservice! Is she very inexperienced? While I believe in teaching pre-cursive handwriting early, sending reading materials in cursive is ridiculous if the child can not access it yet.

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 28-Apr-18 16:20:49

Thanks,
Yes, she’s pretty inexperienced. The children started pre-cursive at the end of reception. Unfortunately I’ve had the same response for other queries - ‘they all have to do the same work’ so no differentiation. He ends up being ‘helped’ to so all his work so isn’t really doing anything independently. Crushing to self-esteem in my opinion. He can read the font posted by Norestformrz.
All letters to parents etc are sent in a cursive font too. Very hard to read!

OP’s posts: |
MollyDaydream Sat 28-Apr-18 16:24:14

If he's writing cursive then he needs to practise recognising it?

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parrotonmyshoulder Sat 28-Apr-18 16:25:58

He can’t really write in it yet. I wouldn’t want that to hold back his reading.

OP’s posts: |
MollyDaydream Sat 28-Apr-18 16:27:24

Aren't their reading books in print? If he needs to recognise both I would try to expose him to both as much as possible.

soapboxqueen Sat 28-Apr-18 17:05:54

A school I taught at (as well as others) went through a phase of all printed materials being in cursive (worksheets, homework, labels, displays, newsletters etc etc) . We had to get plug ins for Microsoft Word which were a pain in the arse.

Speak to the teacher and tell her your child is struggling. Give her the option of translated homework or homework not completed.

bunbunny Sat 28-Apr-18 17:58:02

I hate bloody cursive font. So yes, I'm biased grin

When ds1 went through infant school, they learnt to print in Reception, added flicks and bits in Y1 and when they were ready, finally did joined up writing in y2. And it was 'joined up writing' rather than specifically cursive (of the specific cursive variety that seems to be pushed in primary schools currently, rather than the general 'cursive=another term for joined up writing'). He has always had lovely handwriting and as he progressed through junior school and into secondary, it has stayed nice, neat, legible and flows easily.

DS2 on the other hand, followed ds1 through infant school 3 years later. They started them on joined up cursive from day 1 - no printing, no letters with flicks but not actually joined - it was all joined right from the beginning. Likewise, all their printed labels and printed things were printed in a joined up cursive font, all the teachers had to use it for anything they wrote in school - everywhere you looked, apart from books, it was in bloody cursive font...

ds2 struggled from the beginning. He is now in y5 and is still struggling - his handwriting is worse than his brother's was in reception. He has had lots of intervention over the years and still is... but it's not really working and his writing still is painfully slow, illegible and messy - more like a large spider has danced across the page than a pen.

Talking to a friend who is a TA who also had dc that went through the same schools at similar times, she noted that when our first dc went through school and ended up at her junior school, there was a fairly even spread of ability when it came to writing - some excellent, some appalling and a spread through the middle. However, by the time our second dc went through to junior school, having just done joined up cursive writing, there was a large group of dc that had excellent writing, very few in the middle and a significant group at the bottom with really bad handwriting. So there was definitely an effect on those in the middle - lots had much better writing than they would have done otherwise, but lots had much worse...

So while there are definite advantages for some dc, which is apparently why this approach is being pushed, it is also causing significant problems for a lot of children - which only get worse as they move through school, whereas in the old days with non-cursive joined up writing, most dc managed to improve their writing as they got older, which isn't happening for the struggling group any more.

ds2 is definitely being disadvantaged by his poor writing - despite being an excellent student - as the teachers just can't read what he has written and he can't write as quickly as others in his class so can't write enough when told to write a paragraph or whatever. Previously teachers have tried to be reassuring and say not to teach him to print but to persevere with cursive, and that they much preferred to have a messy but creative piece of work than a boring but neat one. But now I'm having to get them to think of better strategies and maybe get permission for a scribe or using a laptop so that he isn't hindered by his writing, which is all a hassle he could do without...

And as for everything being printed in cursive font - completely agree that it is a nightmare to read. I actually complained to the infant school and pointed out that in my job the only time I would ever use the cursive font they used would be as an example of a completely illegible font that should never be used in website / publication design - and yet they were trying to use it to teach reading, when you need things to be extra legible, not the worst example you can find!

So yes, I would keep complaining and saying that actually they need to be able to read and write - cursive can come later. if you have a dc that struggles with it, much better to get them there gently but to get them there, than to leave them struggling for years and potentially significantly delaying their education and ability.. (and thank goodness for ds2 -now at his junior school they don't use cursive font for printed things, so they don't need need to use it for printed things!).

Sorry, that's a bit of a long rant...

IAmMotherOfDragons Sat 28-Apr-18 18:41:51

Sorry I didn't post the link to past papers to do them i was showing you that they aren't in cursive.

My dc is yr 1 and never brought home homework in cursive. Though I've also not been told anything about when the phonics screen is....might ask on Monday

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sat 28-Apr-18 19:02:41

We had some cursive forms brought home last year when ds was in reception and I couldn’t read them. It was very annoying and I was glad when they went back to print.

Norestformrz Sat 28-Apr-18 19:32:26

Week beginning the 11th June

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