Morrells Handwriting has always campaigned for a greater emphasis on letter formation. It is the foundation for writing legibly, fluently and at speed in later life.
They should not be assessing Key Stage 1 on joined up handwriting, even when working at a greater depth than expected. We believe that the new interim framework assessments are excessive.
Teachers are under pressure to cut corners to achieve this tick box goal by Year 2, even though pupils are still developing their muscles needed to write. Time and time again I see the poor illegible handwriting, or bad habits that require correcting at secondary level, by this rush to use early cursive handwriting.
In order to teach handwriting correctly, there are a number of learning blocks that need to be mastered to provide children with a solid foundation which can then be built upon. Those learning blocks include learning to form letters and having the mechanical skills to control a writing tool.
In an article on the NHA website, Sheila Henderson sites that Rosemary Sassoon “has always maintained that the acquisition of movement patterns which underpin our system of letter formation is absolutely essential as a basis for learning handwriting”
From my experience, the interim assessments are putting unnecessary time constraints on teachers allowing little time to teach each fundamental element of learning to write. This is then creating problems for students as they move through education.
Learning to write letter formation is the key to learning to write legibly and at speed.