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News Articles

This section provides a brief resume of the national and international coverage on Handwriting.

Does writing by hand still matter in the digital age?

The Guardian

Technology is having an impact on children’s handwriting ability. But what does this mean for learning and development?.....

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National Handwriting Day Winners

We are pleased to announce the lucky prize draw winners for the NHA celebration of National Handwriting Day.

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Do we need to teach children joined-up handwriting?

BBC News

The US state of Illinois has passed a law requiring school students to learn joined-up handwriting, or "cursive", overriding the governor's veto.
It is no longer a requirement in US schools, and some countries have dropped the skill from the curriculum or made it optional......

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Important changes to End of Key Stage Assessments (SATS) - Key Stage 2

Government Publications

The End of Key Stage Assessments for Writing last year (commonly known as SATs), included requirements for handwriting which caused widespread concern, especially in regard to joining.
This years requirements appear to be more realistic, flexible and sympathetic to pupils with handwriting difficulties.

The requirements for Key Stage 2 can be found.....

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Important changes to End of Key Stage Assessments (SATS) - Key Stage 1

The End of Key Stage Assessments for Writing last year (commonly known as SATs), included requirements for handwriting which caused widespread concern, especially in regard to joining.
This years requirements appear to be more realistic, flexible and sympathetic to pupils with handwriting difficulties.

The requirements for Key Stage 1 can be found.....

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Do children need good handwriting skills in the current digital age?

Over a quarter of UK primary school pupils aren't able to join up a word and third of teachers say that handwriting standards are worsening.................

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Cursive Handwriting and Other Education Myths - Issue 40: Learning - Nautilus

Philip Ball

Teaching cursive handwriting doesn’t have nearly the value we think it does......

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Cursive Handwriting in Reception - or not?

Ruth's Blog

What is cursive handwriting?

‘Cursive’ or ‘joined-up’ handwriting is any style of writing where letters are joined to make writing faster.

Formal cursive joins all letters with strokes leading to and from each letter. Children are usually taught to join letters from the beginning.

Casual cursive is a combination of joins and pen lifts. Children are taught individual letters with correct formation, orientation and the correct size relative to one another before learning to join letters...............

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Why Handwriting Matters

Gulf News

It's important to teach children how to write - especially in a keyboard world.

New York: Do children in a keyboard world need to learn old-fashioned handwriting?........

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Why Handwriting Is Still Essential in the Keyboard Age

New York Times

Do children in a keyboard world need to learn old-fashioned handwriting?

There is a tendency to dismiss handwriting as a nonessential skill, even though researchers have warned that learning to write may be the key to, well, learning to write...........

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Tenth of teens don’t own pen

The Sun

ONE teenager in ten does not own a pen, research revealed yesterday.

A third of those aged 13 to 19 have never written a letter of any sort and a quarter have not sent a Christmas or birthday card.

Half do not even keep paper at home — yet seven out of ten have a tablet and nine out of ten a smartphone.

Young people are turning increasingly to texting or sending messages on social media, dismissing writing as outdated................

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Is the writing on the wall for handwriting?

Handwriting is an anachronism, according to some. Finland and many American states have now dropped it from the curriculum. But many psychologists believe cursive writing still has an important role to play in cognitive development. So what's the truth? Antony Funnell investigates.
We value the written word. Civilised societies do. It's one of the defining features of human advancement. And yet the concept of the written word has increasingly become detached from the original mechanics of writing—as the quill gave way to the pen, so the pen acquiesced to the keyboard, and the keyboard in turn to the touch screen.
Many of us—probably most of us—no longer scrawl our way through life with the end of an ink-filled plastic stick. Instead, we finger and thumb our thoughts, greetings and other forms of communication..........

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Does Handwriting Have A Future?

Future Tense program on RN

Handwriting, according to some, is an anachronism.

Finland has now dropped it from its national curriculum. And so many American states have also removed it as an educational requirement that it now only makes news when state officials opt to keep it..........

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NHA Gallery 2015.

We have opened our Gallery of young people's handwriting for National Stationery Week 27 April - 3 May 2015

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The importance of handwriting

In Finnish schools, handwriting will no longer be taught from next year. Pupils prefer error-free typing on the computer keyboard. In Germany, scientists and teachers have their reservations.....

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German students lack simple writing skills, study says

Children in Germany's schools are having a tough time with their handwriting, a new study reveals. But how important is writing as a skill for students, who will have to find jobs in a digital world? ....

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International Symposium on Handwriting Skills 2015

The Expert Meeting at the Schreibmotorik Institut e.V. in Heroldsberg, Germany, “What is Good Handwriting?” was successfully held on February 2014. This Expert Meeting offered the international dialogue with scientists, specialists and practitioners, who discussed the scientific foundations for learning to write, its complexity and the role of writing motor skills. As a result of this kick-off event with leading researchers in the field of handwriting skills, the Schreibmotorik Institut e.V. decided to establish an annual International Symposium on Handwriting Skills.

The International Symposium on Handwriting Skills 2015, titled

“Innovation and Future of Learning to Write: Impulses and Insides from Latest Researches, Up-to-date Education and Learning and New Materials”,

will take place in Bolzano, South Tyrol (Italy) on 9th October 2015.

It will be jointly organized by the Schreibmotorik Institut e.V. and the Bereich Innovation und Beratung Deutsches Bildungsressort Autonome Provinz Bozen. The official language of the conference will be English.

It is anticipated that there will be three sessions (Impulses and Insides from Latest Researches, Up-to-date Education, Learning and New Materials) with two speeches (20 minutes) each followed by questions and discussion (5 minutes) and a short workshop (30 minutes). The workshops in each session provide an interactive format for attendees to share problems and successes with each other around the particular topic. The fourth session will be an interactive discussion (60 minutes) based on all the previous speeches and findings

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Nevada lawmaker wants all students to learn cursive handwriting by the end of third grade

Nevada Sen. Don Gustavson wants every student in his state to be able to write in cursive.

The Republican state lawmaker is behind a bill that would make it a requirement for elementary schools to teach cursive handwriting to student before the fourth grade........

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Finland to remove cursive handwriting from education curriculum

Cursive handwriting will be scrapped from the Finnish education curriculum and replaced by lessons in keyboard typing, it has been announced.........

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National Schools' Handwriting Competition

There has been a change to the National Schools' Handwriting Competition that many schools find so useful to focus their handwriting teaching: Cambridge University Press have teamed up with SATIPS for the 2015 competition.

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Finland: Typing takes over as handwriting lessons end

BBC News

Finnish students will no longer be taught handwriting at school, with typing lessons taking its place, it's reported.

Learning joined-up writing, often in fountain pen in the UK, is almost a rite of passage for primary school students. But Finland is moving into the digital age by ditching the ink in favour of keyboards, the Savon Sanomat newspaper reports......

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Classroom practice – Should handwriting be erased from schools?


It may seem like an antiquated skill that is rarely used in adult life but research says there could be benefits in putting pen to paper

When was the last time you sat down with a pen and a piece of paper and wrote something?...........

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The Revised National Curriculum Starts in September 2014

There are major changes to Handwriting - Are you ready for them?

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How to Improve Your Handwriting

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Is a signature still useful?

There have been calls to phase out signatures .......

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The Pen that spots mistakes as you write

A pen which vibrates when it detects..........

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Percy Wood - Reviving the Second R

The friends of good handwriting worldwide may — or may not — be aware of some very large-scale research (n=2500) on speed and legibility, which is old enough that it should be replicated today.

Note the attached PDF (title page, showing citation data, and two following pages), which summarizes a VERY large-scale research study of italic and other handwriting (2500+ students, ages 7-19, in 23 schools) that was published in 1952 (62 years ago!) in a UK journal called THE SCHOOLMASTER (the organ of the UK's National Union of Teachers, and now re-titled JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS).

The author, Percy Wood, was a government inspector of schools.

Though the article is brief enough, and well-thought-out enough, to deserve careful reading in full, the "hard" data on handwriting will be found on its last page. These data include the sample size and composition (2500+ students, ages 7 through 19, at 23 schools) along with data on the speed and legibility of writers in the various styles used.

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National Curriculum. The final document - Sept 2013

National Curriculum. The final document is now confirmed and will be implemented in September 2014. Full details can be found on:

NHA has summarised the handwriting requirements for KS 1.2.3 for your convenience

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News from the National Curriculum - July 2013

There are improvements to handwriting teaching that we at NHA fully support - in particular
• speed of handwriting is important
• handwriting development needs to be supported beyond Y4
• and more.....

If these changes mean you will have to rethink your handwriting policy you might find the 2013 NHA publication 'Choosing a Handwriting Scheme' helpful.

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Daily handwriting lessons help win best school award

Evening Standard

A HEADTEACHER who transformed a failing London school believes good handwriting has been the bedrock of her pupils’ success.
When Beatrix Simpson arrived at George Eliot primary seven years ago, she found “children throwing stones at each other in the...

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Can You Imagine a World without Handwriting

On January 23, 2012, researchers and education thought leaders convened in Washington D.C. for Handwriting in the 21st Century? An Educational Summit to discuss research and opinions regarding the role of handwriting instruction in the 21st century classroom. Now, just over a year later, a major shift in focus about the role this foundational skill should have in 21st century schools has occurred since the Summit.
As an HW 21 Community member, we want you to be among the first to know that the Summit website now features an at-a-glance view that summarizes these exciting new developments.
We encourage you to visit the Summit website regularly for ongoing updates about handwriting policy changes. Also, don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook!

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Summit to Make a Case for Teaching Handwriting

Education Week

Ms. Berninger noted that when students struggle with handwriting, "people usually think, well, just put them on the computer." But her studies of normally developing and struggling students learning handwriting suggest that may not be the solution. "It turns out that many of the problems relating to why they have trouble learning handwriting might also affect how they use a keyboard."

Karin Harman-James of Indiana University in Bloomington based her findings on results from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, scans taken of children as they wrote and typed. The brain scans indicated that "handwriting, not keyboarding, leads to adult-like neural processing in the visual system," which Ms. Harman-James says suggests that handwriting may have a particular role in setting children up for reading acquisition.

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German teachers campaign to simplify handwriting in schools

The Guardian

It has long been a painful rite of passage for German schoolchildren - learning "die Schreibschrift", a fiddly form of joined-up handwriting all pupils are expected to have mastered by the time they leave primary school.

But now, many German teachers have had enough, insisting it is a waste of time to force children to learn a cursive script when they have already learned to print letters at kindergarten. Furthermore, they say, the joined-up handwriting is often illegible.

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Sales boom for pens and paper points to 'snail mail' revival

The Independent

Email, text and Twitter were said to be the final nails in its coffin. But as with Mark Twain – a great exponent of the art – reports of the death of letter writing have been greatly exaggerated. Increasingly, people are forgoing the gratification of instant electronic communication for a slower, more personal approach - letter writing is experiencing a revival, and the art of saying thank you is central to its resurgence.

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How Twitter made handwriting Cool

Sunday Telegraph Magazine

Wohlgefühl: it’s one of those enigmatic words the German language excels in constructing. It can mean ‘wellbeing’ or ‘good feeling’, but it is the word Meike Wander, owner of Berlin’s RSVP stationery shop, uses to describe the timelessly simple delight of handwriting: of pen in hand, ink on paper and skin on surface as thoughts and images transfer from the imaginative to the material.

‘It’s a physical experience, it’s your body doing something,’ Wander says in her hesitant English. ‘Handwriting produces a good feeling – a wohlgefühl.’

By Kevin Braddock

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