"Curvature writing" in Reception
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  1. #1
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    Default "Curvature writing" in Reception

    Hi all, just a query from one of my parents. She was called to a meeting at school yesterday for Reception (all parents) discussing the way the school want their children to write their names and then write in general. It is called "curvature" (excuse spelling). Basically meaning that each letter is formed as if it is going to be joined up- but it isn't, so a 'c' would have the tail behind it etc. They have told parents they expect their child to write in a small area, giving an example of the (small ) font, and this should be encouraged at all times. This meeting was run by the head of the Early Years facility in the school ??? I was under the impression that mark making was the importance, e.g. writing in the sand/big paper to encourage name writing. This little boy (4year 7months) can write his name, but does so all across the page. I have always praised this, as it has taken a while to even get him to have any interest in writing. Apparently the head of EY facility said it was COMPULSORY in all settings? ? My daughter is at pre school and doesn't have to? And I've had no literature on this as a childminder? Thoughts please. Thanks in advanse- my poor parent is very stressed over the prospect of sitting her child down to make this 'perfect' name.

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    If you look at the Development Matters part of EYFS it will give guidance on the expected goals of this age of child. You can share this with the parent who can then discuss with the Teacher. Reception should be following EYFS exactly the same as childminders and I am not aware there are any differences in it for schools. I have never had Reception Children being expected to do this in such a prescriptive way. I certainly don't do this in my setting with under 6yrs either..

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    Is it cursive writing? From personal experience, they actually pick it up really quickly and it is a lot easier to learn from the start, rather than learning to print and then learning to join up. They also generally learn it as they learn to read the sounds so it's all part of a bigger picture. I wouldn't worry about the size thing, teachers have always encouraged the whole page name writers, to write smaller, they should have plenty of opportunities for mark making alongside. No idea about the compulsory part!!!
    Mum of three, 6,5 and 4. Now minding a few more too!

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    A 4 year old mindee yesterday showed me his "sound" book - just started in reception - it had a picture of an "m" with the curve infront and then a person and a mountain and he had to say something like "maisy, mountain, mountain" as he followed the shape with his finger.

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    My daughter did cursive writing in reception 3 years ago and got told then that is how they teach them to write. I was a dubious but it actually worked well. Shes in yr3 now and doesnt really do it much now.

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    thanks everyone, that could indeed be the name! My parent was very stressed chatting to me over it. The feeling she got, was the emphasis was on the size , and this is what her child woould struggle with. I sometimes think some staff can come across quite blunt, forgetting the home pressures parents have. I can see the positives in it being easier to start from fresh at a young age, but I'm not sure that their needed to be a meeting regarding the imput parents must have in this. Surely it's better to allow a child of that age to explor the page, than feel restricted? I think from my point of view, I will show and model the cursive writing, but will carry on praising him for any attempt at writing his or any other name? After coming so far with him, I'd hate for him to get cross and not want to even try. Also, I am aware that I was not at the meeting, and so didn't hear the context/tone it was said it and so know this is all 2nd hand. Just don't like seeing my parents stressing !! Thanks all x

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    My 6 year old is doing this in year one now. She finds it very confusing and doesn't do it in lessons. She told the teachers it's silly and her writing is so much neater when she's not doing it.
    Teacher complained to me and I told her to let Sarah get on with it. They are only strict about it in years one and two then let them join up or print so I don't see the point to be honest!
    I never join mine up either so maybe she gets it from me
    X

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    Hi my DD has just started in reception, they ask she writes her name with a capital first letter then the rest lower case. They say unlearning writing in capitals only is hard to do. My friends with older kids say the cursive writing helped their reading as it starts to join the letters together so they get used to reading a word rather than each sound.

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    I think each child is different, dd is on level 8 reading books now at the start of reception, so I don't think it will affect her reading too much
    Xx

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    I completely agree Jade, I'm not sure how the reading is encouraged, all my books are in different fonts. My daughter is in Pre school and has just started reading, so again, I don't feel it would help, but without all the theory/research who knows!! x

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    At a meeting with local reception teachers from diff schools, they all said to other ey practitioners not to teach letter formation as they like to teach it their own way and it is incredibly difficult to 'unteach' other formations (they gave us sheets of cursive formation for those ey children that were really keen and able). Same with letter sounds, they have us training on how they teach and gave a cd of how to carefully pronounce letter sounds.
    They said it can take children up to a term to 'relearn ' so I try to steer clear and just try to keep children keen with the general mark making described in the EYFS

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    from reception ours are taught cursive writing, it is just the pre-cursor of joined up writing and makes the move to joined up easier, it is basically just writing with tails each side....at nursery they encourage it too but do not expect perfect writing form children....

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    As you say, it's difficult to know what the intended message of the meeting was without actually being there but I personally think (other opinions are available!) that handwriting is really important. Poor handwriting can have a huge impact on a child's self esteem, willingness to write and achievement in writing. It's as much about the speed at which they write as the neatness and about learning to strike a balance between the 2. I've met so many children over the years who have fantastic imaginations, great ideas, understand how to write well and have an amazing vocabulary but there is such a delay between forming the idea and getting it written down that they lose momentum and end up writing something that doesn't reflect what they're capable of. Granted, handwriting isn't always the main issue but it's nearly always a factor.

    Cursive writing teaches the children to form letters in a certain way so that the move to joined up (and usually faster and neater) writing happens really easily. If a child forms a letter 'b' by starting in the middle, doing the belly first and then the stalk, they will a) always struggle with joined up as there's no easy, neat way to join to and from the b when it's formed like that and b) will ultimately end up sticking to printing which, whilst it may look neat, can take a lot longer. My dh has beautiful writing (even he says it's quite girlie!) but he prints every letter separately so it takes him FOREVER to write -drives him crazy! He was never taught to join properly and to this day wishes that he was.

    That's not to say that I'll be standing over my dd and cracking the whip every time she doesn't keep her lower case letters perfectly sized - it can still be fun. E.g if your mindee is into cars, a sheet with pictures of racing cars where he has to write his name (or his Mum's/Dad's/brothers/cats name!) on each car, ensuring there's a suitably sized space to do so, would help him learn to write smaller. I'd be very surprised if they're not still doing all the mark making stuff.

    I'd hazard a guess that the school were talking more about what they aim to achieve as the children move up through the school rather than expecting all Reception children to be able to write their name using perfectly formed and sized letters by the end of the week.

    If the Mum is really stressing about it, I'd suggest that she asks to speak to the class teacher and seeks clarification about what she can do to help her ds. Hopefully the teacher will be able to reassure her that the expectations really aren't astronomical and she can do something positive and fun at home to help her lo get the hang of it.

    Wow, sorry about the massive reply - didn't realise I had so much to say about handwriting!

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    Tell mum not to stress. I was a Literacy co-ordinator in a primary school for many years before I was a childminder. Cursive script with entry and exit strokes does seem odd at first. Handwriting can appear to deteriorate when children first start learning it. Teachers will be very used to children with large handwriting. She should go in and see the teacher if she is worried and I am sure she will feel better once it has been clarified. Cursive writing helps with spelling.

    They will be taught in groups - c,o,a,d,g,q will be taught first as they all begin with a clockwise circular shape. They might even start with simple patterns first.

    You are doing the right thing by valuing all mark making attempts and just modelling cursive script. x

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    My son learned this way in reception, and it's true - they do pick it up really quickly, you'd be surprised. He's in Year 3 now (just!) and his handwriting is fab - better than alot of adults if I'm honest. His teacher in reception wasn't very strict about them having to write like that, however, and if they couldn't get the hang of it, then they were allowed to do it the way they were comfortable with.

    Hels xx

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    This may be of interest

    Cursive fonts

 

 

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