In August 2016, the UK Government introduced a mandatory teacher assessment framework, requiring children to be able to write in cursive by the end of Key Stage 2. To be considered “working at the expected standard”, children should not only be “producing legible joined up writing”, but “maintaining legibility, fluency and speed in handwriting through choosing whether or not to join specific letters”.
Most schools do not have a plan in place to fulfil this new requirement. However, a handwriting programme created by the Founder of Hemispheres, a children’s occupational therapy centre in Surrey, is uniquely positioned to meet this need. Initially conceived in 2010 for use in a clinical setting, the Hemispheres Think Write Programme was so successful that it has been adopted over 140 schools nationwide and abroad. This number is growing rapidly. Studies carried out between 2012 – 2015 in several schools in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, show that the Programme exceeds the standards set by the National Curriculum Framework, with 96% of children leaving Year 2 with full cursive automatic writing, compared to 46% of children using other teaching methods.
The Hemispheres Think Write Programme uses games and activities to create a fun and interactive experience for children. Hemispheres believes that when children are fully engaged and understand the rules that underpin letter formation, spatial position, size and height, they are empowered with the knowledge to learn the cursive writing script.
Until now, the majority of the schools using Hemispheres Think Write have been in the private sector, but we are now excited about state schools joining the programme. Two in particular, Jordans School in Berkshire and Viewley Hill Academy in Middlesborough, have adopted the programme and are supplying data to extend out previous research. Other state schools are expected to follow suit as awareness of the Programme grows within the sector.
If you are a proactive school looking for a proven framework for achieving the early years standards for handwriting, call Hemispheres on 01276 472 858 or see the Hemispheres Think Write website for more information: https://thinkwrite-learning.co.uk/