Deputy head­teacher in writ­ing de­bate to help fight its de­cline

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

A DEPUTY head­teacher has backed calls for hand­writ­ing spe­cial­ists in schools to help pre­vent the de­cline in the skill.

Char­lotte Clowes, who works at St Al­ban’s Pri­mary School, also urged par­ents to help their chil­dren de­velop their hand­writ­ing as young­sters ad­mit to an in­creas­ing reliance on text mes­sages and in­stant mes­sag­ing.

Mrs Clowes was re­spond­ing to a new study high­light­ing the tum­bling in­ter­est in writ­ing among teenagers.

The re­search re­vealed that half of 13-19 year olds have never writ­ten a thank you let­ter, 83 per cent have not writ­ten a love let­ter and a quar­ter have never even writ­ten a birth­day or Christ­mas card.

Af­ter a de­bate in Lon­don with in­dus­try ex­perts, Mrs Clowes said: “I wouldn’t say that we en­cour­age com­put­ers over hand­writ­ing and I don’t think the writ­ing is on the wall for hand­writ­ing.

“How­ever, I think some teach­ers would wel­come, and per­haps ben­e­fit, from in­creased con­tin­u­ous pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and a more con­sis­tent ap­proach across their school to en­sure we pick up chil­dren who are strug­gling as early as we can.

“All ar­eas of lit­er­acy need to sup­port each other as they ben­e­fit so many dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

“If we can’t write with flu­ency, it’s a bar­rier to learn­ing.

“Schools don’t tend to have hand­writ­ing spe­cial­ists but it’s a great idea. This could be part of the lit­er­acy co-or­di­na­tors role.

“We need to em­bed writ­ing skills in ev­ery­thing we teach across a broad and bal­anced curriculum.

“It is im­por­tant that teach­ers and ideally par­ents give chil­dren the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop the gross mo­tor skills from which they can de­velop fine mo­tor skills such as hand­writ­ing in school.”

●● Char­lotte Clowes is deputy head­teacher at St Al­ban’s Pri­mary School in Mac­cles­field

●● Mac­cles­field Su­gar­crafters at the ex­hi­bi­tion in Black­pool

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