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Monday, July 14, 2008

Handwriting and the Eleven Plus

A very pleasant couple approached me at the Kent Show yesterday and asked if we could help with hand writing. Naturally I went through a short series of key questions:

Is he left handed or right handed? (Right)

How old (14 years)

Where is he at school? (Grammar School in Kent)

Has he always had a problem? (Yes – always.)

What is the problem he is having? (Generally untidy.)

Does he want to improve? (Oh yes. The teachers are complaining – and one teacher said he won’t mark any work next year.)

A few suggestions:

Remind him that his work had to have been relatively neat at one time or else he could not have survived at grammar school.

Point out too that in the days of Queen Elizabeth the First `gentlemen’ had to have neat writing.

Suggest too that most teachers have untidy writing because they see so much untidy writing from their pupils.

Conform that in years to come he won’t have to write any thing down because of computers, phones and keyboards. (At school he has to be neat – or else!)

Some practical points:

Never let any letters touch the line. Always write just above the line.

Space the words very carefully – this makes the writing look regular.

Write with both feet flat on the floor – to drive a good posture.

Angle the page correctly – the page should be faced away from the body.

Work especially on the tails top letters for example the tails on a `y’ or a `g’.

Don’t slouch.

Want to write neatly.

Accept a `big’ bribe gracefully.

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