Joined up writing in KS2 and a big dip in literacy

(6 Posts)
EarlyInTheMorning Sun 16-Jun-13 15:19:08

My DS, currently in Y4, started not using joined-up writing a few months ago. I didn't think this mattered (I'm not from the UK) and I felt that if it did, the teacher would have said something, which she never did. This is a new school for my DS by the way, as we moved last summer and he started Y4 at a different school from where he did YR - Y3).

So anyway. A teacher acquaintance of mine happened to see his handwriting and brought to my attention that any tests he might have to do in future will be marked down just for not having joined-up writing.

This triggered a few concerns so I 'tested' DS and realised that his literacy has taken a massive step back if I compare it to where it was in Y2 and Y3 where he had a better grasp of grammar. He was able to write stories with a more 'mature' plot, laying out a clear beginning, middle and conclusion, and all relevant grammar. Right now he only seems capable of writing in a nonsensical manner, almost as if to 'mask' the fact that he can't really come up with anything else. By nonsensical I mean fantasy type stuff with made up words and Yoda-like dialogue and absurd plots.

I should say that my DS is on top of the class on everything and I wonder if he's been left to his own devices and I should have picked on this much sooner. It's almost the end of the year now and I'm considering taking him to a different school. I am going to try and make him do a little bit of literacy work twice a week; how much should I insist on joined up writing? Would it be okay to let him write stories on the computer so that he can concentrate on the plot and grammar?

JRY44 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:24:44

Currently too much pressure is put on joined up writing - this is the KS2 mark scheme from last year www.st-winefrides.newham.sch.uk/documents/sats/2012/ks2%202012%20markscheme%20writing%20and%20spelling.pdf look at page 13

In high school there is no need to join handwriting as long as it can be read - I don't join my handwriting and it has never been an issue.

JRY44 Sun 16-Jun-13 15:26:13

Also have you spoken to school? Is it them telling you he is top of the class?

Catsnotrats Sun 16-Jun-13 15:50:31

The current assessment criteria used to level year 6 writing does not mention handwriting at all. Under the old sats tests handwriting carried a maximum of 3 marks out of 50 (and you could get 2 with unjoined if it was neat and consistent). I wouldn't worry about this aspect, the grammar and text structure are far more important.

My advice would be to go and discuss it with his teacher. Have you seen his classwork, does it have the same issues? It may be that if he is writing at home for pleasure he is just indulging his fantasies and I'd just leave him too it. If it is happening at school then it is a concern.

Feenie Sun 16-Jun-13 16:29:00

A teacher acquaintance of mine happened to see his handwriting and brought to my attention that any tests he might have to do in future will be marked down just for not having joined-up writing.

Your teacher acquaintance is talking a load of bollocks - and is also bloody rude, as well as not knowing what she is talking about.

bizzey Mon 17-Jun-13 16:54:19

Don't force him OP ...my ds was like this . In yr2 the teacher was very much for joined up writing but it did not come naturally to my ds .He would spend so long on concentrating and remembering how to join up that he would lose the "flow" of his story.

In yr3 I mentioned it to new teacher who said the same as cats It is only 3 marks and as he was secure in his levels it would not make any difference ,content and Grammar were more important and not to make an issue of it.

He is yr 7 now and he is only just starting to do it naturally and sometimes neatly !

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