Start-Bee Welcomes: Billing Brook School

I first met Nicola Parker, Billing Brook’s Literacy Coordinator and Assistant Head teacher, at last year’s Education Show.  Almost twelve months on and the school has become a passionate advocate of our handwriting scheme, which is something I’m obviously absolutely thrilled about so I wanted to share their enthusiasm with you. If you’re not familiar with the school, let me ...
Read More

Pupils’ handwriting meeting expectations? Are you sure?

If you want your school to remain in Ofsted’s good books – quite literally – then your pupils’ handwriting will need to meet the expected standards as outlined by the Standards and Testing Agency in its 2016 teaching assessment exemplification for English Writing in primary schools. That means, now, a child’s handwriting ability can make the difference between a school being aw...
Read More

Third of pupils can’t write? WRONG!

January is always a time for reflection and looking back it struck me that I’ve spent a lot of time talking about THAT national handwriting statistic.  I’m sure you’re familiar with it – it's the one former Education Minister Nicky Morgan used, claiming one pupil in three is struggling to master handwriting in primary schools across the UK.  At the time, if memory serves me...
Read More

Handwriting is very much alive!

Did you know January is National Handwriting Month?  I didn't until today.  However, I do know that National Handwriting Day is set for the 23rd and yet, here we have another article condemning handwriting as irrelevant in a digital age.  We all know this isn’t quite true but for those who need convincing further this blog is for you. Handwriting has never been so import...
Read More

Success With Start-Bee

The last time I wrote on the subject of teaching handwriting correctly, I was trialing our handwriting scheme in a couple of schools including Down Hall Primary School in Essex. I went back there in September to see how the Year 1’s and Year 2’s were getting on and the results were impressive, far exceeding expectations in some cases.  You can see for yourself here (Year 1's...
Read More

The Handwriting Scheme for the #WriteResults

So what is the right way to teach handwriting in schools today?  When I was at the Education Show recently, the same comments kept cropping up time and time again:  "We have a real problem with handwriting in our class.  We've tried a few handwriting schemes and they sort of work, but then they don't - they're not changing our children's handwriting.  We haven't been taught...
Read More

The Write Way – Teaching Handwriting The Right Way

Pupils’ handwriting can make the difference between Ofsted awarding schools ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ yet, according to Government figures, one child in three is leaving primary school unable to write to the expected standard.  Start-Bee and school teachers, Assistant Head Mrs Davinder Khangura and Early Years teacher and English Subject Leader Miss Bec Wakefield, share their exp...
Read More

Start-Bee works: the right method and tools can get any child handwriting

My name is Melanie Harwood and I am the founder of specialist handwriting company, Start-Bee.  That’s not always been my job.  I was a mum and Television producer up until five years ago when I began eating, sleeping and breathing handwriting. In 2011 my four-year-old daughter, Hannah-Jane, was refused entry into a local primary school because she couldn’t write her own ...
Read More

The Right Tools Matter for Handwriting

Handwriting is a learned skill that is most effectively taught directly, by demonstration, explanation and practice, using the right method in combination with the right tools. The right, or should that be write?, tools matter because learning to write should never be associated with pain in hands, fingers, wrist, arms or shoulders.  Using handwriting implements which ha...
Read More

Write here, right now! The trouble with handwriting in schools today

In schools today, handwriting is more important than ever before.  Why? because the Department of Education (DfE), through the Standards & Testing Agency’s 2016 teaching assessment exemplification:  end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 English Writing and Ofsted, is insisting every child masters fluent and legible handwriting before they leave primary school. For schoo...
Read More