Pen and think

29th June 2007 at 01:00
Recently, I found myself staying in Crosby, Merseyside. From the hotel window I could see the beach and in the gathering gloom I could just make out hundreds of people standing still, staring out to sea as the tide crept in. It took me a while to realise that I was staring at Antony Gormley's sculptures.

The next morning I was in Forefield Infant School, Crosby, for an inset day. For a long time I have been wondering about handwriting (yes, my children do tell me that I am sad). We know how to get children going with early phonics but often writing founders because very young children find pencil control so hard - especially boys. But, joy of joys, the art at Forefield flies in the face of this. Ofsted deemed the school outstanding and it is right.

Every room is covered in displays with finely drawn patterns and observations. Pupils use brushes, crayons and pencils rather than the ubiquitous chubby chalks and brushes like broomsticks. The patterning, drawing and art work is always modelled by the teacher.

There is an emphasis on taking care. This concentration on beautifully-controlled patterning influences the handwriting. It bodes well for the children's future as writers - and their chances of becoming the next Gormley

Pie Corbett is a literacy consultant

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now