LONDON, September 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A headteacher who transformed a failing East London school now believes that teaching handwriting will result in his pupils' success.
When John Halliwell arrived at Thomas Arnold primary in April 2012, he was acutely aware that "The school's results had been in decline for more than five years, attendance was poor, the buildings were neglected and engagement between parents and the school was extremely weak".
Almost half of the children attending Thomas Arnold Primary receive free school meals and 20 per cent have special educational needs. Most have English as a second language.
In early April 2013, Mr Halliwell contacted the creator of the Start-Bee Handwriting System, Melanie Harwood, and arranged to run a Pilot Scheme of the innovative handwriting method at Thomas Arnold School for three months.
Thomas Arnold School chose 11 children to take part in the Pilot scheme. The school had already been supporting the learning of these children with some targeted work within the classroom. Start-Bee Writing provided an excellent structure to teaching handwriting to enable these children to make rapid progress. The trial group had a variety of children with a variety of learning styles.
Within only three short months, all eleven children were writing their names and becoming confident emergent writers. The other startling results of the pilot scheme were the children's improved confidence, creativity and interest in all other lessons.
Now Mr Halliwell has arranged for the specialist programme, the Start-Bee Writing System, to be rolled out across all Pre-School, Reception and Year 1 classes, starting in the new school year this September 2013.
Never done before and potentially groundbreaking for all Thomas Arnold's students, a bold handwriting initiative which will be kickstarted in September 2013, when thirty trainee teachers will spend six weeks focussing almost solely on handwriting with these students everyday.
Mr Halliwell says, "My aim is for Thomas Arnold to become the choice school for the area. I want to see that our children continue to be happy and creative in their learning, whilst also developing skills above the national average. Now with Start-Bee Handwriting lessons being done each and every day in Thomas Arnold, we will prove that our children can achieve and that they will achieve in life".
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SOURCE Start-Bee Writing