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Testimonials
 "
 

"Just wanted to say Thank You again for all your help this morning. Charlie loves his new pens and scissors and for the first time looked like he was enjoying a craft session today. Your knowledge of left handers is incredible and the advise you offered was so valuable- will certainly be back for some more resources and handwriting books in the future."

 

Anna HART 02.06.16

 

"Once again thank you for brilliant customer service and just to let you know my daughter was amazed at how easy and comfortable the scissors are to use...she will be very busy now....Will definitely be using this website again."

Margaret Macdonald

 

 

"Just a quick note to say thanks for the handwriting information that you provided us with at the TES show. It was very useful and Kate's already recommended your site to a couple of parents.

   

The kids that you see must love your enthusiasm."

 

David & Kate Perry
Tavistock

 

"I received the package on monday, thank you. That was so quick. We began yesterday with Ege to work with the first book. He loves it!
Dicle Uludag, Turkey


"Just to say thank you again for the wonderful training this week. Everyone has commented on how much they had learnt and we all had a lot of fun too. There is a lot for me to implement, but it is all easily achievable and my aim is that  we will be’ Left and Right handed Friendly’ by the end of it. I shall definitely be recommending the course to others."
Catherine Bowdler and staff at Quarry Bank Primary School, Dudley

"What a fantastic shop. You make it so much easier to get my daughter "normal" everyday stuff.
Thanks again"

Kim Brown
 
Wise Owl Toys

News and Updates

March 2017

Alongside Sue Smits of Morrells Handwriting, who has raised this petition, we heartily agree with the contents, particularly as it includes a section on left-handed children in the last paragraph. If you are willing, please sign it via the following link:

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/185568

The petition is as follows:

"Ban the testing of joined up handwriting in primary school SAT's.

Year 2 children need to be ‘using the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters in most of their writing’ to achieve the Greater Depth Standard in the SAT’s tests.

As handwriting experts, Morrells Handwriting disagrees with this handwriting statement in the Interim Teacher Assessment Framework, which contradicts the handwriting statements in the current National Curriculum. Testing joined up handwriting puts schools under pressure to cut corners and rush children into joining up their handwriting before they are ready, causing an epidemic of illegible handwriting in our secondary schools.

There is no long term benefit of rushing a child to join up their handwriting; it is simply to tick the boxes of the handwriting statements. We believe that children should not be tested on joined up handwriting, but taught on ability with the focus on legibility. Likewise, it should be a statutory requirement that left handed pupils receive specific teaching to meet their needs, to help them master legible handwriting and continue to love writing".

Thank you!

 

August 11th 2016

 

Delighted to announce the publication of our new book

 

"So you think they're left-handed?"

 

 

We wish this book had been available when we found out our son was left-handed!”

You may have noticed that your preschool child does things with one handin preference to the other or maybe they swap from one to the other.But how can you be sure which will eventually be their dominant hand for writing? And can a child be left-handed, but right-footed and perhaps left-eyed?

This book helps parents and carers to spot the early signs of side-dominance. It also provides 32 enjoyable structured activities for preschool children, who you think may prefer to use the left rather than the right hand, as they learn to use pencils, pens and scissors.

Each sheet contains reminders for page position and hand grip, and leads pre-school children through a range of different exercises designed as preparation for their school life.



 

July 18th 2016

 

20 years ago, Peter Luff MP tabled 2 Parliamentary questions on whether there were any figures on how many children in Education were left-handed; and whether being left-handed had any impact on likely educational achievement. 

Those exact same questions were tabled by Nigel Huddleston MP today and the answers are exactly the same! No figures and no research on an issue facing over 10% of the school population! (the largest minority in the school population!)

 

Here is a link to the answers

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&use-dates=True&answered-from=2016-07-18&member=4407

 

July 12th 2016

 

Publication of a framework of core content for Initial Teacher Training. Despite our meeting with Nick Gibb, Minister for School Reform, and Sir Peter Luff, there is no mention whatsoever of "Left-handed Children"!

 

 

February 2015

 

Meeting with Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Reform

 

We had a very positive meeting with Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Reform, and Sir Peter Luff MP, who recommended including a specific section on left-handed children in the core parts of Initial Teacher Training. We look forward to its inclusion which would provide immeasurable benefits for current and future generations of teachers and children!

 

 

 

February 2015

 

 

Wise Owl Toys/Left n Write is in top 20 shortlist for "Best Small Shop" Competition 2015!

 

Reception being held in The House of Commons on Wednesday 25th February! http://www.bestsmallshops.uk/

 

March2014

 

Wise Owl Toys/Left n Write of Worcester scores 100% in secret shopper visit.

 

WiseOwl Toys, the educational toy shop based in Worcester, which also has a specialist ”Left-handed” section (Left n Write), has just received a perfect 100% score when it was visited a by an independent secret shopper sent by STABILO, one of Europe’s leading pen manufacturers.


STABILO manufactures a range of writing instruments especially developed to help children learn to write with products for both left and right handers. Learning how to write is still a key skill even in the digital world and remains a core part of the curriculum.


Chris Reynolds from STABILO said “It is important to us that our retail partners have knowledge of the issues and able and willing to advise and help parents – that is why we have another company visit stores secretly so that we can pinpoint areas where we can further support our retailers. We were knocked out by the comments of the secret shopper when they came back from Wise Owl Toys – they scored perfect scores in all areas and the secret shopper summed up with the following words:


Everything about the shop was excellent, extremely clean and tidy, very well presented without being massively high tech and off putting. A really nice traditional shop with innovative products and outstanding expertise from the owner/salesman.. I didn’t feel there was any improvement needed. I almost wish I had a child with writing difficulties so that I could go back to the shop as it was such a nice experience with a real personal touch which is often lost with large stores”.


Mark Stewart of Wise Owl Toys says “We specialise in helping all children with their handwriting, particularly left-handers. We really like the STABILO range of pencils and pens as they have both right and left-handed versions which encourage the correct grip, and a good grip is the basis for good handwriting.”


Commenting on the results of the secret shopper report, Mark commented “We are delighted that we received 100% and such great comments when the secret shopper called. We take pride in our customer service but it is really rewarding to have it noticed and recognised by an independent organisation and one of our major suppliers.”



March 2014

 

 


We are running a Handwriting workshop in the shop on Saturday 15th February between 10am and 4pm alongside

"Morrells Handwriting"


No appointment needed but 15 minutes slots are available; call 01905 25798 to book a slot.


 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 16th October 2013

Come and Visit a FREE Dyslexia event!

 

Are you Dyslexic or have a Dyslexic child?

Where: The Hive in Worcester (Oasis Room)
When: Wednesday 16th October 2013
Time: Anytime between 10am and 4pm
Resources, books as well as local and National information will be on display.
For further info, contact Victoria Crivelli by email at lexiaworcs@gmail.com
or us at Left n Write/Wise Owl Toys, Worcester

 


JULY 2012


LUFF MAKES SURE LEFTIES WON’T BE LEFT OUT IN THE CLASSROOM
Saturday 7th July 2012

Another battle has been won in Peter Luff’s long campaign for left-handed rights.
That was the reaction of the Mid Worcestershire MP to the news that the Government’s new National Curriculum for primary and first schools will ensure left-handed pupils receive specific teaching to meet their needs.

Peter had successfully challenged the last government to ensure that left-handed children were taught properly by incorporating their special needs in teacher training.

Last month Peter wrote to the Department of Education seeking reassurance that the often overlooked needs of left-handed pupils would be included in the Government’s new national curriculum.

The Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb, confirmed in his response to Peter that,

“The government understands that left-handed pupils have particular needs. I can reassure you that in paragraph 38 of our draft Programmes of Study for the new primary National Curriculum, which included English, we have made it clear that teachers should ensure that left-handed pupils received specific teaching to meet those needs.”

In the draft National Curriculum document, which is available online, it states that teachers must,

“Make sure that left-handed pupils receive specific teaching to meet their needs.”

Commenting Peter said,

“Being left-handed myself I remember the difficulties I had when learning to write or just trying to cut paper shapes with right-handed scissors.

“There are easy techniques available to help children write properly and to ensure their left-handedness isn’t a problem in the classroom. Teachers must be trained to deal with these issues to ensure that left-handed children can learn properly – and the curriculum must ensure they are encouraged to practice what they have learned.

“I’m delighted that proper provision will be in place within primary and first schools to ensure the special requirements of left handed pupils are properly met. It doesn’t take much, but failure to do it can mean that young left-handed people never reach their full academic potential.”

OCTOBER 2011

A Department of Education spokesman said

Handwriting is the most fundamental building block of being educated.

Every single parent expects their children to be taught how to write properly at school. The current National Curriculum stipulates this as an absolute central part of primary school lessons.”

The Daily Telegraph October 2011








AUGUST 2011

LEFT-HANDERSDAY Anagram Quiz 2011


PRIZE: £20 voucher to use online or in shop!


To enter the competition, solve the anagrams below and email your answers, with your name and address,

by 30thAugust to info@leftshoponline.co.uk



1) Clue: FIRST BLACK IN WHITE

Anagram:

BAA CRAB AMOK


2) Clue: THIS BRITISH SPORTSMAN IS A FAST FASTENER!

Anagram:

UNBENT JOTS ON


3) Clue:A RENAISSANCE MAN KNOWN FOR HIS PAINTING OF AN ENIGMATIC SMILE

Anagram:

DANCE RAVIOLI DON


4) Clue: THIS SPANISH SPORTSMAN IS KNOWN AS

'THE KING OF CLAY'

Anagram:

A DEAR FAN ALL


5) Clue: HEIR TO THE HEIR TO THE THRONE -JUST MARRIED!

Anagram:

ICEMAN WILL RIP


6) Clue: A FAMOUS LIVERPUDLIAN 'BUG'

Anagram:

A CLUMPY NECTAR




January 2009

Article by Anjana Ahuja in The Times 2 of Tuesday 27th January about Barack Obama’s handwriting technique! "Room for improvement" is suggested!


February 2008

Launch of the New Stabilo "Easy ergo" pencil, which is the follow-on from the Stabilo " ’Smove Easy" pens which have proved such a hit with both right and left-handers!


January 2008
Interview for BBC Radio Wm on some of the potential difficulties of being left-handed!




May 2005

Left Hand Writing Skills...

 

"... provide a structured and attractive course that could

help a left-hander to become a competent, confident writer."

 

National Handwriting Association Journal Autumn 2005.



Publication of 3 NEW "Left Hand Writing Skills" books.

Book 1 is "Fabulous Fine Motor Practice"

Book 2 is "Funky Formation and Flow"

Book 3 is "Successful Smudge Free Writing"

All books have been specifically designed with young left-handed children in mind. Opening vertically so that the child doesn’t have the left hand caught in the usual spine of the book, there are icons on each page to show pencil grip and page angle as well as specific letter formation for the left-hander. Advice for Parents and Teachers is included as well as "Top Tips" on every page of Book 1. Helpful contacts and product information is also included.

"Schools" version also available. This is an amalgamation of all three books, in mono, and fully photocopiable. Are now available on CD for purchase with E-Learning Credits.



May 1st - 3rd, 2003.

Presentation of workshop at the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Annual Conference in Los Angeles.




Mark presenting alongside Alison Robins, Senior Lecturer at University College, Worcester. 900 people attended the conference.- Web site linkhttp://www.nrcpara.org/


14th January 1999

Launch of video.


Distribution of the video and wallchart to ALL providers of initial teacher training funded by the Teacher Training Agency. Parliamentary question by Peter Luff MP to the Minister for teacher training about the video.

Click hereto link to the question about the video in the House of Common

July 1998Sponsorship agreed with The Post Office, Berol and others to produce video and wallchart.

22nd July 1998- Adjournment debate in the House of Commons. See the web site address below for full text.
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo980722/debtext/80722-15.htm#80722-15_head0

27th May 1998- 2nd letter from DFEE admitting that "there are no current Government plans to make training for teachers in respect of left-handed children a compulsory part of initial teacher training".

May 1998- SENCO guidelines finally published with NO mention of left-handedness.

7th April 1998- Letter from DFEE accepting that it would be desirable for teachers to be aware that being left-handed may cause difficulties for some pupils.



13th January 1998- Letter from Estelle Morris MP to Peter Luff MP accepting that being left-handed may cause difficulties for some pupils.

20th November 1997- Letter from David Blunkett’s (Secretary of State for Education) Private Secretary agreeing that left-handedness should not be defined as a special educational need.

27th August 1997- letter sent to Anthea Millett defining our final arguments as to why there should be a specific policy in the SENCO guidelines.


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25th July 1997- Letter from Anthea Millett confirming non-inclusion in the SENCO guidelines but saying "Given the newly outlined requirements for all teachers undergoing initial teacher training, I would expect them to be made aware of all factors which affect how children progress including the effects of left-handedness. In the attached copy of the National Standards for SENCOs you will note the many references to the need for all teachers to identify and address individual needs and the responsibility of the SENCO, particularly in the section on professional knowledge and understanding, to keep abreast of current issues."

June 1997- Letter received from Estelle Morris MP, then Minister for teacher training, via Mike Foster MP for Worcester City stating that the SENCO guidelines were NOT going to mention individual special education needs.

January 1997- Suggested wording for entry in the SENCO guidelines sent to TTA "Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators must be fully aware of the specific guidelines set out for teaching left-handed children in all areas of the curriculum but with particular attention to handwriting skills, to ensure that left-handed children develop a comfortable and efficient writing style through correct positioning and posture."

/handlg.gif (1185 bytes)



14th November 1996- Meeting at the TTA (Peter Luff MP, Mark Stewart and Lauren Milsom). Suggestion by Anthea Millett Chief Executive, and still in post now, that there should be specific policy in the new SENCO guidelines even though she appreciated that being left-handed was not a special need. It never has been our view that being left-handed is a special need - rather it is a matter of equal opportunity! She said that she would personally support this inclusion. She also suggested making a training video to dovetail with the SENCO requirement.

7th May 1996- Written reply from the DFEE to Parliamentary question. "Teaching methods and arrangements for the induction and in-service training of teachers are not centrally prescribed. It is for schools and teachers to determine the most effective way to ensure they meet the needs of all their pupils, using the resources available to them. The Secretary of State specifies broad criteria for courses of initial teacher training, including the need for new teachers to be able to respond to these criteria. All schools and courses of initial teacher training are subject to independent inspection followed by published reports".

17th April 1996- Written reply from the DFEE to Parliamentary question "The Department does not collect information on what proportion of pupils are left-handed, nor on whether being left-handed has an impact on likely educational achievement". Also "The Teacher Training Agency accredits course providers to ensure that they meet the Secretary of State’s criteria. These criteria require new teachers to be able to identify and to respond appropriately to relevant individual differences between pupils. Despite being left-handed, I see no need for further information for providers in this respect".

18th January 1996- Letter from TTA admitting lack of training for trainee teachers "It is true that initial teacher training does not, at present, contain guidance about how to help left-handed children"



 



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