A new global initiative kicks off today to improve learning for left-handed children.
www.left-in.org is the website for LEFT-IN, the Left-Handers Education Forum and Training International Network. LEFT-IN was formed in 2021 aiming to improve the information and education available to the educators of left-handed children around the world.
Left-handed children make up around 15% of today’s classroom population. But, through no fault of their own, many early childhood and primary school teachers are failing to teach their left-handed students correctly because they are underprepared by their university course. This is a worldwide issue.
The Founding Members of LEFT-IN are all passionate about the education of left-handed children in their own part of the world: UK, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and China. They now come together as one voice, working with educators and legislators to improve the education of teachers for the benefit of left-handed children across the world.
Mark and Heather Stewart initiated and are Founding Members of Left-In. “Gone are the days, thankfully, where children were punished and made to change hands when writing”, said Mark. “But for too long, understanding the specific needs of left-handed children has not been part of Initial Teacher Training or Continuous Professional Development, and remains that way even in 2021! Appropriate teacher training and guidance for the children will give the child a better chance to achieve their full academic potential and improve their life chances; “Win/Win” all round!
“We are really excited to be able to kick off this great initiative on Left-Handers Day”, Mark said.
Robin Walker MP who has supported Mark’s campaign to help left-handed children says: “Being left handed shouldn’t hinder access to opportunity for anyone, particularly when there are so many support options available. That’s why Mark and his team are providing an important service to ensure that left handed doesn’t mean left out.”
Celebrate with us at:
Aunty Ems Tea Emporium (1st Floor) 6B ,City Arcade Worcester Friday 13th and Saturday 14th August – 10am to 4pm
Try/buy various left-handed resources: from can openers to corkscrews, scissors to pencil sharpeners!
The first British man to win gold in the modern pentathlon was encouraged to take up the event because being left handed would “give him an advantage”, his former coach has revealed.
Joe Choong won gold yesterday at the Games, making him the first British man to win an individual Olympic medal in the sport, which has been in the programme since 1912.
It has now emerged he was encouraged to take up pentathlon by a coach at the Whitgift School, Croydon, in 2008 after he realised being left-handed would give the young athlete an advantage in fencing.
Charlie Unwin, a professional sport psychologist, noticed Choong’s talent as a swimmer when was just 13-years-old.
Mr Unwin said: “He stood out in the pool, so I convinced him to complete a “bleep” test to see if he could run – which he could.
“I also noticed he was left-handed which can offer a distinct advantage in the fencing discipline of [modern pentathlon] because by holding the weapon in the other hand it creates an unfamiliar profile for the right-handers fighting against you.
“Effectively it changes the nature of the target they are trying to hit.
Our handwriting books follow DFE and Ofsted guidelines and are good for all left-handed children!
On 1st April 2021 the DFE made an announcement concerning the Validation of Systematic Synthetic Phonics programmes as follows:
Note 3 states: “At first, children should not be taught to join letters [footnote 3] or to start every letter ‘on the line’ with a ‘lead-in’, because these practices cause unnecessary difficulty for beginners. Children may be taught to join the letters in digraphs, but this is optional. (All resources designed for children to read should be in print).”
We are delighted to state, therefore, that our Left Hand Writing Skills books have suitable letter formation for all children as they do not include the “lead-in” cursive stroke.
Enquiry: Hi there
I’m currently 26 years old, and I’ve recently transitioned into copywriting.
I’ve been left-handed all my life, but I wasn’t aware that the way I used to write would effect negatively my posture.
I thought that the smudging was something I couldn’t fix.
I’d love to find out the techniques to fix this problem as my current work does require clear writing.
Can I ask, do you offer any help to adults?
Good morning George
Thank you for your email and your story. I would be more than happy to help you and am confident that we can get this “Smudging” issue sorted for you. 20 minutes on Zoom should get it sorted
Thank you so much Mark, I appreciate how you pointed out the correct way I have to get used to writing now, and the right “tools” I need to make it easier on myself.
I thought I should reach out to you again, to explain how much of a difference to my writing you made with the guides and with just a few minutes of correcting my hand positioning.
From Viv Smith
“I’m left handed, the daughter of a left hander. I was recently reminded of my experience in primary school aged 8 when a very annoying teacher placed me next to a right hander. I was on his right therefore we battled elbows everyday. When I complained she refused to let us swap sides and cure the problem. I wrote this poem about the event”
Little Laura could only write
With her pen in her left hand, never her right.
Armed like this her words could flow,
Her stories were rich, her ideas would grow.
Her problem was being sat next to Ricky,
Everyone knew he was tough and quite tricky.
Just like his fists, Ricky wrote with his right,
Sprawled over the desk his left hand clenched tight.
He put pen to paper to reveal to his peers
His astonishing wealth of stupid ideas.
Laura sat hunched in a small bit of table
That Ricky had spared her, until she felt able
To move her left arm and free up her mind
From staring at Ricky’s humongous behind.
Laura spoke to the teacher, but poor Mrs Hyde
Was just grateful that Ricky remained occupied.
One day Little Laura sat down on the left.
Then Ricky arrived and looked vaguely bereft.
To have to shift over to the opposite side
Was confusing for Ricky and a matter of pride.
“Just try it” said Laura, “and I think you will see
It’ll work just as well for you as for me”.
Ricky said nothing sitting down with a groan
He took the new seat, fists flexed for a moan.
But when writing began he started to see
The girl had a point, his right arm felt free.
Laura sat upright, her left arm could move
And Ricky, for once, had nothing to prove.
Copyright Viv Smith
A great poem! Any thoughts or comments?
From Viv Smith
“I’m left handed, the daughter of a left hander. I was recently reminded of my experience in primary school aged 8 when a very annoying teacher placed me next to a right hander. I was on his right therefore we battled elbows everyday. When I complained she refused to let us swap sides and cure the problem. I wrote this poem about the event.”
Did anyone else go through this at school?
Delighted to be able to make our presentation (along with Sue Smits of Morrells Handwriting, Worcester) at the Department of Education on Wednesday 12th February, with Robin Walker MP for Worcester in attendance.
It was positively received and we look forward to some progress in the near future!