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!
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.
It’s with great pleasure that we can announce the publication of “Benji’s Big Day”, an activity book written by Heather! 🙂
It will be in the shop from midday today – rrp is £11.95!
The Lionheart Collection’s first story-led activity book for pre-schoolers is published by the Manuscript Pen Company (https://manuscriptpen.com)
Go on a journey with the Lionheart family as they get ready to celebrate Benji’s big day with reading, writing, colouring, drawing, cutting activities and games! Choose from 44 activities designed to help develop key motor skills, pen control, wipe clean pages to improve hand-eye coordination, letter formation activities, cutting and gluing and so much more!
The book has been has been designed to suit every child, whether left-handed, right-handed – or “Not quite sure yet!”
Whether its ABC or 123, help little ones on their creative journey with Benji’s Big Day activity book. Join Arthur and his Lionheart family as they celebrate Benji’s big day!
Here’s a short video about the new book!
Link here to buy it! https://www.leftshoponline.co.uk/shop/benjis-big-day-activity-book/
A great article in Toy World about “Lefthander’s Day”!
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!
Response by email as follows:
Apologies for the delay in replying to your letter of 31 January 2018. The Chair has asked me to respond on his behalf.
Thank you for bringing your concerns about the support available to left-handed children to our attention. The Committee currently has no plans to inquire into this area.
Disappointing but not entirely unexpected! At least it has raised some awareness within the Committee.
We have written letters to all the members of the House of Commons “Education Select Committee”, pointing out the following:
- The DFE has NO figures on how many children are Left-handed.
(Probably the largest minority in school population, maybe over 1 million!)
- The DFE has NO idea whether being left-handed has an impact on likely educational achievement. (The above are answers to parliamentary questions!)
- In the National Curriculum, there is a section on Handwriting which is statutory, where for left-handed children it is NON-statutory. Equal opportunity? I would argue that left-handers need more help with their handwriting than right-handers. The left-handed child needs to be shown a different writing technique to the right-handed child otherwise they will smudge their writing, have difficulty seeing where one word ends and the next should begin as well as having problems copying work.
- Nick Gibb MP (Minister for School Standards) recommended we have input into the new Initial Teacher Training Curriculum last year, which we did. However, when published there was NO mention of left-handed children.
We are awaiting a response from the Committee Chair, Robert Halfon MP.