It’s Pen Factor at Cooks Spinney Primary!

Move over Simon Cowell, there’s a new panel of judges in town.

PUPILS at Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, in Harlow, have been appointed as Pen Factor judges.

Until now, teachers have looked out for the five qualifying traits of pupils’ writing before giving permission for them to work in pen.

They are – writing on the line, join letters correctly, use correct finger spaces, letters the correct size and writing clear enough for others to read.

Now, Year 6 pupils have been trained to review their peers’ books before deciding who has achieved the required writing standard to secure their pen licence.

Headteacher Neil Stirrat said: “On Wednesday lunchtimes, those who feel they have achieved those five things take their books to the Pen Factor judges for a decision. There is always a queue at the door.

“We want to give children ownership of the presentation of their books and handwriting. It is no longer decided by the teachers; instead, children are self-regulating their learning.

“It is helping to promote handwriting across the school. Pupils are taking the feedback and tips for improvement on board from their peers and Year 6 are stepping up the quality of their handwriting to lead by example. They are taking their role extremely seriously and have already improved standards.

“It is adding a bit more excitement. It is great.”

Those given their pen licence are given penalty points if their standard slips. Three points and the licence can be taken away until the standard improves again.

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