Teacher Standards

TS2a TS3c & TS5b: Left-handed pupils

TS2a- be accountable for pupils’ attainment, progress and outcomes

TS3c- demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy

TS5b- have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these


During one of my English seminars we focussed on handwriting and looked particularly at helping those children who are left-handed and may encounter more handwriting problems than most.

Growing up, my best friend and I used to write letters to one another and I vividly remember many of her letters featuring an apology for what she described as “scruffy handwriting” due to being left-handed. Some helpful tips I remember her using:

  • avoid inky/gel pens as they often result in the most smudging!
  • Stabilo left-handed handwriting pens (special shape, design and grip for comfort)
  • tilting the paper


tips from my seminar:

left handed pupils

The one point which stands out to me is to seat the left-handed child on the left side of a double desk. This would not have crossed my mind as a possible issue but upon reflection I think it is extremely valid and is something that I will look out for should I teach a left-handed child struggling with their handwriting as it would allow for the most space and comfort for both children on the desk.


Upon further reflection, a further issue that I think could arise is a knock to left-handed pupils’ self esteem should they feel that their handwriting is not to the same standard as their peers. In addition to handwriting, it could also become a problem in art and design lessons or at any time when children are drawing as this too could be affected.

In order to maintain high levels of self-esteem in all children, I will aim to:

  • provide sufficient left-handed resources (scissors)
  • share the above tips on pencil grip and tilted paper
  • make pupils aware that being left-handed does not affect your potential – Famous left-handers include Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Mahatma Gandhi, Henry Ford and Barack Obama!




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