The15 benefits of Magic Link in Schools
The Magic Link Handwriting Programme is designed to cater to both primary and secondary school pupils, providing age-appropriate instruction and resources to ensure neat and tidy handwriting.
(i) The Nursery/Pre-school programme is for 4 to 5 year olds. These 26 captivating alphabet video songs and worksheets align with the national curriculum for teaching handwriting, reading, and phonics during the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The programme features 26 entertaining, educational and animated videos songs, and worksheets which make learning to read and write letters a fun and engaging experience.
(ii) The non-joined-up (pre-cursive) programme is designed for 5-year-olds in Year 1. Provides a foundation for progressing easily and methodically to cursive writing. Letter heights, formations, directions, and spacing are taught in a consistent manner, ensuring that all children receive the same instructions and avoiding confusion. Additional alphabet worksheets are provided, allowing younger children to learn the foundational skills necessary for developing neat handwriting.
(iii) The joined-up (cursive) course is designed for pupils aged 6 to 18, encompassing both Primary and Secondary school students. The programme follows 30 structured steps that guide students in undoing bad handwriting habits and learning clear, legible handwriting in a structured and logical way. The motor memory of the handwriting strokes is incorporated through the sequential steps, ensuring that students develop automaticity and fluency in their handwriting skills.
By catering to different age groups and developmental stages, the Magic Link Handwriting Programme provides a comprehensive and adaptable approach to handwriting instruction, supporting students from Nursery/Pre-school all the way through Primary and Secondary school years.
2. Whole School Approach integrated into School Curriculum
The Magic Link programme is designed to seamlessly integrate into the school curriculum, from nursery all the way through to secondary. It provides a consistent and uniform approach to teaching neat, cursive, joined-up handwriting across the entire school. Students learn a legible style of handwriting with correctly formed letters that align with the pre-cursive and cursive Magic Link font.
By implementing the Magic Link programme school-wide, all students can benefit from a unified approach to handwriting instruction. This ensures that students across different grades and classrooms are taught the same handwriting style, creating a cohesive and consistent learning experience. Teachers can easily incorporate the programme into their lesson plans, and students can progress through the structured steps of the programme to develop their handwriting skills in a systematic manner.
The Magic Link font used in the programme is designed to promote a neat and legible handwriting style, with a focus on proper letter formation. Students learn to write in a cursive style that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, providing them with a valuable skill that can be used in various academic and personal settings.
By utilising the Magic Link programme as a singular and uniform approach to handwriting instruction, schools can establish a common standard for neat, cursive, joined-up handwriting throughout the entire school, promoting consistency, coherence, and effective handwriting skills development among students.
3. Use with Whole Class or Intervention Groups
The programme can be used with a whole class as it can be incorporated as part of a classroom activity. Alternatively, it can be used with small groups of children, or individually with pupils who are finding particular difficulty with the letter and word formation. Small handwriting intervention groups can be set up within the classroom or as specific tutorial lessons.
Magic Link handwriting has proved to be excellent resource in the classroom and for mixed ability groups, challenging the brightest children whilst providing extra help for special needs children.
4. A Proven Method
The Magic Link handwriting programme is an evidence-based method has been proven to be effective, as we collect before-and-after samples from every child who completes the course, and these samples unequivocally confirm the success of the programme. This comprehensive and classroom-tested course is designed to be easy to use.
Unlike other handwriting schemes, the Magic Link handwriting programme has the unique advantage of thousands of before-and-after samples, which provide tangible evidence of its effectiveness as proven by Certified Magic Link teachers around the U.K. Many schools have adopted the Magic Link handwriting programme with positive feedback, as seen in testimonials from satisfied users. (see school testimonials)
5. No Expensive Teacher Training
No formal teacher training is required to implement the Magic Link Programme, making it easy to use in the classroom. Teachers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCos), or Teaching Assistants simply need to supervise the children to ensure they are following the steps correctly, as there is little room for error. To get started, teachers or assistants can print out the PDF worksheets and watch the instructional video with the child, ensuring they are following the steps accurately. Homework is self-directed, with students copying the silly sentences at the end of each step without needing further teacher intervention.
For support, we provide a comprehensive Training Manual and a School Handwriting Policy booklet which outlines the aims and principles of the programme. Additionally, certified Magic Link teacher, Maria Morris, is available as a consultant to assist schools with the initial setup and implementation of the programme. The inclusive design of the Magic Link Programme allows all children to participate at the same time or at their own pace, without the need for additional teaching resources to be purchased by the school. This makes it accessible for all students, regardless of their abilities, and promotes inclusivity in the classroom.
6. Fun and Motivating Colour-coded Worksheets
The worksheets are designed with clear colour-coding, assigning a specific colour to each vowel. For example, the ‘Tall and Tiny’ worksheets are marked with yellow, while red is used for ‘a’ vowel worksheets, and each subsequent vowel is assigned a different colour. These vibrant colours serve as a motivator and add an element of fun to the learning process.
Furthermore, the entire course comes with printable worksheets, eliminating the need to purchase additional handwriting books. All the necessary materials are readily available, making it convenient and cost-effective for learners and teachers alike.
7. Simple Magic Link Font
The Magic Link font, with its simple design, makes learning to write neatly an achievable task. It avoids complicated and unnecessary loops, curls, and flicks, making it easier for children to learn. The Magic Link font enables children to join letters in a clear and tidy manner, ensuring that letters are spaced appropriately and do not clash together.
Designed with the goal of promoting speed and efficiency, the Magic Link font results in smooth, flowing, and joined-up handwriting. By simplifying the writing process and providing a clear and consistent style, children can develop legible handwriting that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
8. No Lead-in or Entry Strokes
There are no confusing lead-in (entry) strokes. Magic Link follows the National Curriculum guidelines from DFE who state that “Children should not be taught to join letters or to start every letter on the line’ with a ‘lead-in’, because these practices cause unnecessary difficulty for beginners.” DfE, October 2021. Thousands of pupils have learnt to write neatly using the Magic Link method and have produced faster and more fluent writing once the entry stroke is removed. (see blog)
9. Visual and Auditory Instructions make Handwriting fun
The Magic Link Programme is designed to make the learning of handwriting an enjoyable experience. With lively music, auditory instructions, and visual tips, the programme is engaging and appealing to children, including those who are English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Additionally, at the end of each step, there is a cartoon animation that reinforces the learning and provides educational entertainment.
Teachers using the Magic Link Programme will observe a significant improvement in the confidence, self-esteem, and emotional well-being of their pupils. As children learn how to write clearly and neatly using the Magic Link method, they gain a sense of accomplishment and pride, which can positively impact their overall well-being. The fun and interactive nature of the programme can also help motivate and engage students in the learning process, making it a valuable tool for teachers and students alike.
10. Supports Ofsted Framework
The Magic Link Programme aligns with the Ofsted framework by addressing the handwriting needs of the entire school. It is an efficient and effective course that equips students with the lifelong skill of neat and legible handwriting through repetitive, highly structured, and consistent learning methods.
The resources provided in the programme are efficient and easily accessible, supporting not only handwriting but also reading, writing, and phonics teaching. By promoting consistent formations and skills across all subjects, the programme encourages students to make connections across the curriculum and apply their newfound knowledge of handwriting in various contexts.
Importantly, the Magic Link Programme does not focus on teaching students to pass a test. Instead, it emphasises mastery of each step before progressing to the next, ensuring that students develop a solid foundation in improved handwriting that will last over time. The instructional videos provided in the programme steadily guide students through the learning process, ensuring that they achieve lasting improvements in their handwriting skills. Overall, the Magic Link Programme supports the Ofsted framework by providing an efficient and effective approach to handwriting instruction that promotes consistent and legible handwriting skills across the entire school curriculum.
11. Perfect for all Pupils
The Magic Link Handwriting Programme is inclusive and caters to the diverse needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs (SEN), dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, Asperger’s syndrome, hypermobility, and both left and right-handed students. The programme provides pre-recorded video lessons that guide students through the correct formation of letters, words, and sentences, allowing them to learn at their own pace.
Teachers play a supervisory role, ensuring that students are following the video instructions correctly and providing additional support as needed. The programme’s flexibility and adaptability make it accessible to a wide range of learners, allowing them to develop their handwriting skills in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Whether a student has a specific learning difficulty or not, the Magic Link Handwriting Programme provides structured and comprehensive instruction that can benefit all pupils in achieving improved and legible handwriting. The programme’s inclusive approach ensures that every student has the opportunity to develop this essential skill and succeed in their handwriting endeavours.
12. Highly Structured with Incremental Progression
The Magic Link Programme is highly structured and begins at a basic level, progressing through vowels and vowel combinations. The ‘a’ vowel is introduced in the first 50% of the programme, followed by the introduction of each vowel one at a time. Words progress from CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words to CCVC (consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant) and CVCC (consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant) words, including initial and final consonant blends. Right from the start, pupils are aware that by completing 30 steps, they will achieve neat, cursive writing as the end goal of the programme.
The Magic Link Programme teaches individual letters, words, and sentences. Letters are introduced one at a time and in sequences using repetition. Each step follows motoric incremental movements of handwriting strokes, which gradually build up the motor planning skills required for proficient handwriting. At the end of every step, the learned words are incorporated into “silly sentences” to reinforce the motor movements for homework, making handwriting practice enjoyable and fun for students.
13. Develops Flow and Speed
Implementing a whole-school consistent approach with the Magic Link Programme helps develop flow and speed in students’ handwriting. Through consistent practice and instruction across the entire school, students are able to achieve automaticity in their handwriting. By the time they reach step 30, students are able to integrate their thoughts and write with speed while maintaining neat handwriting in their schoolwork, homework, and exams.
The Magic Link Programme aims to instil good handwriting habits early on, which then become automatic for students. This allows them to focus on the content of their writing without having to consciously think about letter formation, resulting in increased writing speed and efficiency. With consistent use of the Magic Link method throughout the school, students are able to internalise the skills and techniques taught in the programme, leading to improved handwriting performance in various writing tasks and assessments.
Having a whole-school consistent approach to handwriting instruction also promotes continuity and cohesion among teachers and students, ensuring that students receive consistent instruction and reinforcement of good handwriting habits across all subjects and classrooms. This creates a conducive learning environment where neat, legible handwriting becomes a natural part of students’ written communication skills, enhancing their overall academic performance.
14. Improves Phonics, Spelling and Reading
- Phonics: The Magic Link Handwriting Programme focuses on teaching children the correct formation of letters and how they join, so children develop an understanding of letter-sound relationships in phonics as they learn to connect the letters in a word. Letter formation is a key component in reading and writing skills. Research has shown that forming letters by hand while learning sounds activates reading circuits in the brain that promote literacy.
- Spelling: When children learn to write words using the Magic Link Handwriting Programme, they are not only learning to form letters correctly, but they are also visually reinforcing the correct spelling of words. This can help children internalise the spelling patterns of words and develop muscle memory for correct letter formation, leading to improved spelling skills. Magic Link incorporates spelling patterns including -ck. -ll -ng, short and long vowels. By the time pupils have reached step 30, they have learnt the 5 vowels and spelling rules in words and sentences. Magic Link promotes the automaticity of clear handwriting and improves focus and memory of spelling.
- Reading: Handwriting and reading are interconnected skills. The Magic Link Handwriting Programme teaches children to write using a clear cursive style that promotes smooth, flowing movement. This can help children develop visual tracking skills, as their eyes learn to follow the flow of cursive writing from left to right, which is the same direction used in reading. This can aid in the development of reading fluency and comprehension. Clear handwriting enables pupils to proofread their work and make corrections to their spelling.
15. Certificate of Achievement
At the completion of the Magic Link Programme, a Certificate of Achievement is provided to students. This certificate serves as a recognition of their accomplishment in mastering the handwriting skills taught in the programme. It can be awarded at the end of the course or presented during a school assembly, serving as a special moment to celebrate students’ progress and boost their confidence.
The Certificate of Achievement serves as a tangible reward for students’ hard work and dedication in improving their handwriting. It acknowledges their efforts and success in mastering the Magic Link method, and can be a source of pride for students as they showcase their newfound skill to their peers, teachers, and parents.
Presenting the certificate during a school assembly can also create a positive and motivational environment, where students are publicly recognised for their achievement. This can further encourage other students to strive for similar success and promote a culture of excellence in handwriting within the school community. Overall, the Certificate of Achievement provided at the end of the Magic Link Programme serves as a meaningful way to acknowledge and reward students for their handwriting progress, boosting their confidence and motivation to continue using their improved skills in their academic endeavours.