About

Start-Bee is a proven method for teaching handwriting that delivers outstanding results. Within seven lessons, the Start-Bee method can take a complete handwriting beginner from making marks to writing their name (Standards & Testing Agency – 2016 teaching assessment exemplification: end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 English Writing), that’s every child – including Dyslexic and SEN learners.

Designed in conjunction with primary school teachers, Start-Bee’s ‘plug and play’ approach combines the right tools for handwriting with the right method that uses pre-recorded lessons delivered via e-learning videos and accompanied by practical, specialist exercises. Developed by ‘mumpreneur’ Melanie Harwood, the company has spent five years researching and developing the right method and selecting the right tools that take the stress out of teaching handwriting. The end result is one that works within a child’s limited attention span, incorporates a font which has been scientifically proven to aid reading and writing and uses a back-to basics approach which focuses on developing the correct pencil grip and strong writing muscles, to make writing a pleasure and not a pain. Start-Bee’s Method ensures that a positive association with handwriting is enmeshed within the step-by-step process of delivery and that each and every pupil enjoys handwriting. You can learn more about our handwriting scheme here.

Before using Start-Bee’s method, every pupil undergoes Start-Bee’s Handwriting Match Fit Assessment TM, which enables teachers to assess an individual pupil’s current handwriting ability and needs. By establishing the starting point and outline for each and every pupil, schools are better placed to create a Handwriting Strategy for their pupils, as well as the means to document a pupil’s attainment as required by DfE.

How we started:

In 2011, former TV producer, Melanie Harwood was devastated when her four-year-old daughter, Hannah-Jane, was refused entry into a local primary school because she was unable to write her own name and struggling with basic mark making. In response, Harwood developed her very own writing method to fast-track her daughter’s handwriting. Within a matter of days, Hannah-Jane was writing her own name and she was accepted into the local primary school. Within a few weeks at her new school and completing the handwriting exercises Harwood had created for her, Hannah-Jane overtook the entire first year of her primary school group. To the surprise of her teachers, Hannah-Jane’s reading age jumped to an ORT reading level 11 within a year and her Math’s skills improved to such an extent that she was raised to the upper skill set of her age group. In response, the school asked Harwood if they could use her method to help pupils struggling with handwriting and Start-Bee was born. Here’s Melanie on Sky News talking about why children still need to write in a digital age.

 

Here’s Hannah-Jane’s progress:

My child was one of the 1 in 3 leaving school unable to write properly, so I decided to do something about it. In the process, I invented a method that teaches children the life-long skill of handwriting.

In just seven weeks my Start-Bee handwriting method can get any child writing their names in a legible, neat cursive script and they are well on their way to writing legibly and confidently too!

Melanie Harwood, CEO and Founder Start-Bee