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A four-year-old's name writing skills predicts their future achievement

31/05/2016 Joanna

If a child starts school being able to already write their name, then they will continue to perform better in reading and maths.

This has been revealed following research conducted by Durham University, which highlighted name-writing ability as a "robust predictor" of academic ability later in life.

The study suggests that looking at a child's writing ability at age four could help to determine underlying difficulties in certain students, and highlight those that might need additional support.

However, the research didn't show any evidence of of a causal relationship between children’s ability to write their names and their later academic achievement, meaning that this is just an indicator of general abilities, rather than a trigger that might determine future outcomes.

In addition, while it was previously thought that having a longer name might help a child to gain more understanding of the alphabet, this latest research showed that this was not the case.

Dr Lee Copping, assessment developer at Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring and lead author of the report, said: "This study shows that name-writing ability in the early years is a good predictor of future outcomes in reading and mathematics. Teachers should have confidence in using such measures alongside other indicators of attainment in these subject areas to inform their teaching and planning."

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