Sitting proudly watching our son, Harry, in his Reception nativity play today, my husband whispered to me; “They should have put him on the other side.” I looked at him quizzically and he continued; “Because he’s left handed. He keeps banging the boy next to him.”He was actually right. A simple move two camels to his left would have made Harry’s performance much more comfortable. I don’t think standing where he was will exactly scar him for life, but I found it quite an interesting observation and it reminded me of the fact that I always used to sit left-handers in my classes to the left of their partners so that writing was easier for them.I also started to wonder whether there are any other tips given to teachers for dealing with left-handers, as I have observed how Harry finds writing tricky, although he can read pretty fluently. He constantly wants to write from right to left on the page and he can’t do finger spaces between words because it ties him in knots (to overcome this, his teacher suggested using a lolly pop stick instead). She has provided him with a writing book that is bound at the top rather than on the left. He is also shown how to form his letters slightly differently.

My research on the internet didn’t get me much further, but I did discover on the BBC website that left-handed pupils tend to score about 1% lower in national tests than their right handed peers. I also discovered on this website that many, many left handed children feel that they are not given the support or help they need and that they find it frustrating at times being left handed. They particularly find it hard to share computers. Perhaps the two things tie in?

There are plenty of things available out there to help left-handers, and I may just purchase one or two of them myself (left handed scissors, for example). If you are interested, check out this website.

Below are some more things I discovered about left-handedness on my quick tour of the www:

  • About 10% of people are left-handed.
  • Left-handed people can think quicker when carrying out tasks such as playing computer games or playing sport.
  • French researchers have found that being left-handed could be an advantage in fights.
  • Being left-handed has been linked to a greater risk of some diseases, and to having an accident due, it is believed to having poorer spatial skills.
  • The gene, LRRTM1, which was discovered in 2007, is linked to an increased chance of being left handed.
  • The percentage of left-handed people today is about the same as it was during the Ice Age.
  • Handedness, that is preferring one side of the body to the other when carrying out certain tasks – has been noted in chimps, monkeys crows and walruses.
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