Start-Bee FAQs | YPO
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Find answers to frequently asked questions about Start-Bee.

Q. How do we get started?
Place your order for the start-bee handwriting scheme with YPO via the website. YPOs direct customer services team will email you to collect the following information: 
Name, School name, address and postcode, email, head teachers name and literacy lead. 

Once this information is collected - an email will be sent to you with your logon details and you will receive your start-bee classroom kit via the post.

Everything you need to get start with Start-bee is on the e-learning platform with e-learning tutorials. 
Q. Can you tell me more about the Start-Bee lessons?

Our step-by-step approach has been designed to effectively bring a Start-Bee handwriting specialist into the classroom by delivering prepared lessons ‘on-demand’ via Start-Bee’s video-streaming platform. Accessed via the classroom computer, each pupil watches a 30-minute lesson that is projected onto the whiteboard for all the class to see. The classroom teacher and LSA need only guide and support the children as they follow the lesson in real-time using exercise sheets, specialist equipment and carefully selected stationery.

Start-Bee’s lessons are divided into four programmes: 

  • Basics Bootcamp (intervention), 
  • Handwriting for Beginners, 
  • Letters Write
  • All Joined Up. 

Each programme is designed to progress the learner from making marks to writing in a joined up, fluent script. There are two versions of the step-by-step programme to choose from:
- one aimed at children in Years 1 and 2 (which is also being used by some schools in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) and 
- one aimed at EYFS which has a more unstructured approach and gives the teacher more flexibility in a classroom with a small area for desk work. 

Basics Bootcamp, as an intervention programme, has been designed for pupils, of whatever age, who are struggling with handwriting or need to be fast-tracked through the basics so that they able to form letters correctly, painlessly and effortlessly.

Q. How often should we run the lessons?
Each lesson lasts 30 minutes and for optimum results, we recommend that you timetable three lessons each week with each class of up to 30 pupils.  Some of the Start-Bee licensed schools use their Start-Bee Handwriting Station and the streamed lessons outside of the regular timetable to deliver a Start-Bee Handwriting Club in the mornings before school, at lunchtimes, as an after-school club and even as a holiday club (usually as an intervention programme). The Start-Bee license can be used to teach handwriting to any pupil in the school either during the school day or in an extra curricula capacity.

Q. Who are your lessons aimed at?
Our Get It Write programme is aimed at EYFS, Year 1’s and 2’s. However, the license fee also includes access to our Basics Bootcamp intervention programme which is ideal for children of any age struggling with handwriting.

Q. What’s included in the price?
The first year’s fee includes the accompanying specialist equipment, all the stationery you will need for your pupils to master handwriting as well as the annual license fee to access our lessons and use our scheme. Only the license fee is renewed each year. The licence fee gives you access to all the streamed e-lessons in the Start-Bee Handwriting Scheme, the weekly live streamed Q&A sessions (for continuous professional development) as well as our ongoing support. Plus, the licence fee includes access to our Basics Bootcamp intervention programme. Aimed at those children, of any age, who are struggling with handwriting, schools are using this programme as after-school or holiday handwriting clubs. 

Q. How much does it cost?
This depends on the number of pupils in your school or your usage requirement as each handwriting station (which contains the tools and stationery required to run Start-Bee in the classroom setting) is licensed for up to 210 users and can be accessed by up to 15 or 30 children at any one time. See the chart above.

Q. How long does the licence last for?
The annual lease takes place once the first lesson is accessed and expires 365 days later. We will remind you that your license is due to run out and you can choose to renew it or not.

Q. Does the scheme conform to the Standards and Testing Agency KS1/2 directive?
Yes. Run in order and according to our recommendations, your pupils will be able to write to the Standards and Testing Agency’s requirements. However, if you start the programme with your EYFS pupils, evidence suggests that they will be writing in a neat, joined up script by the end of Year 1. Evidence also suggests that by bringing handwriting up to the mark, you will also experience increased engagement in lessons, improved stamina, increased confidence and better behaviour in class from your pupils.

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