"writing is the most difficult task they have.....it's too much to ask from a 9/10 year old".
This is simply not true. There are plenty of 9 and 10 year olds who can write really well. It might be your experience but it certainly isn't everyone else's.
I used to be a parent helper in various Reception / year 1 / year 2 classes at our not exactly stellar primary school. From year 1, the children were set 'Can I...?' tasks such as, 'Can I describe our trip to the beach?' - at least three sentences required before they were allowed to do their accompanying drawing. DS2 would happily go on for a couple of pages, but if did have fairly large handwriting
. Seriously, though, I know that children don't all develop skills at the same rate, but I would challenge a year 4 or year 5 teacher who gave the impression of having such low expectations of the pupils in his or her care.