I read a great Blog Post this week written by Tom Hesmondhalgh on his Creative Education Blog where he questions the validity of teaching handwriting in schools at a time when technology is asserting its primacy. He also poses the question as to whether teaching touch typing would be more beneficial to pupils in this technological age. However, he comes to the conclusion that even in an age when technology is now mobile, handwriting is a life skill which pupils need to know even for doing basic things like writing a birthday card or writing a shopping list. I tend to agree wholeheartedly with Tom on this topic. I’m a firm believer in the value of handwriting and the importance it plays as a life skill for pupils. It is firmly rooted into the school day in my school, as it is in many other schools. Even though I am also an advocate for the integration of technology into the curriculum, I also think that neat and presentable handwriting reaps great benefits, and both of these views are not mutually exclusive.
This brings me nicely onto the topic of the annual INTO/EBS Handwriting Competition, now in its 20th year. The aim of the competition is to celebrate the skill and art of handwriting and to recognise the talent of primary school pupils in this area. The theme of the competition is “Family” and pupils are asked to write a short piece about their family or copy a poem/piece of prose about “family”. There are seven different categories in the competition including two for pupils with special needs. The guidelines for the competition are quite specific and failure to adhere to them may result in entries being invalidated.
There will be information about the competition in the January/February edition of InTouch Magazine, due to arrive in schools soon. Alternatively, a poster, checklist, application form and guidelines can be downloaded directly from the INTO Website.