Auckland school brings back art of handwriting

Auckland school brings back art of handwriting

Pen licences are a rite of passage for most Kiwi primary school children.

But according to new research there's concern among some parents that the old-fashioned art of handwriting may be dying out.

Seven-year-olds at Auckland's Dairy Flat Primary are learning how to dot their 'i's and cross their 't's.

But will these budding scribes use their new skills as grown-ups?

"I think it possibly is a dying art but we really try and focus on it here," says new entrants' teacher Jody Costello.

Pen company BIC, whose very business relies on handwriting, has canvassed views on the future of handwriting in the digital world.

Of those surveyed, 65 percent said they thought it would be a dying art in 20 years, and just under half said that was concerning.

"They would've been writing Christmas cards to aunties and nannas but now it's just a quick tap on the email or Facebook," says Ms Costello.

A quick tap on the computer comes at the expense of old-fashioned handwriting.

"That whole idea of that beautiful copy, cursive writing is not so vital because it's much more about the function," says Dairy Flat Primary School principal Debbie Marshall.

Despite its changing form, handwriting remains a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

"For children's cognitive and for their motor skills, handwriting is absolutely vital and we still do it and it's not going to die," says Ms Marshall.

But mum-of-three Elizabeth Cotter says children need more practice if handwriting is going to survive.

"I think we should be teaching handwriting early so they get the form and structure," says Ms Cottor.

And maybe bring extra meaning to the words they've written.

"What's more special than getting a hand written card, written with love," she says.

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