Marking National Handwriting Day in the Classroom


The art of handwriting still has a huge role to play in schools and National Handwriting Day provides an ideal opportunity for teachers to remind their pupils of its importance.

National Handwriting Day takes place on 23 January every year, the birthday of former American statesman John Hancock. Its aim is to recognise the role that handwriting has to play in our lives and to celebrate the practice of using a pen or pencil.

Having been launched in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, teachers can use the day to promote new approaches to note taking, revision or even to mastering some of the basics of writing.

From 2014, more handwriting lessons were introduced into the national curriculum for children in the early years of schooling, in a bid to ensure that digital did not take over completely.

Despite the rise of social media, emoji’s and the like, knowing how to express thoughts on paper remains a vital life skill.

Boosting expression and creativity

Handwriting can also be a great boost to self-expression and creativity, especially for children in primary school, which is why teachers may want to consider different ways of constantly promoting its use.

Using an array of colours can help with notetaking and enhancing understanding while using fountain pens or markers can support children to develop alternative forms of calligraphy.

Teachers may want to encourage pupils to design new fonts or to practice different types of typography, or alternatively, a handwriting content may allow them to show off their skills.

Posture is also key, as pupils should know how to sit and how to properly hold a pen or pencil when writing – these might seem like basics, but they can easily be forgotten.

Another option for primary school teachers is to set tasks to be completed away from the classroom that have handwriting at their core – such as keeping a diary or journal of the activities they complete.