Learning to write in 1926

At Market Lavington School, in the building now known as The Old School, handwriting was practised every day. Sybil Baker was six years old in 1926 and had saved pages from her handwriting book, which she put in her book of memories, written for Market Lavington Museum when she was in her eighties.

Sybil recalled that children in the infant class sat in chairs with rounded backs, in twos at a table. All the children faced forwards, so that they could see the blackboard, which was placed on an easel. Most of the children’s work was written on the board.

Sybil’s handwriting book had blue lines, between which the small letters were written, with red lines above and below these, which the tall letters and letters with tails had to touch. The children were shown how to hold a pencil correctly and then learned to form the small letters first. They learned cursive writing with loops right from the start.

While the class were copying the day’s handwriting from the board, Miss Goodway walked around, checking that every letter was touching the correct lines above and below.

Once all the lower case letters were being formed correctly, the children learned how to write capital letters and then progressed to writing sentences on their daily page of handwriting practice.

2 Responses to “Learning to write in 1926”

  1. John Young Says:

    I was in Miss Florence Ross’s infants class at West Lavington Elementary School in 1953/4 and sat in the same type of chair as in the drawing. Later when I was in Third Class our teacher Mrs Simms went on leave – possibly maternity but I’m not sure and Mrs Sybil Perry (Baker) came from Market Lavington School to cover the vacancy. She was very strict with our writing neatness and would make us write out a page again if we went over the red or blue lines on the paper. On one occasion I had to write “Neatness counts” on each line of a page. The imposition obviously worked as I still remember it now in my seventies ! Our desks by then were two seaters with wooden tops, tip up plank seats and cast iron frames with ‘Wake & Dean Ltd, Yatton” cast into them.

  2. marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

    Thank you, John. Yes, Sybil Baker, later Mrs Perry, grew up to be a teacher, like her mother.

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