School brings back pens so pupils get write stuff


"A PRIVATE school is insisting pupils use fountain pens, in an attempt to save the dying art of handwriting.

Mary Erskine and Stewart’s Melville junior school in Edinburgh believes longhand is on the brink of extinction, thanks to text messaging and computers.

Bryan Lewis, the school’s headmaster, has banned the use of rollerball pens and pencils by pupils from P5 onwards. The school believes that mastering stylish handwriting with a fountain pen raises academic performance and boosts self-esteem.

Mr Lewis believes the problem to be so acute that new staff often have to be given lessons in how to write before entering the classroom to teach…."

By Stephen McGinty


Image: OHS

Print it in Moleskine MSK format
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to School brings back pens so pupils get write stuff

  1. Fazal Majid says:

    Nothing new about this. My private school in France (circa 1985-87) always had that policy, and it’s quite commonplace there.

  2. Very happy to see this!

  3. GrannyKass says:

    Wonderful! Now if American schools would get the importance of handwriting it would make me so happy.

    I think there is a lot more than a nicely written word that comes from quality penmanship.

  4. PersonMan says:

    What about us left-handers? It’s basically impossible for me to write with a fountain pen without smudging it everywhere, and cursive is just as difficult. I HATE fountain pens with a passion because of this, and cursive was always terrible because my hand would cramp up and I couldn’t finish as quickly as everyone else so my teacher would yell at me. Traumatic memories.

    Unless this school teaches in Hebrew, I’m opposed to this method.

  5. Nathan says:

    I’m glad a fellow lefty has enlightened me to the perils of trying to use a fountain pen. That’ll safe me the frustration of finding that out for myself.

    Other than that, I think the story itself is pretty interesting.

  6. Marcus says:

    Great to see this.
    When I think back to my school days we were not allowed to write with anything else than a Fountain Pen. Times have changed since then I suupose and are about to change once again – great.

  7. mjx says:

    I’m a lefty too, but since my Dad is a calligrapher, he taught me–right from my very first line–to write with the page turned sideways (i.e. if you start with the page facing you “normally”, turn it horizontally).

    This way, instead if holding my hand in the awkward and aggravating position used by many lefties in a futile attempt to keep their hands out of the ink/graphite, I’m essentially writing underneath what I’ve already written (actually vertically downward), with my hand in a comfortable and natural writing position, and entirely clear of the writing. Comfortable and neat.

    I LOVE fountain pens 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

I accept Privacy policy and Terms of use