Market Lavington Museum

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.