A leading Midlands school for dyslexics has released a video urging people buying gifts for children with dyslexia to invest in a fountain pen this Christmas to help improve literacy.

Dr Daryl Brown, head teacher at Lichfield’s Maple Hayes Dyslexia School, has released his top three stocking filler ideas which are not only fun, but can help improve children’s literacy.

Dr Brown believes that while computer games and toys are probably on the top of most children’s wish list to Santa, parents should also include a few more traditional gifts, such as a fountain pen, to encourage cursive - or ‘joined up’ - handwriting.

Dr Brown said: “Writing in cursive makes every letter feel different, so is a form of kinaesthetic learning. A child with dyslexia can learn correct spellings by the individual feel of each letter.

“A fountain pen gives a much better feel than a ballpoint pen, as there is a considerable difference between the upstroke and downstroke when forming letters - which makes each letter easily distinguishable.

“Cursive handwriting also keeps the pen in contact with the paper through the word. Once a child has learnt cursive writing they do not have to focus their attention on visually forming and placing each letter. This enables them to write faster and much more accurately.”

Although the teaching of handwriting is a requirement in UK primary schools, there is no national style or official model for teaching handwriting, meaning the technique and style varies from school to school, and may not, actually, be fully joined up.

Handwriting and the use of a fountain pen is very important to pupils at Maple Hayes school. When HRH Princess Beatrice visited in April this year she participated in literacy lessons and the school presented her with a fountain pen specially made by John Twiss of Nottingham.

Maple Hayes’ video, which also includes a sneak peek into who has made it onto Father Christmas’ Naughty and Nice list, also suggests giving a subscription to a specialist magazine, audio books or a film based on a book, such as How To Train Your Dragon or Harry Potter to encourage children to engage with accessible texts.

Earlier this year, pupils from the school, met with How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell when she opened a new bookstore at Birmingham’s Grand Central.

To view the video, see this link https://youtu.be/YzRHyE9K5KI

For more information on the work Maple Hayes Dyslexia School undertakes, visit http://dyslexia.gb.com/

PR by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham

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