Although reading clock faces is taught in school, Trobe said that many students still don’t fully understand them by the time they reach high school.

“It may be a little sad if youngsters coming through aren’t able to tell the time on clock faces,” he said. 

“One hopes that we will be teaching youngsters to read clocks, however we can see the benefit of digital clocks in exam rooms.” 

In 2018, Sally Payne, the head paediatric occupational therapist at the Heart of England foundation NHS Trust, warned that children are finding it harder and harder to hold pens and pencils as a result of technology. 

“To be able to grip a pencil and move it, you need strong control of the fine muscles in your fingers. Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills,” she warned. 

“It’s easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they’re not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil.” 


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