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It’s No Pens Day Wednesday, and that means that for one whole day the nation must put their pens down and think of new innovative ways to communicate! Today presents a great opportunity for schools and other settings across the country to improve pupils’ speaking and listening skills. This can be done through activities such as presentations or storytelling. No matter what you do and how you choose to communicate today, just make sure there are absolutely no pens!
No Pens Day Wednesday was set up in 2011 by the Communication Trust to help schools and other settings identify pupils who were having issues with spoken communication. Since it was set up in 2011 No Pens Day has become increasingly popular. It has reached over 2 million children and young people across the UK. This is great news as spoken communication and language are a vital ingredient in a child’s education and wellbeing. Experts have found that communication issues are amongst one of the main causes of poor behaviour in schools. Approximately 2 out of 3, three year olds with delayed language experience behavioural issues. Meaning that identifying children with communication issues early will be a huge benefit to them later in their school career.
Taking part in No Pens Day allows many establishments, to explore new ways of communicating. It also helps pupils who have issues with communication. 83% of schools that took part in No Pens Day last year stated that it helped them raise awareness of speech and language issues within their establishment. Another 25% of schools also stated that they managed to identify pupils who were struggling with spoken language; students they would never have recognised without participating in this day. This was due to these pupils excelling at written communication. This meant that teachers did not necessarily look for any other possible issues.
In 2016 No Pens Day also introduced #NoPensAtHome. A campaign which focused attention on parents too. With help from the No Pens Day homework packs, schools were able to encourage children to communicate better at home. After the success of last year, a #NoPensAtHome homework pack will yet again be a part of the resources offered to schools and other facilities.
It’s really easy to get involved in No Pens Day! There are no joining or registering fees! Everything is completely free. All you need to do is register your school or unique setting on the No Pens Day Wednesday sign up page to access all of their free resources. These include a range of unique and exciting lesson plans, fun activity ideas, inclusive assembly ideas and many more.
These packs provide a fantastic starting point for your activities. But why not have a go at creating your own little activity packs too. Which you can share with others via their interactive website. The key ideas are to keep it relevant. Keep relating it back to writing. Most of all, keep it fun!
At Hand Made Places we are always looking for new innovative ways to enhance teaching. Our play equipment aids in childhood development and encourages both teachers and pupils to express themselves in new ways. Therefore, we believe that putting down the pens for one day is a great way to explore new teaching methods and allow children to develop new skill sets.
No Pens Day allows children to excel in speaking and listening. It also offers a way in which pupils can demonstrate their less conventional skills. These include music, creativity and sports. Though highly important these skills are often neglected during a typical school day, and through No Pens Day students can demonstrate their passion for other skills.
At Hand Made Places we have a range of equipment that can help children to express these skills in new, exciting ways. Our range of musical instruments will allow pupils to develop their performance skills, whilst providing them with plenty of fun. On No Pens Day schools are encouraged to enhance pupils’ performance skills, especially in early year’s, as it will improve their presentation skills as they approach primary and secondary school scenarios. At Hand Made Places we believe that the use of a Star Stage or designated performance area on No Pens Day will help to encourage children to become more involved with performance.
No Pens Day Wednesday applies to the teachers as well so what better way to avoid the temptation of writing on the board than to take the classroom outside. Leave all the pens and the board behind and hold your No Pens Day lessons outside. Our outdoor classrooms such as the Darell Gazebo provide a designated sheltered area away from the classroom for pupils to enjoy and provide a brand new innovative learning experience.