I CAN Schools put down their pens for No Pens Day Wednesday!

On 10th October, young people aged 5 – 19 from I CAN’s Dawn House School and aged 5-11 from I CAN’s Meath School put down their pens and picked up language in support of No Pens Day Wednesday; a national speaking and listening event organised by The Communication Trust.

The schools successfully organised a day for all pupils where all learning and assessment took place through speaking and listening, rather than writing.

Angela Child, Dawn House School Principal says: “Staff and pupils at Dawn House School were really pleased to take part in No Pens Day Wednesday. For our learners, who have severe and complex speech, language and communication needs, it is fantastic to focus on alternative forms of communication instead of getting language correct on paper. We know that speech, language and communication skills are vital for children and young people to develop to achieve at school and for later in life. We were delighted to support The Communication Trust by taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday. This unique event focused on speaking and listening activities and we have seen pupils and teachers taking part in games and team-building activities throughout the day such as painting with our hands, making shapes on the computer, baking and playing games. It has been great fun!”

Janet Dunn OBE, Meath School Headteacher says: “Staff and pupils at Meath School were really pleased to take part in No Pens Day Wednesday. We are being as inventive as possible in devising ways to spend an entire school day without resorting to the use of a pencil or pen. Many of our pupils, who struggle with typical forms of communication, will be delighted to go through a whole day without being expected to write anything down! We know that speech, language and communication skills are vital for children and young people to develop to achieve at school and for later in life. This is a great event and we have seen pupils and teachers taking part in games and activities throughout the day!”

Isobel, student at Dawn House School said: “It was really good fun because we didn’t have to do any writing but did lots of talking instead!”

Students at Meath School said: “It was a cool day, I made models with my friends.”
“The day was really cool…. Writing makes my hands ache.”
“It was really difficult we had to put pieces of blu tack in the register to say we were here!”

No Pens Day Wednesday was developed by The Communication Trust, a coalition of 50 voluntary organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication, in partnership with Jean Gross, formerly the Government’s Communication Champion for children.

Last year it was run as the flagship event of the Hello campaign (national year of communication) with 800 schools taking part. For more information, visit   www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/nopensdaywednesday