No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 – the new resources are here for you!

By Jo Bolton, Project Officer, The Communication Trust.

Yesterday (10th September) we launched our biggest package of new resources for No Pens Day Wednesday since it started back in 2011!

With brand new lesson plans for every year group in primary and secondary settings, lesson plans and activity ideas for the first time ever for early years and specialist provision, top tips to share with parents, universal strategies for staff and lots lots more- No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 is shaping up to be our best event yet.

So… if you’ve never taken part before, 2014 is a great time to get involved- whether you work in a mainstream or special school or an early years setting, we’ve got something for you!

No Pens Day Wednesday is a free national event run by The Communication Trust to support schools and early years settings across the country to plan engaging and innovative lessons that get pupils speaking, listening and thinking- with no writing for a whole day! This year the national event will take place on Wednesday 15th October- though if this date doesn’t work for your school, you can take part any time!

I’ve been lucky enough to talk to a number of inspirational teachers who’ve run No Pens Day Wednesday in their schools again and again… All of them had one phrase in common when describing what it was about the day that really made the difference… ‘the buzz!’

Pupils everywhere really throw themselves wholeheartedly into the speaking and listening activities. Teachers said that many pupils who were usually quiet in lessons grew in confidence and got really involved in lessons. In particular, children with SEN respond especially positively to the day, placing a focus on spoken language means they’re being supported to build on their skills in this important area of their development, which is the foundation for so much of their learning.

Teachers also mentioned the enthusiasm that spread through the staff team on the day- some said it gave them the opportunity to teach some of their most creative lessons and others reported better behaviour and quality interactions with pupils that really made a difference. And of course… no pens means no marking! The opportunity to feedback verbally to pupils on their strengths and reflect on how activities went is another fantastic feature of the day.

To find out more about what some of the teachers we spoke to thought about No Pens Day Wednesday and its impact in their school, watch our new short video and take a look at last year’s evaluation report here.

I really hope reading this blog and seeing what the teachers at Holy Trinity Primary in Halifax had to say about the day in our video has got you thinking about getting involved this year… Visit our website to find out more and sign up to access the brand new resources to support you run a fantastic No Pens Day Wednesday 2014