No Pens Day Wednesday at Dawn House School

Andrea Robinson, Therapy Team Leader at Dawn House shares the school’s recent experience of ‘No Pens Wednesday’ and highlights from their annual Voice Box Joke Competition.

On Wednesday 5th October 2016 Dawn House signed up to a national speaking and listening event organised by The Communication Trust called “No Pens Day Wednesday”.

Lessons were prepared to focus even more on speaking and listening, the idea for which was introduced to pupils in a ‘No Pens Day Wednesday’ assembly. In keeping with the event we recruited ‘No Pens Day Police’ – pupils from the primary class – who patrolled periodically and did spot checks on lessons throughout the day to ensure the ‘No Pens’ rule was not being broken.

xander dawn house school

Dawn House pupil Xander ready for No Pens Day Police patrol!

Incorporated into the day was our Voice Box Joke Competition which took place in individual form groups. The competition provided lots of opportunities for the students to work together to choose jokes and was a fantastic way of boosting their confidence as they shared the jokes in front of one another. It established a real sense of team building amongst students and generated lots of laughter! One winner from each form group will be selected to participate in the final which will take place during a school assembly on Monday 7th November. The judging panel will include special guests local Councillors Alan Bell and Colleen Harwood.

Last year’s winning Dawn House pupil Leo had the opportunity to visit Westminster and re-tell his joke in front of over 70 MP’s, other pupils and families from all over England, Scotland and Wales. More information about the Voice Box Joke Competition can be found here.

Both students and staff alike responded positively to No Pens Wednesday. Some feedback included ‘Thumbs up the joke competition’. ‘Lessons were good as we didn’t have to do any writing!’ and overall the day was rated enjoyable by all.

This short film clip by The Communication Trust provides more information about how different schools have adopted the No Pens Day initiative. There are plenty of resources available to help you plan your own event, including lesson plans for all age groups and settings, parent letter templates and an activity pack to plan the day.

I would highly recommend participating in No Pens Wednesday and we at Dawn House look forward to getting involved again next year.