Put down your pens and get talking

07 October 2015 By Natalie Griffin, Campaign and Communications Manager

Get talking

Today sees the return of the No Pens Day initiative which encourages schools to put down their pens and pencils for an entire day and focus on other forms of communication in the classroom.

No Pens Day Wednesday provides the perfect chance to plan a day of speaking and listening activities. The event aims to help increase the use of spoken language, boost the confidence of children who struggle with written forms of learning, and encourage discussions and debates on current curriculum topics.

First launched in 2011 by the Communication Trust, the initiative has received fantastic feedback on the positive impact the day continues to have. It not only demonstrates the importance of verbal communication and language skills, but also highlights how children’s individual learning may need to be catered for differently when teaching the curriculum.

Evaluation findings from last year’s event:

  • "Recognising as a teacher just how much value there is in immersing the children in talk and how this impacted on progress.”
  • "Giving the children a voice made us appreciate that they need to be listened to for longer periods of time.”
  • “Displayed how taking time to focus on speech and communication actually gives more depth to pupil’s written work.”

Feeling inspired and want to get involved?

If you've not heard about No Pens Day Wednesday or haven't had the chance to plan for today, don’t worry - you can still run your own event on a day that’s convenient for you.

Below are a selection of speaking and listening resources to help you plan the day. Share any exciting ideas you’ve tried in the comments section below.

  • Talking Tubes Starter Set
    Helps to develop communication and social skills as children have discussions with a partner.
  • Talking Tins
    Ideal for developing speaking and listening skills as speech, music or sound effects can be recorded and played back. Re-recordable so can be used time and time again.
  • The Gruffalo Story Set
    Put the pen and paper down and listen to the classic Julia Donaldson story as you follow the mouse making its way into the deep dark wood!
  • Solar System 3D Wall Chart
    Embark on an interactive exploration as planets, probes, rockets, and more spring to life right off the wall chart to give you an experience you will never forget.
  • Brainbox: All Around the World
    A fun geography memory based game encouraging interactivity between pupils as they learn about the world.
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