Pupils and staff in years 7, 8 and 9 put down their pens on Wednesday 3rd October 2018 and got involved with a host of fun speaking and listening activities as part of 'No Pens Wednesday'. Promoted by The Communications Trust the day has been set up to promote communication skills. Last year’s event reached over 7,000 schools across the country.
It was a great opportunity for teachers to plan some really engaging, fun and memorable learning to encourage our pupils to get talking. Pupils in year 7 got involved in their first secondary school debate, chaired by Mrs Knight, Literacy Co-ordinator. The book ‘Pig Heart Boy’ by Malorie Blackman inspired a discussion on the subject of organ donation and transplants, which moved onto a more formal debate.
“Communication is an essential life skill and it is always good to see our pupils developing this in lessons. No Pens Day Wednesday provides us with an opportunity to really focus the pupils’ thinking on how they interact with others,” said Mrs Knight, organiser of No Pens Wednesday. “It is also a great time to sharpen our oral literacy and creativity. The pupils, and staff, have once again risen to the challenge.”
Elsewhere in school pupils got creative, pupils in year 7 constructed different types of cells in Mrs Fisher’s science class. In Mrs Markham’s art class pupils worked in pairs using their communication skills to convey details of a famous painting to their partner, who sketched the painting from the description only. In drama, pupils in year 8 used their bodies to communicate, working in groups to recreate moments from social occasions such as a wedding, a family dinner and a birthday. These moments were captured in freeze frame. In Mrs Bridges’ year 9 maths class pupils got to grips with the dimensions of different shapes, using scissors and graph paper to recreate them from measurements given. In Mrs Storey’s science class, year 7 pupils designed and conducted a practical exploring how a tea bag is similar and different to a cell. They also took swabs from the inside of their cheeks and examined their cheek cells under a microscope.
Communication and language skills are essential for child development and learning. Judging by the feedback from teachers and pupils 'No Pens Wednesday' had a positive and unforgettable impact on our pupils' education.