Be Creative – No Pens Day!

My Lightbulb Moment – ‘No Pens Day’

By Jo Jones, AAT and Business

The October 15th edition of The East Kent Mercury reports how Castle Community College pupils have taken part in the national ‘No Pens Day Wednesday’. The idea is that students engage in speaking and listening activities that aim to improve speech, listening, language and communication skills without writing anything down for the whole day.

Sue Douglas, Head of Castle’s newly designated Speech, Language and Communications

Needs (SLCN) provision said, ‘As educators we need to be aware of the importance of good speech, language and communication skills.’ ‘No Pens day not only raised awareness, but has also provided the opportunity for staff to try out new activities and experiment with alternative ways to deliver the curriculum. What’s more, it’s been a lot of fun for everyone.’

The event is organised by the Communication Trust who have many free resources on their website including, a 2015 activity pack and links to lesson plans, resources, activity ideas, evaluation toolkits etc. The resources are aimed at all levels from Primary School, Secondary school and Special Schools, so can definitely be adapted for use in FE.

Within the Business Department, during progression week, Sarah Ryan’s Level 1 students took part in an activity which provides a perfect example for ‘No Pens Day’. Students were presented with 20 pumpkins and tools to carve them with, their brief was to produce a variety of different pumpkin designs with the aim of selling them at a profit, with all donations going to Children in Need the students were also tasked with producing a marketing campaign.

This activity encouraged students to communicate effectively  and work as a team in the initial pumpkin production and then produce a sales pitch to market the pumpkins as they went round the college selling them, this developed their language and communication skills as well as their community spirit as approximately £40 was raised for Children in Need. Their maths skills were also developed as the cost of the pumpkins and the concept of mark-up was covered when coming up with the selling price. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and had a real sense of achievement when they had finished. Thanks to Alison Halsey for the photo.