Those in teaching jobs and their pupils are being encouraged to put down their pens next week for 'No Pens Wednesday' (October 10th).
'No Pens Wednesday' first started in 2011 as part of the national year of communication (the 'Hello' campaign), which aimed to make young people's communication a priority in homes and schools in the UK.
Run by the Communication Trust, 'No Pens Wednesday' is back again this year with the goal of encouraging schools to put down their writing implements and hold a day of speaking and listening activities.
The profile of communication skills has been raised this year after they became part of the Ofsted framework for both the quality of teaching and pupil achievement for the first time in January.
Furthermore, the Teachers' Standards that came into effect on September 1st 2012 require teachers to "demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of … articulacy".
For those with jobs in education like Chris Lloyd, the inclusion manager at the Discovery Federation, a new federation of two primary schools and one junior school in Andover, banning pens for the day proved to be a valuable experiment.
"The pupils loved the day," he told the Guardian. "They bubbled with enthusiasm at the end of the day, but at the same time were learning how to listen to each other, a rare skill even among most adults."
One of the activities held at Mr Lloyds' school involved teaching the children to count to ten in Lokhonzo, a local dialect of western Uganda, where the establishment the school is twinned with are based.
"When our Ugandan exchange teachers visit next week, they will have the pleasure of conducting maths lessons in their own dialect," he said.
Teachers interested in holding their own no pens day can download an activity pack from the Communication Trust website.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels