No Pens Day Wednesday

Putting speaking and understanding skills in the spotlight

Returning spring term 2023


No Pens Day Wednesday is an annual day dedicated to speaking and understanding language that takes place in schools, colleges and early years settings across the country.

Speaking and understanding skills are fundamental for everything we do – learning, reading and writing, managing emotions, developing friendships and entering employment. However, speaking and understanding skills are underrepresented in the curriculum in comparison to reading and writing. 

I CAN provides resources, advice and guidance for participating schools and settings so they can get the most out of the day.

By putting down your pens and shouting out about speaking and understanding skills, you can:

  • Develop pupils’ speaking and understanding skills
  • Develop staff’s understanding of speaking and understanding skills and embed them into your curriculum
  • Try out new teaching approaches and engage pupils in exciting pens-free activities
  • Identify pupils who need additional support to develop their speaking and understanding skills

Taking part is beneficial for all ages, from early years to college students! 


We're moving No Pens Day Wednesday to the spring term

Following feedback from educators, we'll be moving this year's event to the spring term.

We hope moving No Pens Day Wednesday to later in the school year will mean even more schools can take part in this nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the importance of speaking and understanding language.

Of course, you’re very welcome to host your own No Pens Day Wednesday at any time of the year that’s convenient to you! Our 2021 resources are available for you to access at any time here.

We’ll be announcing the precise date for No Pens Day Wednesday in due course.

In the meantime, feel free to browse our full range of resources for educators on our website, including our Talking Point hub, DLD (Developmental Language Disorder) videos and pdf guide and CPD short course.


Taking your focus on speaking and understanding language further

No Pens Day Wednesday is just one day of the year, but we encourage you to keep developing pupils’ speaking and understanding skills by using our guidance and resources. 


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