Taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday can draw attention to the pupils who find speaking and understanding language challenging.
No Pens Day Wednesday activities can draw attention to potential difficulties with speaking and understanding that a child or young person may be experiencing. Some pupils may be very quiet, use short sentences, or be difficult to understand. They may be slow to respond to spoken information or unable to follow instructions. For others, you might notice issues with their behaviour – they may play up or “act out” to mask their difficulties. When interacting with others, they may struggle to listen, take turns or make eye contact. They might have difficulty “keeping up” with their peers in play or conversations.
When preparing No Pens Day Wednesday, we encourage staff to refresh their knowledge on the typical stages of speech and language development. Understanding these can help you spot the signs that a child or young person is having difficulty in this area.
Of our survey respondents in 2020:
The aim of No Pens Day Wednesday is to include all children and young people in activities with a focus on speaking and understanding language to support their learning. This includes pupils who have difficulties speaking and understanding language, and pupils with SEND.
As detailed above, putting down pens may help you to spot pupils who are struggling with speaking and understanding language. For other pupils who have already been identified as requiring additional support, focusing on speaking and understanding language can help them to develop their skills in this crucial area, which is the foundation for much of their learning.
Our lesson plans include recommendations on how to adapt activities for additional needs or different ability levels in mainstream settings.
We encourage schools to maintain a focus on speaking and understanding language after No Pens Day. By creating a communication supportive environment in your classroom, you can continue to promote and support speaking and understanding skills for all pupils, including those with difficulties.
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