No Pens Day Wednesday, a national speaking and listening event organised by The Communication Trust, is now in its third year. The first event took place as part of the 2011 Hello campaign and last year’s event saw 1,100 schools take part! This year’s event will take place on Wednesday 9th October where even more pupils will be putting down their pens and picking up their language.
To find out more and get ideas for planning your No Pens Day there is a 2013 activity pack available to download. The activity pack provides more information about why schools should get involved with No Pens Day Wednesday, what it involves, useful guidance for teachers about supporting effective talk in the classroom as well as a handy timeline to help you plan your day.
Alongside the activity pack, there are some exciting new materials to support schools getting involved in No Pens Day Wednesday 2013. These will be available via The Communication Trust’s website very soon and they’ll be in touch by email to all those who register their interest once the new resources are available. However, there is currently a big batch of resources already available for you to use.
John Parrot, Glinette Woods and Kath Paintin, wearing their various” Hats” attended a Parliamentary reception by the Communication Trust, to celebrate their launch of "Generation Adrift” and "Talk of the Town”. Both make very interesting reading.
A Generation Adrift draws together research which shows that many children and young people with speech language and communication needs (SLCN) aren't being adequately supported to develop good communication skills. It describes the incidence and continuing nature of children and young people with communication difficulties and the continuing lack of knowledge and understanding in the teaching professions in identifying and supporting these young people.
Talk of the Town reports on a community approach to supporting people with communication difficulties and the working relationship that can and should be achieved between the key agencies.
The BCRP (Better Communication Research Programme) is a landmark programme of research part of the Better Communication Action Plan, the government's response to the Bercow Review 2008, was published on December 27th 2012. There are 6 key areas as identified by TCT:
- Identification; there remain huge challenges at the universal level of identifying SLCN, with continued concerns of how the label should be interpreted with consideration that the label SLCN is too generic when describing more profound language issues.
- Support; children with language needs require support at all levels, in the classroom as well as from specialists. Children have made it clear what works for them- other people's behaviour and understanding being paramount.
- Outcomes; children with SLCN do less well in school than peers of similar ability. Measurable outcomes, need to be at the heart of the system.
- Workforce development; there continues to be an ongoing need to raise the understanding of SLCN, particularly for teachers in changing classroom practice.
- Commissioning; health and education need to work together to deliver needs- led local services. This needs to be developed from universal through to specialist services. Too many children are "falling through gaps in the system".
- Research; needs to combine expertise of practitioners, parents, service providers and researchers to fill the evidence gaps.
Links can be found at: