Yesterday, pupils across all years of ARK Rose Primary Academy used an educational initiative called ‘No Pens Wednesday’ to develop their teamwork and communication skills and learn about Diwali, the ancient Hindu festival celebrated every autumn.

For one day only, pupils were encouraged to put their pens down and take part in lessons that had been specially adapted to focus on speaking and listening activities.

Over in Year 2, No Pens Day took the form of a puppet show based on the story of Diwali (see headline photo). Using paper and lollipop stick puppets, pupils told the story of Rama as he searches for Sita with help from Hanuman the monkey. You can find a fun and informative summary of the Diwali story over on the CBeebies website.

Year 6 pupils from ARK Rose Primary Academy perform a play to tell the story of Diwali
Year 6 pupils from ARK Rose Primary Academy perform a play to tell the story of Diwali

Year 6 pupils put on plays telling the Diwali story. In small groups, pupils worked learned to work together, deciding who would be the narrator and who play each of the main characters. Shauna, one of our narrators, also gained leadership skills, helping ensure her fellow pupils knew what they were doing and when they needed to do it.

No Pens Day was first developed by the Communications Trust, a coalition of not-for-profit groups whose work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to the best of their ability. You can find out more about their important work by visiting their website.

Pupils and staff alike found No Pens Day to be a very positive experience. At ARK Rose Primary Academy initiatives such as No Pens Day are one of the ways pupils gain an excellent academic and social education that allows them to fulfil their potential.

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