We held a federation ‘No Pen this week and all children in Key Stage 1 and 2 completed their learning without using anything they could write or draw with. It was a great opportunity to use speaking and listening skills to support our learning in all areas of the curriculum and to get really creative.
Some examples of work completed across the federation are shared below:
In Year 1 children completed a variety of maths problem solving activities and took place in a mindfulness yoga session as well as working with puppets.
In Year 2 children took part in a treasure hunt linked to their literacy sequence of learning. They also demonstrated their maths knowledge.
Year 3 began the day by focusing on group skills as they completed a speaking and listening task involving giving and following directions and observing and feeding back to a team. There was some fantastic listening going on in all three classrooms as the children took on their different roles. Overall, the children decided that being the observer was the most difficult role as it was hard not to intervene during the task. Later in the day, the children took part in some drama activities after listening to an extract from The BFG before making salt dough sculptures of the characters.
In year 4 children completed a science experiment and thought about how they could keep ice cubes and food cold without technology. Some children also worked on perfecting their handwriting formation using paints and syringes.
Year 5 were on the playground during their maths lesson with some fabulous planet props and their calculators, which they were using to practice their rounding skills. This was followed by a spelling bee in the classroom with children clearly relishing the opportunity to take a turn in the spelling hotseat. In the afternoon the children were learning about space and creating the sun, moon and the earth, following instructions very well to create some fantastic work.
We saw Year 6 working on their debating skills during English, debating where it would be better to live – Sparta or Athens – as part of their topic work on Ancient Greece. They were getting ‘hands on’ in maths, creating some tangrams. There were opportunities throughout the day for reading and learning how to use subjunctive connectives with games rather than pens. In the afternoon, the children were using Purple Mash to create music of their own on the laptops and then created some wonderful Greek laurel wreaths.
Feedback from the children was very positive. Here’s some of what the children shared following the day:
“We have done lots of activities that we wouldn’t normally do.”
“We’ve had to use our minds.”
“I really enjoyed the debating. Lots of people had their different opinions about whether they would like to live in Athens or Sparta.”
“I liked it because it was an unexpected change and I like a change once in a while.”
“I have enjoyed the games and cooking. I have made a BFG using a lolly stick because it is no pens day. I think my mum will be really interested in this.”
“My best bit about no pen day is the craft because I would like to be an artist – it is my dream job.”
“It is really cool how you can make music with only small amounts of varied noises.”
“I have enjoyed everything – the maths games and the handwriting with a syringe.”
“I enjoyed handwriting today because we got to use paints and a syringe.”
“We had loads of fun outside.”