Posted on December 2nd 2019
Chobham No Pen Day
In our every changing social milieu. In a world dominated by tweets, emails, instant chats – for students stabbing digits into a keypad all day has become as everyday as a political scandal. So, on Thursday, the whole academy took the conscious decision to embrace the art of oracy!
“It was so different! Exciting – kind of made me think about my answers in a different way,” claimed Chloe in YR9. “We debated everything from the environment, to impact of Victorian literature to euthanasia. It really opened up our class and helped me learn a lot about my peers’ and opinions on the world we live in.’
No Pens Day is now a movement. Recent studies show it has reached a total of over 7,000 schools and settings since it started in 2011. A recent poll of the some of the inner-city schools that participate 80% of respondents said that taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday raised their awareness of speech, language and communication needs, whilst 96% said they'd do things differently around school as a result of their involvement. Moreover 19% of respondents they had identified pupils who were struggling with spoken language that they'd not known about before.
Chatting to the English Department, a myriad of planning and thought went into “No Pens Day” and the consideration of what they wanted to achieve from these innovative English lessons proved quite enlightening. “Considering the traditional structure of a large amount of English, predominately students will end up picking up a pen to finalise their thoughts or analysis. However, the freedom of this day has really allowed my students to consider their answers in a much more ontological, wide reacting and original manner. The results have been genuinely fascinating and have really reflected upon how I can incorporate this further into my pedagogy!’ Ms Osman stated. ‘I used Drama in my lesson! I forgot how much fun it was for out student in KS4 to bring a play to alive. It really helped them consider what a particular character’s motivations are?’ Ms O’Donnell, beamed after teaching her YR10 “An Inspector Calls.”
A recent study states, “one of the largest barriers for students getting on in life is a lack of eloquence or inability to order or express their thoughts. Employers put confident oral communication at the top of their requirements, however, it’s seldom taught in schools.” Oracy is a skill. It can be taught and honed. Through discussion, debate students are more equip to not only to deal with their GCSE answers in a more critical and evaluate manner, but to prepare them for their future employment.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” The importance of them being able to debate, argue and get their point across on the global issues facing our planet have never been more vital.
“Next year we would like to have a parent workshop where they could join in some of the activities. “Mr Ward suggested, hoping the freedom and fun in the lessons would encourage parents really come and join in some debate, discussion and discourse.
So, is Chobham mightier than the pen? On Thursday 28th November, for one day only at least, we think was…