At Vinehall we have been joining in and celebrating No Pens Day with a variety of activities across all year groups and subjects. The children have really enjoyed the opportunity to use different skills and mediums to express their thoughts and absorb knowledge.
Year 4 have been creating playscripts from a chapter of the Horrid Henry books, acting them out in groups in front of the class. They learned the conventions of a playscript through the play Little Red Riding Hood. All have been superbly enthusiastic!
In French 75% of our activities involve no pens! So, it was the perfect opportunity to practise our listening (ecouter), speaking (parler) and reading (lire) skills.
Year 7 and 8 watched and listened to several “Dr Nemesis” sketches in French in which many familiar questions are asked of the would-be spy, but with a twist! It is a spoof of the speaking test where pupils are grilled on topics familiar to them, so humorous as well as being a good opportunity to practise translation technique.
They then played a board game, all in French, which involved rolling a dice and asking each other similar questions depending on where they landed on the board, then answering them in different tenses.
The Years 5 and 6 watched different authentic French scenes – in a French school in Marseille and then had a structured game with a dice to ask each other about their favourite subjects and opinions, as well as arranging when and where to meet in town (rendez-vous).
The Geography department spent lessons on computers to learn/test global locations using Lizard Point quizzes.
Ploughed on as usual – they never use pens!
Year 3 tasted figs, olives, grapes and dates as they imagined what it must have been like in Israel two thousand years ago. Some children ate everything, and some tasted things and then spat them out! All a learning curve for them – oh the joys of being a Year 3 teacher, and not a writing implement in sight!
Apart from no pens in a school being somewhat akin to a hospital operating without medicines, here’s what we did.
I explained the format and requirements of a CE paper, which all pupils will encounter at some point at Vinehall, regardless of which school they are going to or how they are getting there; it is a good exam paper!
And then we played the popular game Plebs to Patricians: an oral memory test of Vocabulary. Pupils are promoted or demoted according to how much they get right.
The Pre-Prep continued their French learning with action songs: colours, numbers, animals, parts of the body (to the song, “Jean Petit qui danse” and “la tete, les epaules, les genoux et les pieds), classroom objects and commands. The Year 2s also said when their birthdays are and what the weather is like.
Nursery and Kindergarten
The Nursery and Kindergarten children have had a very creative day without using pens! We have been cooking in the Little Vines Kitchen. In the morning we baked bread just like ‘The Little red Hen.’ In the afternoon we made the most delicious Pea Hummus using the electric blender, the children loved pushing the button to make the machine blend the ingredients.
Reception held a “Super Sense” morning. They didn’t use their pens but instead used all their senses to smell, touch, taste, listen and see. Mrs Garwood and Mrs Parkin didn’t use any pens either, which was a challenge!
Year 1 started No Pens Day by putting their mental maths to the test through games such as addition snakes and ladders. The children then explored Puerto Rico through a maraca dance.
Year 2 made a Newsround report set in 1666 to go with our work on the Fire of London. We had newsreaders and roving reporters interviewing Samuel Pepys and King Charles the Second.