Burnet News Club

Do you value teaching about the news, but don’t know where to start?

The Burnet News Club gives teachers and students everything they need to have inspiring discussions about the news.

Each half-term, teachers receive a fully resourced, six-session scheme of work that covers one current affairs topic in-depth. The resources can be used to run an extra-curricular club or to embed news literacy within your existing curriculum.

Between sessions, students connect with peers across the UK on our unique online discussion platform, the Hub.

Teachers are supported throughout the year: membership includes a whole day of teacher training and on-hand support from your own designated member of our schools team (who are all former-teachers!).

Watch the club in action

Develop news literacy in an age of misinformation

How often are your students pressed to think about these kinds of questions?

  • "When can we trust what we see on the news?"
  • "How much of our opinions are shaped by the news?"
  • "Why might some news stories matter to some people more than others?"

Due to a crowded curriculum, the answer to this is probably very little. These kinds of questions are more important than ever.

In an age of misinformation, soundbites and sensationalism, it’s important for students to form an accurate picture the world around them and to justify opinions based on sound evidence.

The Burnet News Club gives teachers everything they need to tackle the big stories, in depth. Each BNC Issue consists of ready-to-deliver session plans, click and play multimedia and discussion-rich activities.

"Quite simply, the club has been a revelation. This is down to both the students and the BNC team. Every week, new and interesting resources are produced and available, all of which go hand-in-hand with relevant and appropriate termly topics. These resources are accessible to all types of learners; they are bespoke, carefully-thought out and allow students to improve across a number of key skills."


"One of my students said “can we watch an episode of the news?” – which was absolutely brilliant, but as soon as I went to vet it, it was too violent. I had to look for a source that the children could access or appropriate for them but it was really hard because the sources were imbalanced. By doing the Burnet News Club, we know resources will keep an objective view, and we can be safe in the knowledge that we're not going expose them to anything that’s going to ruin our lives!"


Proven impact in schools

The Club helps students build knowledge of current affairs, whilst developing their news literacy skills.

Each activity develops reasoning, scepticism, open-mindedness and confidence. These news literacy skills are measured rigorously, with proven results.

Our most recent Impact Report shows:

  • Burnet News Club students make 150% more progress than their peers in news literacy skills
  • 96% of teachers said the Club has a positive impact on students' overall literacy
  • 4 out of 5 teachers said that because of the Club, students were having significantly more conversations about the news outside of the sessions.

Benefits of the Club

The Burnet News Club enhances all aspects of the classroom

It builds students’ confidence

The Burnet News Club gives young people the confidence to find their voice on the biggest news issues affecting their lives.

  • Activities turn thinking into physical games, to empower those who usually clam up
  • Debating activities raise the stakes slowly, to help students express themselves to an audience
  • The online Hub gives students a safe space to share their opinions outside of the classroom, with a diverse range of students and special expert contributors

These fact-based, inquisitive discussions provide opportunities to challenge scary misconceptions and reduce anxiety-provoking uncertainty.

It's practical and easy to run

With the seemingly ever-increasing demands from above, planning time is at a premium. Rather than another thing to do, the Burnet News Club is another way of doing what you’re already doing.

  • For teachers who run the Club as an extra-curricular activity:
    Turn up and deliver. No planning. No thinking up new challenges and ideas each week. No wonder Keith Roberts at Graveney School describes his resources as a “god-send”.
  • For teachers who deliver the Club within the curriculum:
    See how it links to the PSHE Association’s Programme of Study here. Each BNC Issue also covers areas within the traditional curriculum and gives teachers classroom-ready activities they can use across subjects and age groups.

It develops your broad and balanced curriculum

Depth across the curriculum:
Contextualise student knowledge, draw conceptual links between subjects and make numbers relevant.

Cross-curricular links:
Current affairs connect subjects, from locations, to historical narrative, to statistics and citizenship.

Progression of skills:
Our News Literacy Framework presents a clear scale of assessment.


"Before doing the BNC, the students felt they needed permission for the right to have opinions on things. I was just talking to a child this afternoon and she feels that thanks to the BNC she can say things without being judged. She said “I now have the courage to say something without worrying whether people will agree with me."


"I was worried about other teachers thinking ‘yet another thing’ when we don’t have enough time to teach everything else, and I’m already doing an after-school club, and we’re a small school and it couldn’t work as an after school club due to funding. However, everyone made space for it in their curriculum time, we’ve given one of the English sessions over to it a week because it hit targets of speaking, listening, engagement, and oracy."


The Hub

A unique online discussion platform where students connect with peers from across the UK.

Between sessions, students can:

  • Publish their opinions on the news on the moderated discussion board
  • Enter weekly competitions and win skill stars for their school
  • Ask questions of world-leading experts

How do we recognise student contributions?

Students are awarded stars when they demonstrate a news literacy skill or respond in a way which provokes deeper thinking. Each half-term, outstanding work is published in a special magazine and one school is recognised as “Thought Leader” - an award that comes with a prize.

"The BNC has thankfully opened my eyes to become a lot more curious about the world. One of the most important things I've learnt is to engage, listen and understand the opinions of others even though their views may differ to mine. BNC members are willing to seek out the facts to become more informed, knowing when to be sceptical but also willing to accept the truth when evidence presents itself."


"In class I'm quiet and don't often share my views. On the Hub I can say what I think without being judged. It lets me express my opinion and most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to see other people's perspectives. Writing to others and receiving replies broadens my mind and knowledge."


Support for teachers

Training and support throughout the year

  • Our annual training day equips all new Burnet News Club teachers with a practical understanding of how to run the Club. In 2019, 100% of teachers rated this day as “Excellent”
  • Our teachers model news literacy skills to students on the Hub and provide daily feedback on their contributions
  • Every school is offered a visit from our team, either to model a session, provide feedback or help celebrate student achievement
  • If your school is part of a multi-academy trust or federation, there's the opportunity to attend further training to develop your practice
  • We remain in contact with teachers, respond to queries and provide personalised support
  • Our Burnet News Club Awards Ceremony, hosted at Buckingham Palace, recognises student and teacher success at the end of each year

"The BNC team are always accessible and approachable by email and they regularly reply to emails. They solve issues as quickly as efficiently as possible. All resources are produced by the team and advice is given on how to facilitate these. Contact between teacher and BNC team is close, with regular newsletter updates and notices when data is needed. The team have also visited the school, which made students feel valued and the club important."


"We found the activities and the overall vision of the course fantastic for supporting the development of core literacy skills - particularly talking, listening and writing. The links with our benchmarks were very easy to identify, and the skills framework gave us lovely ways of sharing learning criteria with pupils. There are so many benefits across the curriculum - it meant a consistent experience for all of one year group, which allowed for sharing of materials and reflections."



If you're a one-form entry school or a secondary school, get in touch to find out about our special rates!

1 academic year of Burnet News Club membership

  • 6 fully resourced Issues, delivered every half-term
  • Full day of teacher training
  • 33 student accounts for the Hub
  • Moderation of all student work on the Hub
  • Weekly competitions for your students
  • Year-round support from your School Relationships Manager
  • A visit to help you set up your Club

We're now taking applications for academic year 2020-21!

Interested? Get in touch!

I'd like to sign up but I have some questionsI'd like to talk about embedding this across several schoolsI’d like to learn about your special offer for secondary schoolsI’d like to learn about your special offer for one-form entry schools