We've made the Burnet News Club bigger, better and more flexible and given it a new name: Topical Talk
What the teacher says...
Justifies curriculum time
Before we took on the Burnet News Club, I was worried about how we would record progress and how we would justify the curriculum time to our headteacher. She was also worried about the funding. I had really put my head on the block. However, when she walked through the classes she saw engagement and excitement. Is it worth the curriculum time? Absolutely! You can make links across the curriculum in ways you never would have realised before.
Easily embeds in English
I was worried about other teachers thinking "yet another thing" when we don’t have enough time to teach everything else. I was already doing an after-school club and being a small school it couldn’t work as an after-school club due to funding. Because we could see the impact, everyone made space for it in their curriculum time and we’ve given one of the English sessions over to it a week because it hit targets of speaking, listening, engagement, and oracy.
Impact on students' confidence
In the first year I did it with my whole year 5 class and they absolutely loved it. Before doing the Burnet News Club, 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 Burnet News Club 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.”
Inclusive for all
It instantly engages and extends the most able and it is a relief to those children who might struggle to put their ideas down on paper because there is not a written outcome every time. They can speak and film each other and they can respond through pieces of art or a poem. It’s also great for the less able children who don’t have the same cultural capital as other children do. They would never be exposed to these topics without the Burnet News Club.
One student's story...
"One child has a speech impairment and although she is very comfortable at school and often puts up her hand in class, her statements would be quite short. This is a child who was worried if people would agree. She is at the bottom end of age-related expectation and has a special educational need. However, the Burnet News Club imparts confidence and empowers her to get involved. I can see her using higher level vocabulary in her writing, structuring ideas when she puts them down. Any written work is now more thought-through and there’s a better chance of her retaining a train a thought from beginning to end. She is really benefiting from it!"
Burnet News Club Teacher