Case study | New Horizons Children’s Academy

We've made the Burnet News Club bigger, better and more flexible and given it a new name: Topical Talk

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What the teacher says...

Cultural capital opportunities

The Burnet News Club gives students cultural capital opportunities. They get to talk to experts related to the current topic that they would never have spoken to otherwise. Our school is in a highly deprived area and there would be almost no chance of talking to these kind of professionals if it wasn’t for the Burnet News Club. The children know their voice can be heard and it motivates them to know an expert will respond to something they’ve said. This is an opportunity school cannot always do for them.

Links to our curriculum

The Burnet News Club really links to the curriculum because students are getting so many cultural capital experiences. They are learning so much about the world around them and this is something we are really trying to get into our curriculum. For example, local Geography, wider UK and learning more about where they live – the Burnet News Club links to this perfectly. For the more traditional subjects, they are doing a lot of reasoning and thinking through their answers and considering what they think. It also helps with their writing and debating because it gives them a whole new vocabulary. It helps their performing in drama, not to mention their ICT skills through their use of the Hub. They’re doing art in the Burnet News Club through posters and cartoons. It has links throughout the curriculum.

Supported by parents

When I first started the Burnet News Club six years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. When we had the training I was concerned that the issues were quite sensitive – such as immigration – and this worried me. It was my main apprehension: how would parents respond to us tackling sensitive subjects? However, I've never had any problems, issues or complaints at all.

There’s a diverse mix of students in this school – students from both deprived backgrounds and some from very affluent backgrounds and so when I brought the Burnet News Club here I was a little concerned. I wasn’t sure how parents would respond, but they have been keen, supportive, and have thanked me on the gate for the fact their students are so engaged in the news! One parent works in politics and she was so impressed at how engaged her child was.

It’s reassuring for parents to see what their kids are doing – they can log on to the Burnet News Club Hub and see how safe it is. I was initially worried about cyber-safety but I know that the Burnet News Club team takes safeguarding very seriously and every comment gets moderated, so I have no concerns about that all.

"I would recommend the Burnet News Club to other schools because...

...children gain so much from it. They get a new passion for what’s going around them and they learn so many new skills. They become so much more independent in their learning because they want to research the news and they have the motivation to go home and learn about it. Many of our students are Pupil Premium eligible and they would not have these opportunities otherwise. You can teach about the news without the Burnet News Club, but it has such high quality resources that for me, it is the best way to teach about the news. Resources are sensitive to the age of the children and they are always really engaging."

Burnet News Club Teacher

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