Try our free weekly news resources!
Each week, we publish news resources designed for learners aged 9-14. A range of activities help them tackle the big stories in depth and think critically in an age of fake news.
If you work in a school, use them to get thoughtful discussions going in as little as 20 minutes such as in form/pastoral time.
These resources can also be used at home: whether you're a home-educator keen to embed the news in your curriculum or a parent who enjoys kitchen-table conversations.
Since September, we have focussed on one story for two weeks through our new series of resources: News Cycle.
A news cycle is the period of time between one news story, or batch of stories, being published and replaced by another. Our two-week approach helps young people follow the latest issues and see beyond the headlines to digest what's happening.
In part 1, learners get everything they need to know about the story and tackle some initial questions. In part 2, they explore deeper concepts and develop their opinions.
Resources designed for form/pastoral time or for home-learning
News Cycle | Robot Revolution
Covid-19 is changing the way we work. Businesses have been forced to adapt and many have turned to technology in the hope of finding new, more efficient ways of working. Are we on course for a “robot revolution” over the next five years? And what will it look like?
News Cycle | American Election Results
Nearly 88 hours after most polls closed Joe Biden secured Pennsylvania and, with it, the presidency. Help learners understand why it took so long to announce a winner, why Donald Trump refuses to concede and what the result might mean for America.
News Cycle | Banksy
A hula-hooping girl appears on a wall in Nottingham, England. What happened next? This week, download a resource that tells the story of Banksy’s latest mural and gets learners thinking about the questions it raises. When does art become vandalism? And vice-versa. Part 1 and 2.
News Cycle | Covid-19 and Trump
Download activities that assess the information around President Trump’s positive test for covid-19. How did the information emerge and who from? What do people think about how Mr Trump handled his own diagnosis? Part 1 and 2.
News Cycle | Coronavirus and the environment
Lockdowns have seen pollution levels in many countries plummet. Yet, as activity returns to normal, so will emissions. Is this an opportunity to press the reset button and build back better? The download includes Part 1 and 2.
News Cycle | Russia
Help learners think critically about the story of Alexei Navalny – a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin – who was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. What do we know so far? What are governments saying about the case? The download includes Part 1 and 2.
News Cycle | TikTok
Download the first in our new series of resources designed for form/pastoral time. In this resource, learners investigate why Donald Trump seeks to ban the social app TikTok. Get thoughtful discussions going in as little as 20 minutes! The download includes Part 1 and 2.
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Past classroom resources
A positive human future
Inspire discussions in their classrooms about the future of cities! Explore and debate the opportunities and challenges of modern city living, unpick the data informing us about cities, research and evaluate case studies of technological innovation in cities and generate ideas of their own.
Coronavirus and gender
Is the coronavirus affecting men and women differently? Encourage learners to study this question from several angles: from death rates, to the impact of lockdown to numbers on the front line. Challenge them to form and express opinions based on verifiable evidence.
Coronavirus and wellbeing
Help children reflect on their wellbeing in the current climate and consider how they could help themselves and others. This resource encourages learners to think about how people are coping during the pandemic and the factors that can affect this. Learners can also find links to help on mental health.
Covid-19 stories are shared at the click of a button and debates are arising about the world’s response. Encourage learners to assess the truth of what they read about the coronavirus and reflect on the different perspectives on this unfolding story. What can we learn from our experiences so far?
Crisis and conspiracies
Help learners separate fact from fiction by understanding how conspiracy theories start and spread. Also, who is responsible for stopping their spread? Look at fake stories about the coronavirus and investigate the dangers of letting conspiracy theories go unchallenged.
A six-session resource that explores the impact of extreme weather. Encourage learners to investigate how extreme weather affects different communities, evaluate different responses that the world can make and reflect on the responsibilities countries have to each other.
Finding the truth with photographs
This workshop explores media representation of current affairs using the war photography of Roger Fenton in The Crimean War. This workshop covers areas of History, English and Citizenship. It will take approximately 75 minutes to run.
Freedom of speech
Provoke thinking about what people should be allowed to say, and who should make the rules. This resource helps learners take a stance on debates about freedom of speech – a concept that’s becoming even more central as the internet gives many people a platform to speak.
Front page news
A recent study by Columbia University suggested that when people find news online, many do not get beyond the headlines. Help learners think for themselves about the power of headlines and the ways newspapers present stories. What responsibilities do they have to their audiences?
Is a vegan society a better society?
Recently, many people have been reflecting on their lifestyles and values. This resource asks: Is a vegan society a better society? Let learners explore what it means to be vegan and approach the debate from several different angles.
This workshop opens up the discussion about knife crime, the statistics and some possible solutions. It’s suitable for 11- to 16-year-olds and teachers are encouraged to adapt it as necessary. There are two activities which total 40 minutes but these can be run separately.
Numeracy in the news
Apply numeracy skills to the real world by helping learners make sense of the numbers in the news: investigate how numbers can be presented to support a viewpoint, interrogate the accuracy of headline claims and empower learners to make their own judgments based on evidence.
Numeracy in the News
Supported by KPMG, an accounting firm, we’ve created a set of activities to help learners make sense of the numbers in the news and empower them to make their own judgments based on evidence. Investigate how numbers can be presented to support a viewpoint and interrogate headlines.
The Economist’s editorial cartoonist, Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, guides learners through his creative process before challenging them to get drawing. Discover the importance of “four hats” to the design process and get learners planning and drawing their own news cartoons!
Politicians and Power
This resource gives students the opportunity to discuss and make judgements on real examples of politicians’ behaviour, leading to ethical questions about justice, democracy, responsibility and power. It complements the National Curriculum for England: KS2-4 Citizenship.
Racism Part I
Help learners to explore questions like: What is prejudice? What does discrimination look like? Whose responsibility is it to end racism? This download also includes advice on managing sensitive conversations with young people and contains links to further anti-racism resources.
Racism Part II
“Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed,” said the actor Will Smith in 2016. Download activities that investigate the historical context behind the Black Lives Matter movement and explore questions about what’s happening right now, such as is racism always obvious?
Rights and the internet
Unsurprisingly, worldwide internet use has soared over the past few months. Download activities that help learners understand what human rights are, and decide for themselves whether getting online is now a human right, and whether the current coronavirus pandemic is a factor.
Can your learners complete our scavenger-hunt challenge? Pit them against each other, or the clock! There are ten answers to find, all lurking within the resources we’ve sent out since March. Can they collect them all? Each resource can be downloaded from this section of this page.
Seeing the whole picture
Photographs can shape our reactions to current affairs. How do we know when to trust them? These fun activities help learners explore the role of photographs in the news and challenge them to step behind the lens themselves. Can they create two contrasting impressions of the same subject?
Sport and politics I
More than ever, politicians, players and the public have been weighing in on sport’s role and responsibilities. These activities help learners explore whether sport and politics should mix. Is it acceptable to express political opinions on the field? Do sportspeople have greater responsibilities than others?
Sport and politics II
Building on our first sport and politics session, this resource helps learners see the arguments on either side of the debate – should sport and politics mix? Through this activity, they can hear from a range of viewpoints on this question and are challenged to stage their own radio discussion!
The climate emergency
Introduce students to the climate emergency and get them discussing big questions from a range of perspectives. Help them form their own opinions on responsibility, action and obstacles to progress. This resource is particularly good for developing students’ ability to give reasons for their answers.
Recently, many people have been reflecting on their lifestyles and values. This resource asks: Is a vegan society a better society? Let learners explore what it means to be vegan, approach the debate from several different angles, and get into character to make decisions!
What’s the news?
When children talk about the news, they’ll often focus on events rather than where the stories have come from. This resource helps learners step back and think more carefully about where they find their news in order to help form an accurate picture of the world and justify opinions based on sound evidence.
World Earth Day
April 22nd is Earth Day, and this resource engages students with big questions about climate change and climate action. They’re challenged to consider the specific steps they can take over different timescales, to discuss the obstacles and to question where responsibilities lie.