Topical Talk is flexible
We provide a library of free world-class resources on the big issues in the news. A new resource on a current topic is published to our dedicated Topical Talk website every week.
Teachers use these however they like. That could be for a lively one-off discussion to bring a curriculum topic to life with real-world links, or a thoughtful and balanced conversation to help students explore an issue that’s on their minds. Download a sample resource.
"Quite simply, the programme has been a revelation. Every week, new and interesting resources are produced, all of which go hand-in-hand with relevant and appropriate termly topics. These are accessible to all learners: they are bespoke, carefully thought-out and allow students to improve across a number of key skills."
MICHAEL BAKER, FARINGDON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
We support you to have regular discussions about the world
The most meaningful, lasting impact on children comes from in-depth, regular Topical Talk discussions. These build essential thinking and communication skills, and teach children to use these for engaging with the world in the ways they’ll need to in future work and as citizens.
In today’s schools, finding the space for these can be a real challenge. But everything worthwhile is. So the core purpose of Topical Talk is supporting the inspiring teachers who are dedicated to overcoming the barriers and having regular, in-depth discussions about the news which equip their students to thrive in the modern world.
We enable you to offer the most impactful, exciting opportunities to students, have deeply rewarding teaching experiences, and invest in your development as transformative educators.
We provide a new resource every week for free, so teachers can use them to run a weekly news club or introduce weekly news discussions into school time. Ideal for students aged 9 to 14.
Topical Talk Festival
We put on Topical Talk Festival to make regular classroom discussions even more exciting by linking them to international discussions with other schools and global topic experts, and giving children a chance to win awards for their views on the topics in writing, audio journalism and film. Ideal for students aged 9 to 14.
We provide world-class teacher training and development that supports passionate teachers to make inspiring classroom discussions about the news a regular feature of school life.
Contact our Teacher Engagement and Development Lead to learn more:
Have questions about using Topical Talk in your school?
"I wasn't really sceptical about the news and believed almost everything I read but it has taught me that not everything is true. I love sharing ideas and listening to others. It's very educational and helps me get involved in the news."
Skills and knowledge
Children who join Topical Talk discussions regularly make significant accelerated progress in creativity, problem-solving, listening with an open mind and speaking with confidence. We use the Skills Builder Framework to build students’ skills and – in collaboration with teachers – to measure their progress.
Children learn to use these skills to engage effectively with real-world issues affecting their lives and communities. They build in-depth knowledge about the news, and the workings of the world which shape news stories.
"The programme has had a profound impact in the lives of the students we serve; in terms of confidence, self-esteem, criticality and engagement with current affairs. It has also set them on a course to being engaged and questioning citizens."
MATT HARRIS, NAPIER COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
Topical Talk core principles
Topical Talk is informed by evidence and a decade of experience supporting children to become strong critical thinkers and communicators.
To combine deep educational knowledge with world-class journalistic expertise.
To counter mis- or dis-information on the topics and support young people to value expertise.
Encourages creativity and problem-solving by presenting philosophical questions and hard choices, and encourages effective speaking and listening by positioning teachers as facilitators, not lecturers
Extensive evidence has proven that oral language approaches have very high impact on pupils’ progress. These approaches, including ‘dialogic teaching’, support children to interact verbally including reasoning, discussing, arguing and explaining rather than just responding to information, to build higher-order thinking and articulacy. Creativity, problem-solving, speaking and listening are linked to improved outcomes from higher wages to better wellbeing.
- Supports dialogic teaching by encouraging children to engage with new or different ideas.
- Makes discussions more inclusive by representing young people’s experiences.
- Introduces pupils to new knowledge.
Makes young people explicitly aware of how they can improve their creativity, problem-solving, speaking and listening about real-world issues
Metacognition approaches, which teach children to think explicitly about how to improve their learning and give them strategies to do so, have been extensively proven to have high impact on pupils’ progress.
Supports engaging, accessible learning experiences.
Ready to sign up?
Create a Topical Talk account on our dedicated website and get free weekly resources to use in your classroom.