Where do you get your news from?
For this week’s topic pupils in school are looking at the following articles of the UN Convention on the rights of the child:
Article 17 (access to information from the media)
Article 12 (respect of the views of the child)
Our main focus is, ‘What do our pupils think is going on in the world’ and ‘Where do our pupils get this information from?’ When you think about these questions it is easy to forget that most of the news that is accessible to the public is aimed at adults, how do children find out about what is happening in the world?
When we asked the pupils what was in the news, they mentioned Syria and terrorist attacks, as well as Donald Trump being elected in America. Interestingly, when asked if they thought that the Trump election win was a good thing, the vast majority of the school thought it was not. Where did they get that information from?
One thing we are aware of in school is how many children just know parts of the news, but not the full story. They hear adults talking about events, without understanding the true meaning or understanding the full facts. One pupil talked about how the French want to make their words sound less English and that tornadoes have come to Britain. I’m not sure if these are true or not. Where did they get this information from?
Within school we have many ways to get the full facts. As a school we subscribe to First News, a weekly newspaper for children. The newspaper writes about issues that are relevant to children in an easily accessible way. As well as popular stories pupils know about, the paper also has a home news and international news section.
As well as our subscription to First News, the school also subscribes to Brainpop, a series of animated cartoons explaining various concepts to pupils. The concepts can range from explaining how to add fractions through to what is happening in the middle east. This is a great resource that pupils can access to help them understand the issues behind the news. For example terrorism is in the news at the moment, pupils could search that topic and find about about 9/11, airport security, Malala Yousafzai and about the troubles in Northern Ireland.
The school also access newsround on CBBC. If you walk around school first thing in the morning, you can often hear the morning bulletin coming out of classrooms. This is a great way for pupils to access a reliable news source in a child friendly way.
The final ideas discussed through our assembly topic was who can you trust when you hear the news. We all know the internet is a valuable resource that contains a huge amount of information, but how much of it can you trust? Our main message to pupils was go to the resources you can trust, for example, the resources we have in school. If you do that you can access reliable, trustworthy information that will keep you up to date about the important goings on in the world.