News literacy and critical thinking – autumn 2019 update

It’s going to be a busy term for everyone concerned about news literacy in schools. London CLC’s Peter Lillington highlights upcoming work and resources.

As the new term starts we’re eagerly looking forward to our London CLC collaborative project on news literacy with First News. We’ve now got the full complement of 10 schools signed up to participate later in the autumn but if you’d like to be involved at a later point do contact James to be put on a waiting list.

Sharing expertise

The plan is that activities around learning about where the news comes from, how it reaches us (both digital and non-digital channels) and how we know whether we can trust it, will take place in the project schools during October. It will all culminate in a special event at London CLC in November when teams of children from the schools will compete and collaborate. We expect they will then be eager to share resources and their new expertise and confidence with other classes back in their schools.

Beyond the schools taking part, our collaboration with First News will produce some joint resources on this important topic for all schools and we will share these more widely through our websites and the NewsWise resources pages. We’ll report back on that at our Computing Conference later this term.

A global issue

We’re going to be adding increased global awareness to the mix as well. First off, we’re participating in Google’s Global Media Literacy Summit, taking place in early September. It will be really interesting to hear not only Google’s take and actions around this important topic but also to learn from a range of speakers from across the globe. 

Secondly, we are thrilled to have been invited to speak at the British Council’s eTwinning Conference in Nottingham at the end of the month. We look forward to talking with school colleagues from across the country around the theme of democratic participation and critical literacy. We’ll report back on both these events here on the London CLC blog.

News Literacy Network

Closer to home, we’re also looking forward to an after-school visit to colleagues at the Guardian Foundation’s Education Centre in Kings Cross to learn more about their work with schools. Along with Guardian Foundation, First News and a number of other media and other education organisations, we continue to participate in the News Literacy network, which has grown out of the NewsWise initiative funded by Google, with National Literacy Trust, Guardian Foundation and the PSHE association. If you haven’t checked out the free resources for schools yet, have a look here:

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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