How do we get students to be better informed about the world they live in?

​Students are notoriously bad at knowing what’s going on in the world.   They’re also often terrible at distinguishing between real and made up news.   If it appears on their snapchat feed, it must be true, right? If not, it can’t possibly be important! 

Our aim as educators is not just to get students to pass exams, it’s also about helping them develop into responsible citizens.   That means they need an understanding of the world around them, and the context in which they live. 

Hands up if you mostly resort to using Newsround in form time when you need to inject some awareness of world events?   I always did.  It was mostly because there wasn’t a great way to get the headlines up on the board to discuss without also getting the other irrelevant (often gossip) items appearing.    Newsround is great with the lower years, but by the time you get to KS4, it’s getting a bit babyish – at least according to them.  

That’s one of the reasons we built home4schools.com.  It was originally designed to be a homepage for schools, so that students would see the news headlines every single time they opened a browser window.  

The homepage is totally free to use, so even if you already have amazing form time resources, and you don’t need to subscribe, you can still use the homepage to get an overview of the news headlines to discuss.  

(We’ve just added a quiz based on the previous week’s news, as it’s a great way to encourage students to keep an eye on the headlines.)

All our headlines come from the BBC news feed, but it could be a really productive idea to screenshot headlines from different news sources to discuss bias

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Why do some sites have so much celebrity gossip?  

Why do some newspapers only ever print bad things about one of the main parties, but not the other(s)?  

How do you know if you can trust what you’re reading? 

If you’re not confident about explaining how to spot ‘fake news’, then here’s a handy checklist:

Spotting fake news

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