Newsday Tuesday

Firstly, this idea isn't mine, it was shared with me by John Murray, the fantastic reading and spelling trainer I work with. I believe he had seen this at a school he had done some work with, I will try and find the name of the school and add it to the blog post.

The 2016 word of the year was... Post-Truth, this video explains the reasoning behind it:

I believe there are a number of reasons why there seems to be such a disconnect from politics and news especially with the younger generation. One is the rise in fake news and the lack of education around the consumption of news online. I discuss this a lot more on my CPD sessions but there is a massive gullibility with people online. Generally, we seem to take things at face value if it fits our own beliefs rather than actually investigating the truth behind it. It is imperative we are educating young people to question and interrogate what they see online and demonstrate how easy it is to manipulate content to fit a certain agenda. 

Another reason is that we don't try and engage children in current issues and the news. With timetables already crammed, trying to fit in as much as possible to tick every box going, there is never any time to chat about current issues or share news stories especially when SATS are so close!

So here is an idea you might want to implement in your school. It is called Newsday Tuesday. So every Tuesday or every other Tuesday, you have a whole school assembly where three teachers share a story from the news. The first teacher shares a local news story, the other shares a national story and the last an international story. They are given a strict 7 minute timer to discuss and share the story. It is completely up to the teacher what type of news story they share. But what is important is that some of the time is used to explain WHY the teacher has chosen the story and why it has affected them personally. It is vital as the fact that personal choices of the news items chosen (the funny, bizarre and tragic) will reflect the spectrum of life itself and prepare them to take their place in the wider world. 

As a whole school, you will need to sort a timetable so that if a teacher does the first assembly covering the local story, then next time they will cover the national and so on. This shouldn't be planned for and SHOULDN'T add to a teacher's workload. Instead, it should give a teacher some quality time to share something from the news that they feel is important. 

If it was me, I would get my class involved, so if I knew I would be doing the national story, I would ask my class to try and find a good story over the weekend that I can use. On the Monday at quarter to three, I would ask my class to share what they had found and choose one to then share to the whole school. 

I think this is such a valuable idea that not only demonstrates how much your school values the news but also will start to engage children in the news, politics and current affairs.

John saw this at a school in Liverpool just before Christmas where they sensitively talked about the Brazilian club Chapecoense air crash. They ended with a minute's silence and prayer. It allows children to grow empathy, understanding, compassion and maturity. It will help develop and strengthen a child's emotional dexterity, which goes back to one of my golden phrases in teaching... Don't just teach the curriculum, develop the whole child. 


  1. Thanks Lee. I had a Head Teacher in Grimsby tell me a few weeks back that this is his staff and learners’ favourite assembly of the week. Some schools place a news desk at the front and have a news room up on the big screen that they have taken from You Tube too to help immerse their learners and authenticate the experience. It also helps if you are flexible with the seven minute timings so that more time can be given over to bigger news stories or those that will have a greater impact upon them. Personally, I think this is more effective, especially when it is a Key Stage 2 only assembly. A simple idea that develops the Text-World aspect of Reading Comprehension, one that is crucial for the developing reader. Interestingly, the idea was shared by a small rural school in North Yorkshire that realised that knowing about the wider world was important for their learners who were, to some extent, isolated from bigger communities. If you value learning, take a chance and try it. Trust me - you and your learners will love it…no marking, no heavy work load, big impact.



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