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OAT sows seeds of curiosity with magazine partnership

A pilot programme is being launched between The Week Junior magazine and Ormiston Academies Trust

Posted by Julian Owen | December 07, 2017 | School life

Pupils from four Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) academies are participating in a new enrichment programme pilot which will see award-winning children’s magazine, The Week Junior, build news clubs, debate days and career experience workshops into their school timetable. The move is a plan to engage pupils' curiosity and help them to make better sense of the world. 

OAT decided to run its pilot in response to growing evidence - such as leading child development expert Dr Jacqueline Harding’s research report, made in partnership with The Week Junior - showing that explaining and engaging children in learning about current affairs has development benefits. The Week Junior is claimed to be the UK’s fastest growing children’s subscription magazine, with 50,000 subscriptions in two years. 

Enriching students’ education and inspiring pupils to use their curiosity and creativity is a “major priority” for OAT, who launched the OAT Enrichment Charter in 2016. This aims to develop pupils’ skills, talents and character. It also aims to nurture social and cultural awareness and understanding. 

The enrichment programme, which will run for three months, will aim to: 

 - Enable pupils to make sense of the world's most interesting, important and exciting news and events

 - Encourage reading, thinking and talking; empowering students to form and share their own opinions

 - Provide evidence on how schools can best unpack and explain important issues to pupils 

The Week Junior will provide schools with copies of the magazine every week so that pupils can use it as a current affairs classroom resource. The publication will also: host an exclusive magazine career experience day; launch a competition for aspiring reporters; and run a debating workshop in partnership with the English Speaking Union, allowing children the chance to express their new ideas and utilise their growing confidence. 

Jemima Waltho, National Enrichment Champion at Ormiston Academies Trust said: “At Ormiston Academies Trust, we are always looking for innovative programmes to help our students develop their skills and interests, and to broaden their horizons. Partnering with The Week Junior is a great opportunity to ensure our students benefit from discussing current affairs. We look forward to the brilliant opportunities it will provide our students.”

Anna Bassi, Editor at The Week Junior, said: “We are delighted to partner with OAT to deliver this enrichment programme. The purpose of The Week Junior is to encourage young people to read, think and talk about current affairs, and we look forward to seeing OAT students engaging with news and events and developing their own ideas and opinions about the world they live in.”

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