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Pupils enjoy worldly learning

A collaboration between The Week Junior magazine and Ormiston Academies Trust has boosted both confidence and interest in current affairs

Posted by Julian Owen | November 26, 2018 | Teaching

Collaboration on a pilot enrichment programme by The Week Junior magazine and Ormiston Academies Trust has reportedly resulted in a boost in curiosity and confidence in students. 

Responding to evidence that engaging with current affairs provides students with invaluable life skills - resilience, improved vocabulary, and so forth – the partners launched the pilot in October 2017. 

The programme was designed for Year 6, 7 and 8 students, with core aims of enabling pupils to engage with world news and events, and encouraging reading, thinking and talking about current affairs.  

Along with weekly copies of the magazine for use in the classroom, and extra-curricular activities such as debating clubs, The Week Junior laid on: 

 - Magazine career experience Students had the opportunity to find out about the different roles at a publishing company and the skills they would need

 - Roving reporter competition Students were encouraged to practice their literacy skills by writing a news report, with thewinning entry featured in the magazine

 - Big debate workshop Students were invited to participate in debating games, practice public speaking and show off their new skills in a live debate. Teachers noted that the confidence boost in their students since the session – run by The English Speaking Union – has been enormous 

Feedback on the scheme was overwhelmingly positive, with teachers noticing a marked increase in student confidence and interest in the world around them; even reluctant readers were motivated to read for pleasure. 

The Week Junior is continuing the programme with four new schools across the UK: Ark Tindal Primary Academy in Birmingham, St Werburghs & St Columbas Primary in Chester, Mansfield Primary Academy in Nottingham, and Skegby Junior Academy in Skegby. 

Jemima Waltho, Enrichment Manager at Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “Joining this partnership with The Week Junior has been fantastic. All four participating schools have noticed a significant increase in their students' motivation to read, engage with current affairs and share their opinions in class discussions.”

Anna Bassi, Editor-in-Chief at The Week Junior, said: “We are delighted that our partnership with OAT was such a success. The purpose of The Week Junior is to encourage young people to read, think and talk about current affairs, and schools provide the ideal environment for this. It is a pleasure to work with such engaged schools who are so committed to providing the very best education for their students.”

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