Children and the news – Young Journalist Academy

The Young Journalist Academy, celebrating its 10th year, has announced a new trial scheme helping to raise children’s awareness and engagement with news and current affairs. Founded in 2008, it spends time in schools, working with children to build their own newsrooms through film, radio and written journalism.

Just one of five English projects selected by the RSA, and in partnership with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the Young Journalist Academy will be part of this trial into cultural learning.
The aim of the Learning about Culture programme is to investigate its impact on academic achievements, skills and behaviours such as self-confidence and creativity.

Paradigm Arts is the culture and education provider behind the YJA. Rob Pitman, Director, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this trial which couldn’t come at a more vital time for arts and culture within education. We have spent the last 10 years building a programme we feel is exemplary and the opportunity to work with the RSA and EEF on evidencing impact in such an ambitious and rigorous way is very exciting.”

If your school would like to be involved in the Young Journalist Academy trials, at a reduced cost, you can find out more and register interest at Paradigm Arts.Learning and practising broadcast journalism skills

Healthy eating for kids

Make sure your school is fully geared up for teaching great nutrition understanding, for life. With child obesity a hot news topic right now, it’s more important than ever to deliver the best knowledge and skills for young learners.
So it’s great to hear about this inspiring new course available for all UK primary school teachers, launched by the British Nutrition Foundation.

Food for Thought, BNF - y5 cooking

It’s specifically targeted, with content based on requirements for the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish curricula, covering core competencies for 5-16 year olds, the self-paced course will begin in January 2018.

Modules will include Food in Schools, Healthy Eating – The Eatwell Guide, Nutrition understanding, Food Safety and Cooking. Short tests and assessments will allow teachers to monitor their progress, and the course includes a final certificate.
Topmarks thinks this it’ll be a great way for teachers to balance their own learning development, and being an online plan, you can work at your own pace around busy schedules. It only lasts 5-7hours.
Plus best of all, the course is FREE, so we’re convinced it’ll be great for teachers wanting to confidently deliver the most up-to-date and food teaching information, and equip children with life-long, motivating values.

Food for Thought, BNF - year1 cooking

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education for the BNF, explained more about why they’re developing this course, in conjunction with Public Health England and the DoE: “It’s vital that teachers who are educating children about food and nutrition have access to appropriate training, receiving up-to-date information and guidance on food skills.”

Food for Thought, BNF - year3 cooking

How can you get involved?

  • Registration is open to UK primary schools and those in primary teacher training
  • Each school can sign up for a single registration, but will receive details for multiple teachers to access the resources, when the course is available in January. (Topmarks tip: Great for science coordinators to organise, so don’t miss out!)


Fab Free STEM Resources

The IET Faraday website offers great, free STEM resources for primary and secondary schools. These include brilliant classrooom posters, careers packs, videos, activities and lesson plans.


We think primary school teachers won’t want to miss the fab free science posters.


Resources can be filtered by subject, age range, activity duration, Key Stage and even by exam board. There’s also information about Faraday Challenge days which is a real world engineering competition.

IET Faraday have also teamed up with the BBC who have created a series of exciting scientific investigations on their Terrific Scientific website, that are well worth investigating.

New More or Less Game

Last week we launched another new game, Chopper Squad which is designed to help children learning the concept of one more or less and ten more or less. It is a simpler version of our recently launched Helicopter Rescue which is proving very popular. Chopper Squad uses varying sized number grids up to a hundred square. It is also useful for those children who are beginning to extend their knowledge of the first numbers as the smallest grid focuses on the numbers 1 to 30.