What is the impact of First News in schools?
First News has been proven to help your pupils’ reading. In 2015, the National Literacy Trust evaluated the impact of using the First News Reading Package in schools. An online survey and reading test conducted among over 500 children in Years 3 to 6 before and after participation in classroom activities showed positive changes in both reading attitudes and attainment. You can see either the full evaluation here or the summary here.
I’m not sure how to introduce newspapers into the classroom …
Pupils will get more out of reading a newspaper if it is explicitly taught. Children will then understand the purpose of newspapers, the organization and traditions of the text types, and know the language and vocabulary to discuss the stories. This will help develop pupils’ critical literacy skills and enable them to become fake news spotters of the future. Ideas and activities for introducing newspapers can be found here.
How can First News work in my primary school?
We recommend integrating First News into weekly reading. In one weekly reading session, give pupils the opportunity to read the newspaper to find the stories that interest them. In a second reading slot use one of the printed or iHub reading activities, such as the news comprehension or debate, to develop pupils’ reading skills. This works easily in guided reading carousels and gives pupils regular access to non-fiction. Other First News reading activities can be used for homework. A sample guided reading plan can be found here.
How can First News work in my secondary school?
First News is a flexible classroom resource that can be used in different ways depending on your school context. Why not dedicate one KS3 English lesson a week for news and developing core non-fiction reading skills? Pupils can then read the newspaper (many secondary schools use the digital version of First News) and develop comprehension skills with the iHub comprehension and debating activities. The iHub weekly polls give engaging content for form-time discussions. The Level One and Level Two news activities are ideal for supporting pupils with SEN and EAL.
How many weekly copies of the newspaper do I need?
We recommend three copies, that’s one copy per year group or one guided reading set. This will also give you access to our Reading Package activities.
Small Schools (150 pupils or below)
We recommend three copies, that’s one guided reading set. This will also give you access to our Reading Package activities.
We recommend starting with six copies, that’s one copy per year group, or two guided reading sets. This will also give you access to our Reading Package activities.
We recommend either a set of six copies for group work, half class sets of 16, or whole class sets of 32 copies for sharing across forms and departments. These will also give you access to our Reading Package Activities.