Hayley McKechnie, Year 6 teacher and Computing Lead at Lee Chapel Primary School in Basildon, Essex, has taught with Discovery Education Espresso News
BRINGING THE REAL WORLD INTO THE CLASSROOM
I’ve been using the Discovery Education Espresso News service for about 9 years, since becoming a teacher. I’ve always felt that it’s important that children know about and understand what is happening in the world. Very few children watch any news at home and the Espresso News service is easy for them to understand.
I try to use Espresso News in any spare time that we have. The service includes both daily and weekly news bulletins and I use both depending on what is happening in the news at the time. I have used the bulletins to teach about natural disasters and political changes amongst other things. It’s a quick and current resource which allows children to develop their understanding further.
ACCESSIBLE FOR CHILDREN AND TEACHERS
I like that the Espresso News bulletins are short and to the point. Children want to know the main facts, not listen to the information which often surrounds news items on conventional programmes. The Espresso News resources can be easily fitted in to lessons, whenever we have time to spare. They are really useful for ‘impromptu’ lessons, when the timetable has to change.
A CROSS-CURRICULAR RESOURCE
As well as teaching about world events, Espresso News can be used across the curriculum. I find it useful for creating discussion around British values and different religions. I’ve also used it as a literacy resource. When teaching in Lower Key Stage 2, for example, I used transcripts from the news bulletins as non-fiction texts for comprehension.
The Espresso News videos can trigger some very good discussions amongst the children and stimulate learning. They also help pupils to build debating skills. After watching a recent video, we discussed the possibility of animals becoming extinct and why this is important.
SHARING DIFFICULT NEWS
We use Discovery Education Espresso News to teach children about world events, and it helps us to talk about difficult news stories. It has been useful in helping pupils understand key events, such as political changes and the recent terrorist atrocities. It makes the news easy for children to access and understand.
SPOTTING FAKE NEWS
Helping children to become critical news consumers is also important. Children need to be able to distinguish between what is real and what may be fake. As Computing and Online Safety Lead this is at the forefront of my teaching. Children spend a huge amount of time online and they need to become proficient at researching, which involves them being able to distinguish fact from fiction.
BUILDING SKILLS FOR LIFE
I think it’s really important to teach primary school children about the news. It is imperative that children understand the world around them and the effect that world events can have upon everyone’s lives. Pupils with a greater understanding learn to be more empathetic and they can transfer these skills into everyday life. Espresso News helps our pupils to be well-rounded and have a deeper understanding of the wider world.
Here’s what some of our Year 6 pupils think about Discovery Education Espresso News.
Dulcie: “I enjoy learning about the news using Espresso as it is easier to understand than the news on TV.”
Alex: “I enjoy finding out about what is happening in the world.”
Rochelle: “I like watching Espresso News as it helps me to understand what is going on in the world.”
Jodie: “I sometimes find the adult news hard to understand but it is easier with Espresso, I really like the quiz.”
Lucas: “Entertaining, enjoyable, awesome.”
Discovery Education Espresso News is an award-winning digital news service for primary schools. Produced in partnership with ITN Productions, Espresso News brings the world’s biggest news stories to thousands of classrooms every day, helping young children to engage with current affairs and building their cultural capital.
Featuring daily and weekly video bulletins and a range of on-demand resources including newspaper articles, feature stories and a daily photograph, Espresso News helps pupils to make sense of the world around them. It also guides children to become critical consumers, building skills to identify fake news and providing support to deal with difficult stories.