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Explaining the different types of media to the kids

Explaining the different types of media to the kids

I run a Gifted and Talented Workshop for Key Stage 3 English students, focusing on the day to day ‘behind the scenes’ processes involved in producing a newspaper.

These workshops are developed and run with an experienced Head of KS3/4 English and AQA examiner.

This ensures that the skills acquired by students throughout the day link with those of the APP assessment focuses that underpin the National Curriculum, as well as the assessment objectives of the new AQA Specification for GCSE English Language and Literature.


The workshop is split into three parts:

1) It will begin with a talk about the British media, covering newspapers, magazines, broadcast and online.

Students will then participate in a number of short tasks to ensure their understanding of how news stories are structured using the 5W’s and pyramid writing, as well as guiding them on the ‘house style’ that will be used in their writing that day, focusing them on the layout and language devices needed to recreate a national newspaper.

2) We then simulate a real newspaper office with students taking the roles of reporters, sub-editors and a ‘Back Bench’ of senior editors.

Sharing my advice for young people online

Sharing my advice for young people online

They will have to be able to pick which stories they think are newsworthy, write the articles in the correct style, read each others’ work to check for errors, deal with breaking news and last minute changes and design how they feel the final paper should look and feel.

They will also take part in a morning conference where stories are pitched and discussed and a plotting meeting where the layout of the paper is decided.

3) The day ends with a period of analysis and evaluation where pupils will reflect upon their participation in the Workshop (both independent and team), and evaluate the success of the finished news stories.

Following this, students can draw on their new knowledge of how newspapers work and the role of a journalist, to participate in a Q&A session where I will offer career advice on how students can join the world of media.

We will then take the work away and print the final paper, which will be sent back to the school along with a summary of the analysis and evaluation.

After a Workshop at Canon Palmer

After a Workshop at Canon Palmer School


 The sessions will allow students to develop their personal, learning and thinking skills through:

  • independent enquiry
  • creative thinking
  • self-managing their input
  • working as a team
  • effective participation at all stages
  • reflecting upon their learning

Tasks that students will be involved in include:

  • Decision making and problem solving involved in deciding news stories at the morning conference
  • Meeting tight deadlines
  • Writing stories in the ‘house’ style
  • Editing and proof reading of news stories
  • Working as a team on a ‘desk’
  • Working independently on a story
  • Analysing and evaluating their participation in the day and their contribution to the final outcomes of the day

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