NewsWise aims to empower children from disadvantaged communities with the skills and knowledge to engage with and enjoy news, to feel confident to ask questions and to challenge misinformation, and to have their own values and opinions. Between August 2021 and July 2022:
- 1,931 pupils in 36 UK primary schools took part in the NewsWise programme, giving children the chance to learn about news, improve their news literacy skills and prepare their own reports
- 477 teachers received online training or took part in webinars, helping schools support and embed news literacy across the curriculum
- 49,884 free resources were downloaded from the NewsWise website, including curriculum-based lesson plans, classroom materials and family activity packs.
About the evaluation
The evaluation found that the NewsWise programme provides effective support for children’s news literacy. Participating pupils had greater critical engagement with the news, improved confidence and skills when navigating news, and teachers said that NewsWise also supported pupils’ wellbeing:
- More than twice the percentage of pupils said they would check whether a news story came from a news company or person they trusted (increasing from 34.0% to 72.2%) and was reported by other news companies (28.4% to 65.3%) at the end of the programme
- One-third (31.1%) said they found it easy to tell whether or not a news story is trustworthy before taking part in NewsWise, and 9 in 10 (88.2%) believed this after taking part. This compares with a national average of 61.8% of Key Stage 2 pupils who say they find it easy.
- The percentage of pupils able to identify whether two out of three news stories were fake or real correctly increased from 49.2% to 68.0%.
- The percentage of pupils saying they were interested in news almost tripled after participating in a NewsWise workshop, increasing from 22.3% to 65.3%.
- 9 in 10 (89.5%) of teachers agreed that taking part in NewsWise increased pupils’ engagement with local, national or global issues, while 3 in 5 (63.2%) agreed it had increased pupils’ motivation to make a difference in their community.
- 3 in 4 (73.7%) teachers felt taking part in NewsWise had helped decrease pupils’ anxiety about news stories.
- 100% of teachers who took part in a NewsWise teacher training session rated it as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and 100% said they were now more confident in supporting pupils’ news literacy. 96.2% agreed that their understanding of news literacy improved.
"Our Year 5 and 6 have loved this project. They now have a good understanding of the impact that the media can have on society. A superb example of integrated purposeful learning."Teacher's comment