Burnet News Club skills

The Burnet News Club develops critical thinking and literacy skills. Specifically, activities in the club develop curiosity, reasoning, scepticism, open-mindedness and storytelling.

These skills are hugely valuable in school and in life, and for finding the truth in the news. When students show these skills in a post or comment, the teachers on the Foundation team award a skills star. You can check out the school and student leaderboards to find out who has the most!

Students won’t be given levels on the skills by our team, but students can see how well they’re doing by reading the descriptors below.

Curiosity

Ask good questions

Level 8

I am not easily satisfied with answers. I often ask further questions and want to ‘dig deeper’

  • Level 7

    I ask thoughtful questions to help me make difficult decisions

  • Level 6

    I ask questions to explore different perspectives from my own

  • Level 5

    I ask a range of questions to develop my understanding

  • Level 4

    I ask a range of relevant questions to clarify understanding

  • Level 3

    I ask a range of relevant questions without prompt

  • Level 2

    I ask relevant questions when encouraged

  • Level 1

    I ask basic questions when encouraged

Scepticism

Be hard to deceive

Level 8

I am consistently sceptical and am able to present accurate alternatives to weak statements or reasons

  • Level 7

    I am consistent in my judgement about when to be sceptical

  • Level 6

    I am good at spotting weak statements or reasons, even if some part of what is said is correct

  • Level 5

    I can tell which statements or reasons are weak and need to be challenged

  • Level 4

    I independently challenge information, asking for reasons or evidence to make sure it’s true

  • Level 3

    I sometimes challenge information, asking for reasons or evidence to make sure it’s true

  • Level 2

    When prompted, I occasionally challenge information

  • Level 1

    I rarely challenge information

Reasoning

Use strong reasons

Level 8

I can find weaknesses in my reasons and make them stronger

  • Level 7

    I explain which of my reasons are strongest and why

  • Level 6

    I order and present my reasons in a structured, coherent way

  • Level 5

    I can give multiple strong reasons, supported by accurate evidence

  • Level 4

    I give strong reasons for my opinions and sometimes give supporting, accurate evidence

  • Level 3

    I give strong reasons for my opinions most of the time

  • Level 2

    I often give reasons for my opinions

  • Level 1

    I occasionally give reasons for my opinions

Storytelling

Be heard and understood

Level 8

I consistently use my storytelling skills to communicate my opinions, without affecting the accuracy of what I’m saying

  • Level 7

    I use the best features of my chosen format to communicate and capture my audience’s attention

  • Level 6

    I change the way I communicate to suit different audiences

  • Level 5

    I communicate in a way that captures my audience’s attention

  • Level 4

    I communicate my opinions clearly so others understand me

  • Level 3

    I often freely communicate my opinions

  • Level 2

    I sometimes communicate my opinions when prompted

  • Level 1

    I rarely communicate my opinions

Open-mindedness

Welcome other points of view

Level 8

I actively seek different points of view before making my mind up, and I am able to change my mind

  • Level 7

    I consider different points of view and use reasoning to decide if they are valid

  • Level 6

    I can see weaknesses in my own arguments, beliefs and ideas, so challenge them

  • Level 5

    I see good points in arguments that I don’t agree with

  • Level 4

    I empathise with different points of view, understanding the reasons behind them

  • Level 3

    I summarise other people’s opinions

  • Level 2

    I often listen to other people’s opinions

  • Level 1

    I occasionally listen to other people’s opinions