Burnet News Club skills

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

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 read the descriptors below and download more information on the skill levels.

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Reasoning

Justifying a viewpoint

An expert at reasoning uses good reasons to make up their mind and express their viewpoint. They understand that good reasons include information and arguments that are true, relevant and don’t miss things out. They are able to tell which reasons are good and why. They can order their reasons so that they support each other.

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Scepticism

Questioning information to find the truth

A sceptical person asks questions to find out what's true. They understand that facts can be used in different ways to support different opinions, so they make sure to check where the information is coming from and why it’s been produced. They can break down an argument into its parts and question it. They are aware of the influences which affect their viewpoints on an issue in the news and where there are gaps in their knowledge.

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Speaking up

Confidently communicating a viewpoint

Speaking up is about being a confident communicator who actively joins conversations about the news and is comfortable presenting ideas and opinions about the news to those in positions of power. They can clearly communicate their point of view on the news and how they do this might change depending on the setting or audience. They can see where they might be challenged and respond to this.

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Open-mindedness

Listening to other viewpoints

An open-minded person is a good listener. They pay attention to what someone else is saying and check to make sure they understand their point of view. Open-minded people want to find out why people have different opinions, and sometimes, they'll change their own viewpoint if these opinions make sense.