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 can read about the skills below and download more information about what each skills looks like in action.   

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.

EXPERT | Level 8

I identify what influences my own way of thinking

  • EXPERT | Level 7

    I spot poor arguments within viewpoints

  • EXPERT | Level 6

    I explain how influences have impacted a viewpoint on the news

  • EXPERT | Level 5

    I ask questions to find out what has influenced a viewpoint on the news

  • EXPERT | Level 4

    I conduct research to test the facts and evidence presented

  • FOUNDATION | Level 3

    I identify the facts and opinions in a specific news source

  • FOUNDATION | Level 2

    I name some trustworthy and untrustworthy places to find the news

  • FOUNDATION | Level 1

    I tell the difference between fact and opinion

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.

EXPERT | Level 8

I assess how best to respond to counter arguments

  • EXPERT | Level 7

    I build a developed argument to justify my viewpoint

  • EXPERT | Level 6

    I test my reasoning

  • EXPERT | Level 5

    I give multiple reasons and pieces of evidence to justify my viewpoint

  • EXPERT | Level 4

    I explain how my reason and evidence supports a point I’ve made

  • FOUNDATION | Level 3

    I give evidence to support the reason I have given for my viewpoint

  • FOUNDATION | Level 2

    I give a relevant reason to support a point I’ve made

  • FOUNDATION | Level 1

    I give a basic point when asked

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.

EXPERT | Level 8

I welcome and engage with different responses to what I have to say about the news

  • EXPERT | Level 7

    I communicate about the news with those in a position of expertise or authority

  • EXPERT | Level 6

    I vary my language and level of detail according to the context when talking about the news

  • EXPERT | Level 5

    I present formally about the news in front of a group

  • EXPERT | Level 4

    I share my opinion on a specific news issue in a group of people

  • FOUNDATION | Level 3

    I make points in an order that makes sense when I am speaking

  • FOUNDATION | Level 2

    I talk in a group of people

  • FOUNDATION | Level 1

    I speak clearly to another person

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.

EXPERT | Level 8

I adapt my own viewpoint to include other people’s valid viewpoints

  • EXPERT | Level 7

    I compare other viewpoints to my own and identify the similarities and differences

  • EXPERT | Level 6

    I research other viewpoints

  • EXPERT | Level 5

    I ask questions to find out what has influenced a viewpoint on the news

  • EXPERT | Level 4

    I take part and respond to group discussion

  • FOUNDATION | Level 3

    I pick out the key information in extended text or speech

  • FOUNDATION | Level 2

    I follow a conversation between two or more people and tell somebody else what I heard

  • FOUNDATION | Level 1

    I listen to others and ask questions about what I hear

Parts of this framework align to the Skills Builder Framework

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