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First News – High-Quality News Resources for KS2 and 3

  • First News – High-Quality News Resources for KS2 and 3

Help develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the wider world outside the classroom...

At a glance

  • The UK’s only weekly full colour newspaper for children aged 7-14
  • Class-friendly news resources for advancing pupils’ core literacy levels
  • Award-winning online interactive learning platform
  • Activity Sheets filled with comprehensions, quizzes, puzzles and debates
  • A dynamic resource with its finger on the news pulse

Since its inception in 2006, First News has continually responded to what young readers want, moved with the times and has added layers of new and exciting features that offer real diversity and pipelines of interest for all.

This is a resource with special attractions and acts as a real driver for critical reading of news stories.

It is packed with rich nuggets of news, along with a collection of fun and feisty features that effortlessly slip into any reading and literacy programme.

From quick news, big news, home news and world news to special reports, animal features, science bulletins, interviews, book reviews, puzzles, sport, entertainment, games, quirky news and more – First News buzzes with life and packs a punch, and even comes with a daily two-minute news summary broadcast professionally made by Sky.

It doesn’t shirk from the big global issues, it tackles fake news head-on and gives children a real sense of ownership and voice as canny and critical consumers of the news.

First News also has its very own digital offering, a personalised, enrichment learning platform called the iHub. This impressive news barn contains weekly interactive comprehensions, vocabulary puzzles, polls and debates based on stories in First News.

The activities are customised to each reader according to their reading level, which teachers assign. You can either select activities yourself or plump for an automated option and let the iHub do the choosing and marking of multiple choice questions too.

The comprehension activities show the total words read, time taken and the points earned. What I love about the iHub is that its news gallery feature enables children to craft and create their own news using the content that excites them the most and be the editor.

This is a simple-to-use, interactive environment with a reporting dashboard that allows you to see how children are progressing and what extra help they might need. You can award achievements with online merits to fuel their motivation.

The top-notch weekly content, also available as PDF Activity Sheets to print off, is tailored pitch-perfectly to suit different reading levels.

When it comes to the news, children need to be in the know, up to date and in control. First News is engaging, empowering and inspiring, providing children with the tools and the confidence to go with it.

This is the Roger Federer of news resources. It’s a real class act jam-packed with information, insight and intrigue and makes children feel part of a news community.

Verdict

  • Fresh, relevant and beautifully written
  • Helps children dive into the detail of news stories and be critical thinkers
  • Flexible, time-saving resources for fuelling an interest in current affairs
  • An impressively sophisticated news offering that goes the extra mile
  • A cross-curricular smorgasbord
  • A colourful and clever print and digital offering that is smart, serious, fun and entertaining

Upgrade if…

You are looking to help children be news-savvy and media smart, develop their evaluation skills and be better-informed world citizens. If this is what you’re after then First News is first choice for authenticity, reliability and variety.

First News costs £995 for 12 copies of the newspaper and the iHub (140 pupil logins), or you can build-your-own package. Get a free 30-day trial of the iHub and Activity Sheets taster pack via schools.firstnews.co.uk/explore.

Reviewed by John Dabell.

Pie Corbett