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Sorcha Hughes is the NewsWise programme coordinator. She frequently trains teachers to effectively teach critical literacy in the classroom and creates opportunities for children to meet real journalists.
She is passionate about ensuring all young people have the skills to confidently navigate news and information and that they learn to do so in an exciting and immersive setting.
Previously, Sorcha has worked at charities and social enterprises focussing on furthering opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
NewsWise: Young people and the news
NewsWise is a free, cross-curricular news literacy programme for 9-11-year-olds. The programme is run in partnership by the Guardian Foundation, National Literacy Trust and PSHE Association and offers free resources for educators everywhere, workshops for schools, opportunities for children to meet real journalists and teacher training.
NewsWise believes that to be able to critically understand news and information – to ask the right questions and to know where to find the answers – is to prepare young people for a safer and happier life in the digital world, and to support a free thinking, democratic society. How we consume news is constantly evolving, and the prevalence of mis and disinformation is eroding trust in news and information generally. 9-11 year olds are beginning to get their own devices and use them unsupervised, making this a crucial age to develop their critical literacy skills; encouraging them to question and investigate the information they see, rather than just accepting or dismissing outright everything they see as untrustworthy.
Through the NewsWise project, children understand how the news is made, learn to question the writer’s intention and look for bias and missing viewpoints in a story, and produce their own news reports. Children are equipped to identify mis and disinformation and deepen their understanding of the importance of sharing facts. Four years of evaluation have shown that NewsWise is consistently impactful. Sorcha Hughes will be demonstrating how NewsWise resources create resilient and critical news consumers and explore how conference participants’ experiences and attitudes towards the news echo those of 9-11 year olds.