2015/16 Issues

The Issue is a current affairs content package for young people prepared with journalists at The Economist. Issues for the current school year are only available to participating Burnet News Club schools, but Issues from past school years are available in full, free of charge. You can download each full Issue below.

Rio 2016: Sport and Society

JUNE 2016
In August the 2016 Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, a large city in Brazil. The Olympic Games are the biggest, broadest sporting event in the world. Every four years, hundreds of countries send a team of athletes to compete in sports ranging from running and jumping to swimming and basketball.

In the Burnet News Club we’ll be looking at how a big sporting event like the Rio Olympics can affect society, and finding out whether you think sport is good or bad for society.

The resources for this topic featured:

  • An overview of the subject, written by an Economist journalist
  • A PowerPoint presentation of background facts and interesting points
  • The concepts that children will need to understand to form opinions on the subject
  • Starter questions, to help get the discussion going
  • Voices that represent different views and opinions
  • Group activities to help dig deeper
  • Further links for fact checking

Photo credit: marchello74 / Shutterstock.com

Brexit and the EU Referendum

APRIL 2016
The European Union (the EU for short) is a club with 28 member countries from Europe. Its purpose is mainly to make it easier for member countries to trade (buy and sell things) with each other. There are laws and rules that member countries have to follow.

On June 23rd Britain will hold a referendum in which voters will choose whether to stay in or to leave the EU. The outcome will have a big effect on our economy, on politics and on Europe. This half term on the blog, Burnet News Club members will share their arguments for staying in or leaving the EU. We’re excited to see how the BNC would vote in the referendum.

The resources for this topic featured:

  • An overview of the subject, written by an Economist journalist
  • A PowerPoint presentation of facts and interesting points
  • An A3 infographic poster showing reasons for Britain to remain or leave the EU
  • The concepts that children will need to understand to form opinions on the subject
  • Starter questions, to help get the discussion going
  • Voices that represent different views and opinions
  • Group activities to help dig deeper
  • Further links for fact checking

Rights in the Modern World: Privacy, freedom and safety

FEBRUARY 2016
This issue looks at a new law that the government wants to make, called the Investigatory Powers Bill.

This is a really important law, because it would affect your rights. Your rights are the things that you are entitled to do or to have. You have lots of different rights. This law would affect three of them:

  • The right to PRIVACY – you have the right to keep some things private from other people if you want to
  • The right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH – you have the right to say (and think) whatever you want
  • The right to SAFETY – you have the right to be safe

There are lots of arguments about this new law. Some people think it will give spies too much power to look at people’s private lives. They call the law ‘The Snooper’s Charter’. Other people think spies need more powers look at people’s private lives so they can help keep us safe from dangerous criminals or terrorists. People are debating whether the new law will be fair.

The resources for this topic featured:

  • An overview of the subject, written by an Economist journalist
  • A PowerPoint presentation of facts and interesting points
  • The concepts that children will need to understand to form opinions on the subject
  • Starter questions, to help get the discussion going
  • Voices that represent different views and opinions
  • Group activities to help dig deeper
  • Further links for fact checking

Housing and Communities in the UK

DECEMBER 2015

Everyone needs to live in a home. Your parents may rent their home, which means they pay some money each month to their landlord, or perhaps they bought their home.

In Britain, both renting and buying homes has become very expensive in recent years. In fact, Britain is one of the world’s most expensive places to live. To buy a home people have to take out a very big loan from a bank. The average adult in Britain earns about £25,000 a year but the average home costs about £300,000. This means the average adult would have to work for about 12 years to buy a home. That assumes that they don’t buy any food, clothes, or take any holidays!

Why is it a problem that it is expensive to buy a home in the UK? One reason is that if people are struggling to find a suitable home, this can have lots of negative effects on the communities we live in. For example, it can lead to homelessness, inequality and conflict.

The resources for this topic featured:

  • An overview of the subject, written by an Economist journalist
  • A PowerPoint presentation of facts and interesting points
  • The concepts that children will need to understand to form opinions on the subject
  • Starter questions, to help get the discussion going
  • Voices that represent different views and opinions
  • A group activity that looks at scarcity in housing, and asks the children to make difficult choices
  • Further links for fact checking

Migration and the Refugee Crisis

NOVEMBER 2015
This year hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa have come to Europe and asked to stay. For many, this is because their home countries are too dangerous for them to live in. Thousands more people are arriving every day to Europe. Most people come from Syria, where terrorism and civil war threaten their lives. Should Europe take them in?

The resources for this topic featured:

  • An overview of the subject, written by an Economist journalist
  • A PowerPoint presentation of background facts and interesting points
  • The concepts that children will need to understand to form opinions on the subject
  • Starter questions, to help get the discussion going
  • Voices that represent different views and opinions
  • Activity that uses a scepticism scaffold to challenge assumptions
  • Further links for fact checking

Regugees—punghi–Shutterstockcom

Photo credit: punghi / Shutterstock.com

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