‘only 2% of children and young people in the UK can tell the difference between real and fake news.’

I was reading this article, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/jun/12/children-and-journalists-alike-should-beware-of-fake-news, about the number of children unable to tell fact from fiction in the media and I was shocked.

I thought back to discussions I’ve had with pupils about analysing texts and considering different perspectives in literature and I was baffled. I know my pupils can consider different sides of and argument and see things from different perspectives. So what is going on?

It occurred to me that perhaps the difference is in ‘perceived’ fact and fiction. Pupils don’t expect a literary text to be ‘true’ it is, by its very nature ‘made up’, so they are more likely to think critically about it.

Maybe the problem is about trust. We teach pupils to trust us; what we’re saying, what we’re having them write, that no matter how many times you flick that switch the response will be the same. We don’t teach them to be critical of authority, in fact we spend a lot of time teaching them to do as they are told.

I’m interested in this Guardian article about how children can be educated to dicern fact from fiction, truth the Trump etc.   https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jun/12/fake-news-schools-trump-truth


Is the term ‘gammon’ a racist slur?

So today I have been perusing English Language blogs (don’t look like that), and I came across an interesting article about the word ‘gammon’ and how it has attained a new meaning.

‘But it was in 2017 that it really took off when it was used to describe a post-Brexit vote phenomenon that many had observed but few had been able to nail so accurately: namely, a certain type of man whose anger about the modern world had made them turn the colour of ham or what Urban Dictionary’s top definition describes as “a particular type of Brexit-voting, middle-aged white male, whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke”.’

Now the use of this word has sparked some controversy on the internet (I know, the internet being controversial, I was shocked as well).

One tweeter suggested that the word ‘gammon’ was as bad as the ‘n word’ whilst another replied that white people using a word to describe other white people could not be considered racist.

You should definitely check out the whole thing:


In the mean time what do you think?


‘Darth Vader issued a stark warning to Bristolians auditioning for a role in the new Star Wars film earlier this month. “You can’t go, ‘oo-aar my dear, here’s my lightsaber,'” advised David Prowse, the actor who played Vader in the original films. He advised hopefuls to “disguise their accents” if they were serious about landing a part’

An interesting article by  Matt Dathan in the Guardian.



Discussion 1

Boy reading.pngThis is initially for the sixth form at Archbishop Tenison’s school in Croydon but if you are in the wider world and have an opinion please share it with us.

Is it more difficult to write fiction for adults or children?

Discuss it with your forms and answer in the comments.


The Journey Begins

Letter from the editor:

We live in a golden age of children’s literature. I feel like I can say that not because I’m old enough to have live before the golden age, thanks, but because I’ve recently looked through my Grandfather’s books.

My Grandfather has never been a big reader and he is a staunch supporter of his local library, mainly at my grandmother’s insistence, so he doesn’t have a massive collection. What I did see were collections of travel guides, a few murder mysteries and a small collection of children’s books.

Glancing through I can see books with clear morals and nice pictures, but the big thing about these books is that, in my opinion, they’re quite boring. They seemed to be aimed more towards adults than children and they have put the clear moral message, be a good boy, be a kind boy, be a polite boy, before an imaginative plot or interesting characters.

This will clearly not be true of all books of the period, this is the era of Swallows and Amazons and The Wind in the Willows after all. However, it got me interested in the idea of children’s fiction and how it has changed over the last century.

There is an interesting piece about children’s literature on the British Library website.