New resources for primary schools featuring ITN broadcaster Charlene White launch at Bett Show this week

HELP CHILDREN SPOT FAKE NEWS – New resources for primary schools featuring ITN broadcaster Charlene White launch at Bett Show this week

New films and resources to help primary school children spot fake news and build digital literacy skills are being launched at London’s Bett Show this week.

Building upon Discovery Education’s popular Espresso News content, these new resources feature contributions from ITN journalists and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Special lesson plans and videos will help children to develop a critical eye for the news and social media stories they consume. They will also give pupils an insight into the world of news production, as they hear from ITN’s Charlene White about how journalists fact-check and why it’s important to question where stories come from.

The videos are part of a suite of new digital literacy teaching resources produced by Discovery Education as part of the Espresso digital learning service for primary schools. The resources will support teachers to help children navigate the digital world, building their confidence, resilience and critical thinking skills. A Commission on Fake News report published in June 2018 found that only 2% of children in the UK have the critical literacy skills they need to tell if a news story is real or fake*

On Thursday 24th January broadcaster Charlene White will speak at a session at London’s Bett Show, exploring how teachers and parents can help children to think critically about what they see online. Joined by Josh Phillips from The Institute for Strategic Dialogue and London Headteacher Steph Neale, the three speakers will also consider how teaching the news can boost pupil literacy in discussion with teachers from across the UK.

Empowering your students to become critical consumers of the news takes place in the Bett Arena on Thursday 24th January at 13:30.

Charlene White said:

“We all have a responsibility to make sure young people understand the difference between what’s real and what’s fake online. It’s important we give them the tools to navigate the “fake news” arena, so they can form their own balanced opinions of world affairs – once they have all the facts. Which makes what we do as journalists ever-more crucial.”

Josh Phillips from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue said:

“Students today have an incredible opportunity to harness the endless potential of the internet. ISD’s education projects support schools, parents and policymakers in the UK and internationally to empower students to become responsible digital leaders. Our resources give students the tools to critically approach the mass of online information, spot fake news, and contribute to an exciting and positive digital world.”

The new resources are available via the Discovery Education Espresso digital learning service which includes Espresso News – a popular daily and weekly news resource used by thousands of primary schools across the UK. Produced in partnership with ITN Productions, Espresso News is a finalist at this year’s prestigious Bett Awards.

Over the coming weeks, Discovery Education will be making a range of Espresso News resources freely available to schools, helping teachers to infuse the news throughout the primary curriculum.  These will include video news stories and lesson plans, differentiated for each key stage. Schools can access these resources at www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/bett.

Following on from Thursday’s Bett Arena session, Discovery Education will be hosting two special Fake News Live Lessons at the event with pupils from Beatrix Potter Primary School in Wandsworth. Taking place on the HP Stand (G190) on Friday 25th January at 12:00 and 15:15, the lessons will demonstrate how teaching the news can build literacy and critical thinking skills, showcasing a variety of tools to engage children in analysis and discussion.

Discovery Education is also delighted to be partnering with the 2019 Bett Team, to host three special events: an exclusive reception for school leaders during the afternoon of Thursday 24th January and two ‘peer to peer conversations’ on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th. For more details and to register visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/events.

Susanna Goldschmidt, Head of Publishing at Discovery Education said:

“Discovery Education is delighted to be back at this year’s Bett and looking forward to meeting with pupils and teachers from across the UK and beyond. We’re thrilled to be partnering with ITN Productions and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue on the important issues of fake news and digital literacy, helping teachers to empower their pupils to be critical 21st century news consumers.”

Discovery Education is a leading provider of digital content to schools. Winner of 9 Bett Awards, Discovery Education engages pupils across the UK with its dynamic, curriculum-matched digital learning services. During Bett 2019 there are other opportunities to see the fake news content in action, visit www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/events for the full schedule.


To request an interview with Charlene White, Josh Phillips or Steph Neale or for more information about filming and interview opportunities at Bett please contact Angie Shatford, Inkstream PR for Discovery Education: angie@inkstream.co.uk.

* Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills in Schools, run by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Literacy and the National Literacy Trust. June 2018.


As the global leader in curriculum-aligned digital content for primary and secondary classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million teachers and over 50 million pupils, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the world. Inspired by the global media company Discovery Inc., Discovery Education partners with local authorities, academy trusts, schools and like-minded organisations to captivate pupils, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customised solutions that increase academic achievement.

Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.co.uk.