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Sharing opinions, analysing world events, and developing a critical understanding of the media are all things students get better at with regular practice.

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In the latest edition

 

Ruling body bites back

Luis Suarez reacts after clashing with Giorgio Chiellini during their 2014 World Cup match 24 June 2014© InfoAn international football disciplinary committee says Uruguay striker Luis Suarez assaulted another player and showed unsporting behaviour towards him. The apparent bite on an opponent's shoulder resulted in a 9-game international ban and a total ban on all football for four months.

Discuss why someone might bite another player. Why do the authorities treat it more seriously than a rough tackle or head butt?  

As a group, brainstorm different situations that might make a person feel angry. List different factors which might make someone more likely to react negatively to a certain situation? This can be a wide-ranging list, from the pressure of a World Cup football match to being blamed for something that wasn’t your fault. 

Make a list of common ways of dealing with anger and frustration. Which are acceptable and which are not?  Does acceptability vary according to situations and circumstances?

What are the consequences of losing control in an angry outburst? What can you do to help manage your emotions during stressful situations? 




Stroke selfie

A woman records a video of herself during a stroke© Info

Ever been for medical advice with no current symptoms to show the doctor? It happens with conditions that come and go. It can be frustrating, as doctors have trouble diagnosing something they cannot see.

That's why 49-year-old Stacey Yepes from Toronto, Canada videoed her face as she was having a stroke. The medics were impressed - and able to diagnose and treat her condition.

Talk about how strokes are caused. A blockage of the blood supply to the brain can affect someone's appearance, movement and speech. Doctors think that Stacey had "mini-stroke"

Watch the video and list the different symptoms you can see.

You can help someone having a stroke. Use the memory aid: think F.A.S.T. 

Face: is there weakness on one side of their face? 
Arms: can they raise both arms? 
Speech: is their speech easily understood? 
Time: to call 999

A stroke needs immediate attention, and the faster a person receives medical help, the less damage is caused.  

Discuss the pros and cons of using video to record emergencies. When might it be useful to video an incident? 

When might it not be appropriate? What would you bear in mind before videoing yourself or someone else?   


Road casualties falling

A car passes a sign as it travels along the United Kingdoms most dangerous road on 30 June 2010Road deaths in Britain fell by two per cent last year. The number of those who died, 1,713, is the lowest since national records began in 1926. Nearly half of those who died were in cars, and nearly a quarter were pedestrians. 

Government experts are not sure of the reasons for these reductions. What do students find interesting about these national statistics and what factors do they think might be behind them?

Match students' ideas with possible explanations suggested by the government: the economic downturn, reduced average traffic speeds, better technology in cars, better engineering on highways, improved education and training, and improvements in trauma care. 

Debate and vote on those that seem most influential.

On average, more than seven pedestrians and two cyclists are killed each week on Britain's roads. 

Which parts of the local area are known to be hazardous for cyclists or pedestrians? Use students' knowledge to devise safer alternative routes. 

What else might road users do to reduce their own vulnerability? Invite students to draw up a list, including texting whilst walking and listening to music on headphones. For more information see the National Statistics available here from the Department of Transport. 

 

 

Previous edition of newsthink

 

Feminine-named hurricanes deadlier

Hurricane Katrina in Gulf of Mexico seen from space 11 May 2012Hurricanes in the US that are given women's names cause a lot more deaths than those named after men. Can students explain?

Researchers wondered if it was because a woman's name made a storm seem less severe, so people didn't take it so seriously and didn't prepare so well. If this is true, what does it say about death rates in natural disasters?

The researchers devised experiments to find out more. When asked, people revealed that they were more likely to evacuate when a hurricane called Christopher was approaching rather than one called Christina. 

Does this show that it's not just the severity of a storm that matters, but how people react to it? Can students think of examples where their own decision-making has been affected by impressions that are really irrelevant? What would students do to solve the problem of people not taking feminine-named hurricanes seriously enough?

 

Rescuing the rescuers

A fire department vehicle is half sunken in a road that collapsed after heavy overnight rainstorms in Poland 29 May 2014A large lorry has veered off the road and into a ditch. Who do you call to pull it out? Full marks to those who said the fire and rescue service. Ask students to list what other services they provide.

Show students the photograph. It shows a fire engine in a road that collapsed after heavy overnight rainstorms in Glucholazy, Poland, last month. What happens when the rescuers need rescuing?

Talk about the task of recovering the vehicle. What physical principles will be used? How big might the lifting equipment be? What practical problems need to be considered - such as the unreliability of the roads?

Emergency services often face difficulties. They are trained to make the scene of an emergency scene as safe as possible. Invite students to picture a scene, like a flood or road traffic incident. What specific things will the emergency services do to make the area safe and to prevent further incidents?

 

Floods dislodge landmines

People drive through the flood waters in Orasje in Bosnia and Herzegovina where many parts of the city remain underwater nearly two weeks after the floodingAreas of Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina that were hit by floods and landslides last month were conflict zones during the 1990s. What added danger might that have brought to residents and rescuers?

Invite comments, then talk about land mines. Experts have spent years mapping the location of unexploded mines so that those living in affected areas can stay safe. But the recent flooding and landslides have dislodged mines and their warning signs.

Mine Action Centres in the three countries are warning people not to approach mines or any unexploded ordnance that has moved because of a landslide or been swept away by swollen rivers. Instead they should improvise some warning signs. Ask students how they would do that, if they came across a land mine.

The experts also want to hear about findings of warning signs that have been moved. Why? The signs are marked with a serial number and co-ordinates of where they were placed. How might that be helpful?


After an earthquake

A sign reading 'Please help us!' is displayed while children play outside their makeshift tents in rice fields in the Philippines

Children play, hours after a destructive earthquake. What do students want to know?

Read the activities >

Build resilience

School students taking part in a workshop

Students and teachers together reflect, explore and experiment with responses to some form of crisis.

Try the quick activities >

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