Valuable life skill

Date: Monday 4th March 2019

EDEN primary school pupils who took part in a young journalist competition run by Penrith Rotary Club and the Herald were this week presented with awards.

Young writers aged nine and 10 came up with a fantastic, imaginative range of “news” reports, complete with headlines, photographs and captions.

Their subjects included everything from school trips to the endeavours of explorer Ernest Shackleton, the responsibilities of pet ownership and the problem of cattle TB in Cumbria.

This was the second year the competition had run, with entries up on last year, and it presented a welcome opportunity to showcase some of the great work being produced by pupils with support from their teachers across the district.

Teaching journalistic writing in primary schools is important for many reasons. The best journalistic writing involves producing clear, coherent and accurate communication — a valuable life skill whatever your chosen path.

In addition, unpicking the style and content of news reports is key to helping young people discriminate between diverse news sources — not all of which can be relied upon.

The competition was a really heartening chance to see young people engaging with important issues in the wider world.

And in an age when news coverage comes in many different formats, it was also great to see the traditions of newspaper reporting being understood and upheld.