Learn2Think Foundation launches news writing competition for 8-11 year olds

Charitable company The Learn2Think Foundation is offering young students the chance to develop their writing, as well as critical thinking, reasoning and research skills in the 2018 Learn2Think Young Journalist Prize.

The focus this year is on questioning, challenging 8-11 year olds to think like an investigative journalist, using interviewing to get the heart of a story. The winner will receive a laptop.

The Foundation is asking children for an article about a subject that really matters to them, demonstrating the use of their own ‘voice’; sound reasoning; interviewing skills and thorough research.

Last year’s entries were about subjects such as the importance of playing outside and lollipop ladies, sexism and the peace protests in Spain. “It was wonderful to read such enthusiastic, original and thoughtful pieces of writing. Children clearly relished the opportunity to participate in something ‘real world’, and as a homework project it got whole classes inspired,” says Virginia McLean, one of the founders of Learn2Think.

One mother said of the competition, “Thank you for having such an engaging competition – it can be challenging to develop opportunities for young people to have a voice and engage in thought-provoking writing.”

Pupils aged between 8-9 or 10-11 can submit an article of up to 300 or 500 words, or a podcast. Just e-mail it with their name, age and school to info@learn2think.org.uk by November 2nd 2018. Winners will be announced on the UN International Day for Tolerance, 16th November.

Judges include Channel 4 news producer Lizzy Amanpour and CEO of SAPERE, Amelia Foster.

The Foundation has also offered some tips to get the budding journalists started:

• Find an interesting person to talk to, and make sure you find out all you can about them before you talk to them.
• An interview relies on good quality questioning so plan your questions in advance and make sure they are relevant and challenging.
• Avoid questions with only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, that are complicated to understand, that contain incorrect facts, or are too personal (it’s not that important to the story what their favourite colour is).

To find out more at the Learn2Think Young Journalism Prize, please visit http://www.learn2think.org.uk/journalism-competition-2018.html