BTN: Behind The News

Elevating our children’s awareness of current affairs is becoming increasingly important as it supports children to become informed members of society, where countries are growing interdependent. Furthermore, there are a myriad of benefits that come with learning about the current events occurring in our world. They include:

  • exposure to a wide range of topics and ideas

  • opportunities to build language, vocabulary, comprehension, oral expression, critical thinking, analysing, and problem solving

  • an understanding of structures and styles of news writing

  • opportunities for communication, debates, and discussions.

For parents wondering how current affairs can be introduced into their child’s routine, a great place to start is ABC’s Behind the News (BTN). With over 50 years of content, the team at BTN is a news programme broadcast targeting school-aged children between 8-13 years of age. Their aim is to help students understand issues and events outside of their lives and provide parents with the support to navigate these often challenging conversations with their children.

Each episode is structured and stylised in a similar fashion to that of a regular news broadcast. However, the stories are narrated in a dynamic and creative way, to cater to a younger audience. By conducting interviews and reporting on a variety of different opinions, students gain a greater awareness and acuity to different points of view, while also helping them understand complex political, economic, environmental and social issues.

Integrated in many school programs, children in Stages 2 and 3 often watch the weekly episodes to keep informed of current affairs. These sessions are informative for both teachers and parents, equipping them with robust ways in which they can pose questions and prompt meaningful discussions. In addition, BTN provides a variety of questions in the end to assess understanding and a range of open-ended tasks. BTN also has the added benefit of being able to reach adults who speak English as a second language.

While learning from home, it can be easy to lose track of the different events occuring in the world around us. At EX Learning, we encourage our students to broaden their scope by learning about and responding to current affairs. BTN is a fantastic platform that supports students to think critically and engage in discussions about real life topics and issues. Check out BTN or talk to us to learn more.

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