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Topical Tuesdays from The Week Junior – Staying the Distance


This week’s feature looks at perseverance versus giving up.

Its main story is about Katarina Johnson-Thompson, the heptathlon athlete and her long road to her recent gold medal win.

She says her years of disappointment motivated her to carry on striving towards her goal.

Other stories include a singer who was penniless before a police officer filmed her busking and now she is on the verge of a record deal, and a 17-year-old Syrian who learned English from reading Harry Potter who has just gained a scholarship to study in a school in Wales.

  • Discuss whether we should always follow our dreams like Katarina Johnson-Thompson, or whether sometimes it’s better to concede defeat and move on.
  • Write a story about an occasion where you showed grit and determination and how you felt during the highs and lows.
  • Write a short play script about a devil and angel on Katarina’s shoulders and what they might have said to persuade her to give up or carry on.
  • Explore what a decathlon is, and what people who take part have to do.

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See the whole range of free Topical Tuesday resources here.