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Phone Ban at School – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

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Phones should be banned in schools across England, says the Government’s schools boss, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan. Head teachers are being told to bring in the ban throughout the whole school day, including at break times. Ms Keegan says the move will tackle disruptive behaviour and online bullying while boosting attention during lessons.

This resources pack includes an article from First News, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.


How dare they? What right does the government have to say that mobile phones should be kept out of classrooms? Surely, for some pupils, they are an essential lifeline to people who make them feel safe? As long as students still do the work that’s expected of them, what harm do they do? Or do you think it’s absolutely right that they should be kept out of class? Aren’t they just a distraction and controlling their use will divert teachers’ attention from teaching? Isn’t it fair enough that pupils can bring their phones to school but just not bring them out in lessons when they should be focused on learning? What do you think?

Writing skills

Messaging uses a different, much less formal approach to writing than more formal genres, often using abreviations or letters to replace full words. Find a short extract of text – about 100 words, perhaps from a famous speech, a well-known book or even an article from First News – and rewrite it as if it were a text message.


Imagine you are a student from the Victorian age who has time-travelled to the present day. Write a report back to your classmates describing what mobile phones can do. Remember, telephones were not invented until 1876 and cameras were very bulky and only took black and white pictures back then.


Research the history of mobile phones and construct a concise timeline of significant events, including when various features such as messaging, cameras and internet access were added.

What is First News?

Launched in May 2006, First News is the most trusted weekly newspaper for young audiences, covering global headlines and empowering children with an understanding of the world in which they are growing up.

To find out more about how First News could help your school unlock the power of news-based learning, through high quality, weekly resources alongside the print and digital newspaper, visit the First News Education website.

  • News story
  • Activities sheet
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