Students at Manchester High learn to spot fake news

Pupils learned about the subject when they met Mike Fleetham, education consultant and author, as he launched the School's first 'Big Think' week

Discriminating between fake and real news was one of the critical thinking skills learned by students at Manchester High School for Girls (MHSG) as they welcomed Mike Fleetham, education consultant and author, to launch the School’s first ‘Big Think’ week. 

The teaching and learning expert talked to students about the importance of independent thinking in processing information. Facts can be googled in an instant, but questioning and reflecting on knowledge takes time and practice, as Mike explained: “Our children need skills and knowledge for a successful future. Manchester High’s approach is to equip students with both for maximum chance of success in life, work and learning. My visit to the school was to demonstrate how you can teach and learn thinking skills at the same time as important subject knowledge.” 

Mike delivered lessons in the Preparatory Department and Senior School as they delved into activities such as code breaking, mindful translation and finding flaws in historical evidence. He also presented a ‘Big Think’ workshop for parents at the end of the school day. 

Jennie Hodson, Deputy Head Mistress (Teaching and Learning) at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “At Manchester High, we place great emphasis on our girls’ personal development, and, the ability to think independently is a fundamental part of that. 

Encouraging our students to enjoy analytical thinking will enable them to feel more confident about taking that step and looking at information more critically. It is therefore important that we also speak to parents about developing these skills at home, when girls are studying or busy with their hobbies.”