Shine news

Ask the expert: teacher edition

Happy new year from Shine,

We have probably all started this year in a somewhat deflated mood, and many are facing extra challenges brought on by the new lockdown, but I hope that you are all well and coping with the demands of online teaching.

The news that all GCSE and A Level exams are cancelled this summer will have upset many students and thrown your teaching focus into a new dimension, but I hope that Shine can offer a small glimmer (sorry) of joy at the end of the summer term.

Whatever happens this year, we will be running our school magazine competition. The plan is to celebrate your students’ achievements in a joyful glitzy lunch and ceremony at the Guildhall in London on 28th June. If we are not allowed to host such a large event at this point of the year, then we will do it in a live online ceremony.

If you have not already set up a student publication you may be thinking ‘she’s having a laugh, surely!’ But it is possible for you to do this even though your pupils are at home. We fervently believe not only in the educational benefits of taking part in running a magazine, newspaper, podcast or website, but the mental, social and longer term professional advantages they can afford. Last year’s Best Magazine was created entirely during lockdown and exhibited what is possible even when everyone is physically distanced.

Last time I announced the coming launch of a suite of videos covering all aspects of the competition categories. The first one we are offering you is between Rosie Birks, Teacher of English and Head of House at The Ecclesbourne School, who is new to Shine and wants to set up a student magazine, and Alan Williams, Design & Technology Teacher and Publications Manager at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, who is an old hand and offers much sage advice on how to go about it. The video is around 20 minutes long and worth taking the time to view, even if you already have a publication on the go.

View the film:


Next week, we will be featuring a video showing Ava Harding, student from The Ecclesbourne School interviewing George Thornicroft, one of our Shine alumni, on what working on a school magazine brought him, and how winning an award affected him.

Till then, wishing you good cheer

Alison Strachan
Chair of Shine