Brentwood Star News – A Model of C3 Thinking

The Educational Partnership Foundation Supports École Brentwood Elementary School’s Student Led Newspaper Project “Brentwood Star News”

The Brentwood Star News project embodies the very best of what The Critical Thinking Consortium refers as C3 Thinking (critical, creative and collaborative). The very nature of the project increases student’s engagement in learning by creating authentic learning opportunities that move assessment from being focused on the classroom and marks to turning assessment outward to the world beyond the school. By framing learning around an authentic task (creating a newspaper) and providing an authentic audience (the community) this project helps to make the Brentwood Star News project a real-life learning opportunity. Beyond the authenticity of the project, the Brentwood News project embed thinking as the core of learning. Rather than providing templates to follow, students are invited to learn about the principles of effective newspapers and then apply their emergent understanding in the design and creation of an authentic newspaper. By having students take responsibility for the many facets of newspaper production, students have the opportunity to showcase their various talents while developing competence in new areas. They also learn, in the most authentic way possible, the essence of what it means to collaborate and why the best work results from engaging in collaborative thinking. The Brentwood Star project is a showcase of the power of collective genius – from the collaborative process teachers engaged in to create the project to the collaboration of the students to create the newspaper. A true model of what Powerful Learning can do to engage students and build deep understanding.

-Garfield Gini-Newman, TC2

Strathmore, AB, March 29, 2017 - The Educational Partnership Foundation (TEPF) will be presenting a cheque to Grade 6 teachers, Ms. Johanna Fell, Miss. Chantelle Keim, and Mrs. Amy White, and students at École Brentwood Elementary.

As part of Golden Hills’ division-wide movement to help students think in creative, critical and collaborative ways, the grade six teachers worked together to design a student newspaper project.  The goal of the project is to encourage students to develop skills relevant to successful communication and to foster connections between the community and their school.  The content of the newspaper is aimed at engaging the wider community with events at École Brentwood Elementary School.  As entrepreneurs, students have taken responsibility for all aspects of the newspaper, including: creating layouts, designing, writing, editing and advertising.  The students have approached several businesses in community of Strathmore who pay to advertise in the Brentwood Star News.  The cost of producing the paper is offset by these advertising revenues, mirroring the relationship between media and business in a very real way for Brentwood’s students.  

The students of École Brentwood Elementary School have shown great interest in this project and are pleased to share their hard work with the community of Strathmore.  The money received from the Educational Partnership Foundation will allow École Brentwood Elementary School to buy supplies needed to enhance this project, such as cameras, a visit with local newspaper experts, and to invite workshop facilitators to further improve the quality of our product.  This money will also allow us to carry the success of this project into the future.

École Brentwood Elementary School is very proud of our strong community connections, and we are pleased to enhance student skills and build further connections throughout the community of Strathmore, Alberta.

“The Educational Partnership Foundation is very proud to support these students on their endeavour to learn about media and communications.  Their hands-on process will surely help them explore real life practices that will equip them with skills that will become very valuable in their futures” says Din Ladak, President and CEO of TEPF

If you would like more information about the student newspaper project at École Brentwood Elementary School please contact Johanna Fell at (403) 934-5013 or e-mail at johanna.fell@ghsd75.ca