Topical Talk Festival

Take part in the world's biggest news festival for young people.

What are Topical Talk festivals?

Topical Talk festivals offer school children the opportunity to: connect with peers across the world; engage with leading professionals and topic experts; and gain recognition for their school on a global stage.

Festivals are seven-weeks of global discussions between schools and leading topic experts on the biggest news stories and issues of our time: from socio-political topics like racism and equity to sustainability and the "climate crisis". Each festival is packed with inspiring activities, online events and awards for thoughtful conversations and ideas.

Festival 2023 will take place between April 10th and May 26th 2023.


What happens during a Festival?

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Facilitate a classroom discussion for one hour per week
Select and teach a one hour lesson on a different topic in the news each week for the first five weeks of the Festival. Every lesson resource provides everything you need to start engaging classroom discussions.


Encourage students to join global discussions on a safe online platform
After each lesson, students log on to the Festival Student Hub to share their ideas and opinions with other students from all over the world.


Engage with events and topic experts
Students can ask questions to topic experts, take part in live lessons and are supported in their online discussions by volunteers from several corporate organisations.


Help students have their say
In the last two weeks of the Festival, students select a topic they have discussed to create their own Standpoint. A Standpoint is an opinion piece in written, audio or video format.

How do I take part?

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Download our sample timetable for a guide on what’s involved each week – including live lessons, Standpoint submissions and award announcements.

Who is eligible for the Festival?

The Festival is suitable for students aged 10-14 with B2 level English or above. It is open to all government-funded schools and costs £299 per class of 34 students. If your school serves a high proportion of disadvantaged students or students with high needs, please email [email protected] to discuss funding options.

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