How to win stars

Stars are awarded to the contributions that show an excellent demonstration of our Topical Talk skills.

Skills are really important for understanding the news and they help you do well in school and in life! So everything we do in Topical Talk helps you to develop them. Look at each skill below to get some tips about how to do them well on the Hub.

You can win either one, three or five stars, depending on the quality of your comments. You can also win stars for having your question chosen by an expert, for suggesting a new discussion that we choose to make into a post and for winning the weekly competition!

Winning is great, but remember, being on the Student Hub is not all about the stars. The most important thing is that you learn new things, develop your skills and enjoy connecting with other people.

Skill Solid Listening 2020


To understand the news we need to listen for information and hear what others think about it - this helps us work out we think. Three ways you can show good listening are...

  • Building on others' views - such as agreeing, disagreeing, adding examples
  • Ask questions to others
  • Identify why people think the way they do
Skill Solid Speaking 2020


Speaking on the Student Hub usually involves writing. Speaking allows us to work out what we think and helps us express our opinions. Show your speaking side by...

  • Use appropriate language and words that relate to the topic
  • Give reasons for what you think and give evidence and examples
  • Adapt your writing for a purpose - for example, if you're trying to persuade someone of something, how will you communicate with this goal in mind?
Skill Solid Problem Solving 2020


This is important because it lets us work out if something is true or false and helps us understand what problems need solutions to. Good ways to problem solve are...

  • Find out information for ourselves - and tell us where you found it!
  • Weighing up pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages of something to help you come to a good decision
  • Find the causes of a problem - look at why something went wrong in the first place
Skill Solid Creativity 2020


Creativity lets us come up with ideas and helps us foresee what might happen next. Our top tips for showing creativity are...

  • Give suggestions that no one else has come up with yet
  • See a question or issue from other perspectives
  • Help others to see a question or issue from another angle

Comments (1)

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  • Winning stars is great but all contributions are really valuable!