What are Topical Talk festivals?
Topical Talk festivals are global discussions between students and leading topic experts on the top news stories and topical issues of our time: from socio-political topics like racism and equity to sustainability and the "climate crisis".
Festivals use Topical Talk teaching resources as a springboard for inspiring activities, exciting online events and thought-provoking competitions.
Festivals last for seven weeks and take place twice per year.
How does a festival work?
Choose from our special festival resources and explore these with students in the classroom.
Support your class to log onto the Festival Hub and share their ideas. They’ll join a global conversation about the issues with their peers and leading topic experts.
Join unique live events, enter competitions and win prizes and awards for ideas and discussions.
How does a festival fit with my curriculum?
Festivals are designed for flexibility and impact. Simply select the resources which best fit with the subject(s) your students will be studying during the Festival period. Four teaching resources will be published in the four weeks leading up to the festival (one per week) and six resources will be published during the Festival. All resources contain cross-curricular links and develop essential critical-thinking and communication skills: speaking, listening, problem-solving and creativity.
Is my school eligible?
Festivals are suitable for learners 10-14 years-old and are open to government-funded schools. Some low-fee paying schools that serve students with high needs (for example, students with special educational needs or those from low socioeconomic backgrounds) are eligible to take part.
If you are unsure about whether your school meets this criteria please contact [email protected]
How much does a festival cost?
A festival costs £299 per class (up to 34 students). Funding is offered to some schools.
When is the next festival?
Monday October 31st - December 16th 2022. Registrations are now closed!
Festival #2 will take place April 10th - May 26th 2023. Registrations open January 2023.
The Festival clashes with a school holiday, can I still take part?
Yes, simply take part for a reduced period of time: either before you go on holiday or when school reopens.
What do I need to prepare in advance?
You will have access to the Festival Hub (website) from October 17th 2022. You should familiarise yourself with the content, events calendar and competition schedule in advance and activate your students’ access to the Student Hub.
What is the Student Hub?
The Student Hub is our online discussion platform. During the Festival, students access activities and global conversations which complement classroom discussions. Students can share their ideas, hear perspectives from young people across the world and receive feedback from topic experts. Individual login credentials will be provided to teachers ahead of the Festival.
How do you keep students safe online?
We take safeguarding seriously and follow strict processes to keep students safe online. We require all teachers to sign an agreement before students take part and we work closely with schools if students post anything that causes concern.
All student work is anonymous and no identifying information is ever disclosed. We also provide resources that support students to build online safety habits.
Is the online discussion moderated?
Yes, we read every contribution before it is published. As with our classroom resources, our team of experienced teachers ensure that content is always age-appropriate and support students on the correct use of the Student Hub.
How do I register?
What does my school get for taking part?
Gain recognition for your school on a global stage! Throughout the Festival, stars will be awarded for thoughtful conversations and ideas, and awards will be presented for stand-out contributions.
Standpoint competitions will be judged by a panel of experts and awards will be presented to schools with the most outstanding contributions.
What are standpoint competitions?
Discussions lead to standpoints - a final opinion piece which students submit on a topic studied during the Festival. These may be written, film or audio pieces and we encourage students to get creative.
Entries must be submitted on the Student Hub by December 12th 2022.