Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - London gets set for Paralympic opening

Billy Elliott director Stephen Daldry’s Paralympic opening ceremony ‘Enlightenment’ will include more than 3,000 volunteers. Soldiers undergoing rehabilitation, children and professionals will perform in the Olympic stadium on Wednesday 29 August.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 28 August

London gets set for Paralympic opening


Billy Elliott director Stephen Daldry’s Paralympic opening ceremony ‘Enlightenment’ will include more than 3,000 volunteers. Soldiers undergoing rehabilitation, children and professionals will perform in the Olympic stadium on Wednesday 29 August.

The show’s theme is the intellectual revolution of 1550-1720 and it will explore the incredible things human beings are capable of, from Newton’s discovery of gravity to Harvey’s understanding of blood circulation. The ceremony will feature a fly past by Aerobility – a charity which trains disabled people to become pilots.

The show has been put together by artistic directors Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey. Hemmings said: ‘Jenny and I want our ceremony to be both spectacular and deeply human at the same time. He continued: ‘We’re determined that the ceremony should speak from the heart, whilst rising to the emotional and historic occasion of the homecoming of the Paralympic Games.’

Team GB will be the last team to enter the Olympic stadium in the flag procession during the ceremony, following the 165 visiting nations competing in the Paralympic Games. Over 11 days Paralympians will compete in 20 sports. Familiar activities such as archery, powerlifting and shooting will feature alongside specific Paralympic sports including wheelchair basketball, boccia (where competitors aim balls at a white target ball) and goal ball (a team game where visually impaired players aim to roll a ball containing bells into goal).

Questions for discussion


  • How accessible is our school for people with disabilities? What improvements could we make?
  • Why do you think that 'Enlightenment' is the theme of this opening ceremony?
  • The ceremony will explore the incredible things humans are capable of. What achievements do you think should be included?



Related resources


Blade Runner

  • Inspire students to succeed with this assembly about Olympian Oscar Pistorius.

Ludwig and Mandeville

  • Find out more about how the Paralympic Games started with this Holocaust Memorial Day Trust case study.

Paralympic resources

  • For lots of ideas to inspire the Paralympic spirit in class try the TES Paralympicscollection.

We’ve come a long, long way together

  • Read more about Paralympic values in school in this TES magazine article.

Further news resources


First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week


Cyclist Lance Armstrong will cede his seven Tour de France yellow jerseys and accept a lifetime ban from the sport after refusing to contest a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charge against him.

Scouts have scaled the heights of the UK's highest peaks to light flames as part of a 24-hour relay ahead of the start of the Paralympic Games.

The news that journalists in Myanmar will no longer have to submit stories to the state before publication has been greeted with cautious optimism.

Scientists have created the first book encoded entirely in DNA, marking the first time that such a large amount of information has been stored in such a way.




In the news archive index