Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

BBC News School Report 2010 is bigger than ever

Children from Burlington Danes School in London
Thousands of children are taking part in School Report

More than 700 schools from across the UK - and a number of international schools - are taking part in BBC School Report News Day this year.

Around 25,000 children will be preparing news reports on the day.

Among the highlights are an attempt to beat the world record for the biggest interactive weather report, fronted by the BBC's Carol Kirkwood.

Students at a school on the outskirts of Bristol spoke to their counterparts in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Several of the children at Winterbourne International Academy described it as a "life-changing experience" after hearing of the risks Afghan children take just to get to and from school.

A class from Villiers High School in Ealing, west London, had similar enlightening conversations when they were put in contact with a group of children in Haiti, some of whom had lost friends and relatives in January's devastating earthquake.

All the events of the day will be covered on the BBC News School Report website and there will also be coverage on television and radio throughout the day.

I want to give young people the chance to make the news themselves, and I want to share the principles of good journalism
Huw Edwards

The temperature for the record-breaking weather report attempt will be taken at 0915 by schools, from the Shetland Islands in the north to Jersey in the south - and as far away as St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Other highlights include children at a school in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, being asked for their view on the war in Afghanistan.

Children at the school, chosen because of the town's links with the repatriation of the soldiers killed in Afghanistan, came out against the war and there were mixed views about having their town linked to the public mourning.

One of the school reporters, Milly, has a cousin serving in Afghanistan at the moment. She said she could not stop crying: "I really feel for the people who've lost family."

Election question time

With a General Election only weeks away, the leaders and education ministers from the three main national parties, and their counterparts in Scotland and Wales, are being interviewed by several budding Jeremy Paxmans.

The BBC's Baghdad Correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse will be interviewed by students live in the studio.

Aqib, pictured left with Om Puri and co-stars on West Is West
Aqib, pictured left with his co-stars, was interviewed for School Report

Pupils from Nab Wood School in Bingley, West Yorkshire, have interviewed Aqib, a schoolboy actor from Bradford who is starring in the sequel to the award-winning movie East is East.

In the interview Aqib, 15, reveals his role models are Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler.

The new Children's Commissioner Maggie Atkinson, who only takes up her post this month, will be giving her first live interview to a group of youngsters.

Young reporters at the Big Bang exhibition in Manchester will produce a news bulletin dedicated to science.

Former Celtic and Wales footballer John Hartson has gone back to his old school in Swansea to be interviewed by the students about his battle with testicular cancer.

World Kidney Day

Thursday is also World Kidney Day and Rebecca, a student at Rhyl High School in north Wales who has had a kidney transplant, is the subject of a special film by correspondent Colette Hume.

School reporters in Wootton Bassett
Cub reporters covered a repatriation ceremony in Wootton Bassett

The Welsh Assembly is due to vote later this year on a plan to replace the "opt in" for kidney donors with a system which would assume everybody who died had donated their kidneys, unless they had specifically opted out.

Scottish students are interviewing the former Olympic and Commonwealth hammer thrower Shirley Webb, ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

This is the fourth year of BBC News School Report and each year it has got bigger.

In March 2006 only one school took part in the initial pilot project.

This year 50,000 children are taking part during the whole year, with half of them active on the day.

BBC News presenter Huw Edwards, himself a former teacher, has shared his expertise through a series of short videos.

He says: "I'm involved because I want to give young people the chance to make the news themselves, and I want to share the principles of good journalism."


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