Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 16:57 UK

Teacher checklist for a News Day

Checklist in a notebook
Are you fully prepared for a News Day?
BBC News School Report encourages 11 to 14-year-olds to make the news in their school.

This checklist is designed to help teachers prepare for School Report News Day.

It is broken down into different time scales, explaining what to do a month, a week and a day before the News Day.

At least a month in advance

  • Decide whether you will be making TV, radio or online news.
  • If possible, run a trial News Day from scratch. The idea of this is for students to be able to compare their ability to make the news before any learning has taken place. They can then compare it to their capabilities on 13th March. Record this day in some form - student evaluations, film, photographs - anything which will enable students to recollect the day.

  • Schedule and deliver the six lesson plans on this website.
  • Ensure that it is possible to put content on your school website or that of your delivery partner.
  • Select which children will take part on the News Day.
  • Organise parental consent for all children involved. Generic letters will be provided by the BBC.
  • Return head teacher's consent form to the BBC.
  • Return signed agreement to the BBC.
  • Book area where children will work on the News Day.
  • Organise staff to run the News Day.
  • Decide on the News Day activities and whether you are going to produce any content in advance. Devise a timetable for creating any reports before the day.
  • A week before

  • Give clear roles to each member of staff.
  • Make sure you have all the material you need for the day in the right format.
  • Plan rehearsals to be carried out before the day.
  • Make a backup plan. What will happen if your equipment breaks? Is there another way the students can still make the news?
  • Make sure you have a plan for how reports or scripts will be edited, printed and distributed.

    [Experience in school highlights the importance of nominating one person to be in control of the reports/scripts.

    During the re-drafting process it's easy for two students to find themselves working on different versions of the same story, when only one can be broadcast.

    A report can go back and forth between the reporter and the editor several times until the editor is happy it's correct.

    Having one person in charge of the script helps ensure that only the approved scripts and reports are broadcast.]

  • Organise if and how other students can watch, hear or read the broadcast.
  • Make sure everyone knows NOT to use surnames.
  • Ensure that the teachers making editorial decisions are aware of the issues of libel, copyright, taste and decency and child protection.
  • The day before

    On air light
  • Make sure all equipment is working and that you have plenty of spare batteries, tapes etc.
  • Distribute a clear timetable with deadlines for different activities. For example, when will the editor check the scripts or reports? When will they check the amended reports?
  • Double check everyone knows NOT to use surnames.
  • Decide on a clear editorial hierarchy. Who is in charge in the day (the editor)? Who will make the final check on scripts or reports? What happens if there is disagreement over content?
  • Decide who is running the TV studio, radio studio or in charge of compiling online reports on a news homepage.
  • Decide who is responsible for health and safety.

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