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Curriculum relevance

This page, which explains how BBC News School Report fits in with the national curricula for each of the nations in the UK, has been updated. For the latest information, please follow this link.


As a cross-curricula project, which develops both subject knowledge and skills, School Report can be used to implement the new national curricula, for 11 to 14-year-olds.

Teachers may like to read how School Report relates to the educational guidelines in their nation.

ENGLAND

By encouraging students to watch, listen and read reports about news in their area and the wider world, School Report reflects the aims of the new national curriculum.

Head of Curriculum Development at QCA, Gareth Mills, said: The new secondary curriculum seeks to provide opportunities for young people to experience authentic learning connected to contemporary issues that face the world. Engaging with real-world news and information, such as through BBC School Report, provides inspiring and compelling learning that can make a real difference to learners."

CURRICULUM ROLLOUT SCHEDULE
Year 7 from September 2008
Year 8 from September 2009
Year 9 from September 2010

Teachers have been using School Report resources with students in a variety of subjects including English, ICT, Citizenship, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages.

Students at Pensby High School for Boys Specialist Sports College in Merseyside scripted and broadcast their audio news in Spanish.

Teachers have also been using School Report to implement the Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) described in the national curriculum.

Assistant Head Teacher at South Chadderton School in Oldham, Maxine Coates, said that taking part in a School Report News Day "was a fantastic opportunity for the students and staff to develop ICT and communication skills, which will be invaluable to them in later life."

She added: "It encouraged our students to critically evaluate the news and not just accept everything they see on TV. To have a professional product gave them a great sense of pride and achievement."

An independent evaluation of the project in the north-west of England revealed the most frequent topics selected for news reports: safety and comfort; education and school issues; health; sports; entertainment; current news stories about individuals; citizenship, finance and current affairs issues.

In an independent evaluation of the project, educational researchers from Lancaster University match School Report to the National Curriculum for England and the Every Child Matters agenda. The mapping begins on page 16 of this report and an explanation of the key is on page 15:

SCOTLAND

Schools in Scotland value the curricular contribution of School Report as an example of the principles of Curriculum for Excellence in action.

Caroline Taylor from the Bridge of Don Academy in Aberdeen said: "School Report is a fantastic opportunity enabling pupils to explore the world of media. They thoroughly enjoy the project and are very proud of their final production. The project links with many educational initiatives including a Curriculum for Excellence."

Four capacities

Ms Taylor added: "The project allows pupils to develop many skills including teamwork, research, meeting deadlines and working independently. It is an excellent project which is well supported by the BBC mentors and provides many opportunities for both pupils and teachers."

Such skills are those used to describe effective contributors, one of the four capacities described in Curriculum for Excellence. School Report can also help young people to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens - the other three capacities.

Experiences and outcomes

Teachers have been using School Report in a variety of areas including Social studies, Technologies and Languages; three of the eight curriculum areas which feature in the experiences and outcomes component of Curriculum for Excellence.

For example, students at Plockton High School in Ross-shire broadcast their news in English and Gaelic.

Literacy

Within Curriculum for Excellence there is a sustained focus on literacy across all areas of learning. The guidance states: "Children and young people not only need to be able to read for information: they also need to be able to work out what trust they should place on the information and to identify when and how people are aiming to persuade or influence them."

School Report supports such aims through resources such as lesson 2 of a six-part series on the School Report website which focuses on fact-checking and balancing opinions.

Scottish context

School Reporters in some schools have used the project to explore Scottish contexts, cultures, history and Scotland's place in the world; themes which are emphasised in Curriculum for Excellence.

For example, pupils from Doon Academy in Ayrshire reported on the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birthday.

Interdisciplinary learning

School Report has been used as vehicle to promote learning beyond subject boundaries, enabling pupils to make connections between different areas of learning and promote a positive school ethos.

For example, the 2009 News Day bulletin produced by students at Sgoil Lionacleit in Benbecula, was a collaboration between musicians and School Reporters. The video, which focusses on the importance of traditional music in island culture shows young journalists interviewing staff and students in the school band.

Curriculum updates

In 2009, new curriculum guidelines were published enabling schools to plan during 2009-10 for implementation of the new curriculum in 2010-11.

The key documents include Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching, which was published by the Scottish Government in 2008 and replaces the existing guidance on the 3-5 curriculum, 5-14 curriculum and curriculum design in the secondary sector.

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In an independent evaluation of the project, educational researchers from Lancaster University match School Report to the 5 to 14 Guidelines for Scotland. The mapping begins on page 29 of this report and an explanation of the key is on page 15:

WALES
CYMRAEG

School Report aims to provide a meaningful, relevant and motivating experience for students by giving them a real purpose and a real audience for their work. This reflects the learner-centred focus of the revised national curriculum subject orders and frameworks in Wales which include, among other revisions, a focus on the study of media and moving image texts as a way of preparing learners for life in the twenty-first century.

Skills development

The skills relating to journalism - including research, fact-checking, balancing opinions, writing for a specific audience - which School Report aims to develop, are generic and transferable. As such, they relate to the development and application of skills detailed in the Skills Framework for 3 to 19-year-olds in Wales.

REVISED NATIONAL CURRICULUM
The subjects are being implemented as follows:
September 2008 - Years 3, 4, 5 and Years 7 and 8
September 2009 - Year 6, 9 and Year 10: Welsh second language and physical education
September 2010 - Year 10: English, Welsh and Mathematics Year 11: Welsh second language and physical education
September 2011 - Year 11: English, Welsh and Mathematics

Feedback from teachers reveals that by planning, developing and reflecting on their reports, School Reporters develop thinking skills; by reading for research, writing for a specific audience and presenting their reports orally, they develop communication; by finding information using the internet and using a range of equipment and software to edit and present their stories, they develop ICT skills. Some School Reporters have devised and conducted their own surveys, interpreting and presenting the results in their reports, which helps develop number skills.

Subject areas

With a focus on news-making, school Report naturally relates to subjects such as English, ICT, Welsh and Personal and social education, but some teachers have used School Report to deliver the programmes of study in other subject areas including Modern Foreign Languages and Geography.

Time allocation

The revised curriculum gives schools the freedom to deliver the curriculum in the way that best suits their needs, without constraints relating to time allocation or organisation of subjects.

The Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills propose that "such changes in approach might include moving away from a rigid hourly timetable, combining the teaching of one or more subjects in a thematic way or using a series of whole days - in or out of school - to focus on a particular topic". The Making the Most of Learning guidance document also suggests: "It could refer to a project that addresses common skills such as selecting and gathering information, observing and recording, exploring and investigating". This ties in well with School Report, which encourages schools to participate in a series of practice News Days in the autumn and spring terms, and also in the UK-wide News Day in March, when students at all participating schools spend the day creating and publishing their own news reports.

Learning across the curriculum

The revised curriculum identifies three areas of cross-curricular learning; knowledge and understanding of Wales, personal and social development and well-being, and awareness of the world of work.

Teachers have found that as a result of actively making their own reports, many students take a greater interest in the news and the world around them, promoting active and global citizenship.

For example, Maesteg School in Glamorgan reported on environmental issues and recycling, during News Day 2008.

In an independent evaluation of the project, educational researchers from Lancaster University match School Report to the National Curriculum for Wales. The mapping begins on page 21 of this report and an explanation of the key is on page 15:

NORTHERN IRELAND
ROLLOUT AT KEY STAGE 3
Schedule for review of Northern Ireland Curriculum at KS3:
2008/09: KS3 Regional Pilot Yr 10, Areas of Learning including LLW Statutory Yr 9, Planning & Training KS 3 Teachers
2009/10: Areas of Learning including LLW Statutory Yrs 8-10, Planning & Training KS 3 Teachers

The revised curriculum places emphasis on helping students make meaningful links beyond subject boundaries. School Report also promotes this breadth of thinking, encouraging students to engage with school and community news, as well as national and international news. The project, therefore, naturally relates to Areas of Learning such as Language & Literacy , Environment & Society, and Learning for Life & Work which embraces the subject strands of Personal Development and Local and Global Citizenship.

Some teachers have used School Report to deliver the programmes of study in other Areas including Modern Languages and Mathematics & Numeracy. For example, some School Reporters devised and conducted their own surveys, interpreting and presenting the results in their reports.

Cross-Curricular Skills

The curriculum places an emphasis on the development of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT.

Feedback from teachers reveals that by using a range of equipment and software to find information on the internet, and edit and present their stories, students develop Cross-Curricular Skills ICT skills.

An independent evaluation of School Report found that students who worked as a group to discuss issues such as which news to cover and how to treat each story, experienced a steep learning curve. Another key finding was that the emphasis on communication, as the main learning strategy throughout the project, had a noticeable effect on the quality of written outcomes.


Thinking Skills and Personal Capacities


School Report can also be used to help students develop the Thinking Skills and Personal Capacities : Managing Information, Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Being Creative, Working with Others and Self-Management.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

In an independent evaluation of the project, educational researchers from Lancaster University match School Report to the National Curriculum for Northern Ireland. The mapping begins on page 26 of this report and an explanation of the key is on page 15:



SEE ALSO
School Report can improve literacy
11 May 09 |  School Report

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