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BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 17:16 GMT
Gearing up for News Day
School Reporters from Greenwood Dale, Nottingham
Greenwood Dale School in Nottingham prepare for the UK-wide News Day

School Reporters around the UK are preparing for the most important day of their journalistic journey.

The News Day on Thursday 13 March is the culmination of the BBC News initiative which has given over 10,000 students an insight into the news-making process.

On the day, more than 280 schools from Cornwall to Orkney, will make the news for real, conducting interviews which many adult journalists would envy.

The 11 to 14-year-olds will be holding politicians to account, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat party.

On Wednesday, 20 students headed to Westminster to prepare their questions to ask the party leaders.

After a trip around the Houses of Parliament they went to BBC's Millbank base where they were given top tips by School Report LIVE and Newsround presenter, Adam Fleming, and BBC Political Correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti.

On the News Day, students will cover breaking news stories as well as broadcasting prepared reports on a range of topics including mobile phones, anti-social behaviour and body image.

Actors Dustin Hoffman and Zach Mills
Students met Dustin Hoffman in London, where his film premiered
Stars on the spot

Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman, artists Dinos Chapman and Rolf Harris, and author Nick Hornby are among the celebrities who have already given interviews.

Sport will be also high on the agenda. Lord Sebastian Coe, who chaired the successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell both spoke to School Reporters.

One school met the England Ladies Cricket captain Charlotte Edwards and another is investigating the sporting pay scale for male and female athletes.

Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards presents the news on News24 and BBC1
Professional help

In order to prepare reports such as these, School Reporters spent time in the classroom learning the tricks of the trade with the help of video tips from news presenter Huw Edwards.

Putting theory into practice, they took part in rehearsal News Days in order to hone their newsroom skills.

Teacher Dawn Hughes from Desborough School in Maidenhead, Berkshire described a rehearsal in December as "the most rewarding day I have experienced in my 16 years of teaching."

She added: "All the students were a pleasure to be with, listened and contributed fully - something that every teacher strives for."

On March 13, students will work to a 1400 GMT deadline to complete their reports, publishing them on their school websites by 1600. An interactive map on the School Report website will link to school sites, generating a UK-wide audience for students' work.

BBC news programmes and websites across the UK plan to feature School Reporters and their work.

School Reporters from Hackney Free and Parochial School in London
School Report TV will include live interviews with pupils from 5 schools
In addition, a dedicated TV channel and radio station, which can be accessed from this website and the red button service, will be streamed throughout the school day.

School Report LIVE and School Report Radio will be broadcast from 0900 and the highlights of both day-long programmes will be available during the evening.

Behind the scenes footage of School Report in Northern Ireland will also be available on the red button service after 1830.



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