BBC News Interactive School ReportBBC News Interactive School Report
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 17:00 GMT
'Stressful - but lots of fun'
Jen McAllister, a BBC mentor, explains how the day went at Hinchley Wood School, Surrey.

It's just after 3pm, and I'm taking a well-earned breather after the stresses and strains of News Day! The website design is almost finished, and the stories written by pupils in Year 8 are about to go live on the web.

We've had a fantastic day, and the students have really enjoyed writing stories to real deadlines.

"It's very stressful," said one, as she left the classroom, exhausted. So, I think we were pretty successful at replicating real life!

The pupils spent the first couple of hours writing stories for which they had done interviews before the day. Then from 11am, the emphasis switched to "on-the-day" news.

Sophie and Georgina had seen a story in the press about the issue of homework for primary school pupils, and whether it should be scrapped. Research claimed that homework for very young children was putting too much stress on family life.

Sophie and Georgina started working on the story at midday from a standing start. By 2pm, they had visited the neighbouring primary school, interviewed two teachers and two pupils about their views, and written up their report.

They both described how much fun they had had working to such a tight deadline. And I must admit that a little bit of their adrenaline rubbed off on me too!

At the end of the day, the students discussed what they had got out of News Day, and how they hoped to take things further.

A few said that journalism is something which they might now consider as a career. All of them agreed that the day had been a lot of fun, and they will look at, listen to and read the news in a totally different way in the future.

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