Where possible the BBC tries to offer a mentor to work with lead teachers taking part in School Report.
Understanding the news
The mentor can help explain the project and discuss ways to help make it happen in school.
They come from a variety of backgrounds - journalism, technical and support roles. Each mentor can assist in different ways. Whatever their skills they all have one thing is common - they can provide an insight into how we do things at the BBC.
WHAT CAN A MENTOR DO?
Explain the project further
Help plan lessons
Advise on stories
Help on School News Day
Mentors have to continue to meet the varying demands of their job at the BBC. This means some mentors may not be able to offer as much support as others. The minimum we ask of them, is that they are available to be at the end of a phone for you to pick their brains and offer advice.
We inform lead teachers and mentors of each other's contact details. Both should get in touch as soon as possible to set up a meeting to arrange working together.
HOW CAN MENTORS HELP?
Offering advice on news and stories
Suggesting ways of broadcasting
Providing a listening ear
Even if you are not planning on following the school report lessons until the Spring term - still contact your mentor. There's a large demand for mentors with not every school having one, so we have had to say this year that if no contact is made within a month of names and details being exchanged, we may need to consider matching the mentor to a different school instead.
Checking the facts
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET HOLD OF MY MENTOR?
BBC staff rely heavily on their emails so this is often the best way to get hold of them - but remember to check your own emails to see if they have replied!
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO MAKE USE OF MY MENTOR?
It's important to set up an initial meeting so you can both establish what you want and how much help and time the mentor can give. They'll be able to suggest ways they can help. Look at the School Report web site. Explaining anything that you feel isn't clear could be a good starting point.
MY MENTOR WORKS ON THE WEBSITE AND WE WANT TO DO A TV BROADCAST. HOW CAN THEY HELP?
Your mentor may not have the expertise in recording a TV news bulletin, but they do know is how to write clearly, correctly and concisely, know what makes a good news and can guide you editorially. Your IT and technicians in school should be able to help with the practicalities of recording. If it's too hard - why not consider radio or web broadcasting instead.
I'VE TRIED TO GET HOLD OF MY MENTOR BUT HAVE HAD NO REPLY.
Contact us here in the School Report office - we'll find out why.
Finally, School Report is growing bigger every year and it means not every school will have a mentor so if you do not want a mentor, please tell us!