Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

January's practice News Day

Schools from Devon to Glasgow took part in a dress rehearsal for the News Day in March. Read the entries below to see how the day unfolded.

School Reporters Tyrone, 13, Omar, 13, and Ashan, 12, from Lampton School at Brentside City Learning Centre
Tyrone, Omar and Ashan discuss how to liven up their weather report
26 Jan Obama and his intervention at Gunatanamo Bay, obesity, healthy eating, sport, a school awards ceremony featuring an Olympic rower, weather and underage cinema-going were the main news topics covered by School Reporters from Lampton School. The class of Year 8 students were at Brentiside CLC to turn their investigations into video news reports in a recording studio set up by five of the pupils.

Rugby nternational Lee Mears with Lara and Lyndsey from Hayesfield Technology College in Bath
Lee Mears gives an exclusive interview to Lara and Lyndsey
26 Jan Bath Rugby and England International Lee Mears learned how to order a large ice cream - in Portugese - while he was being interviewed by Lara and Lyndsey from Hayesfield Technology College in Bath. The School Reporters were at the Bath Rugby Education Centre with their classmates Natalie, Jessica and Helen to interview the sporting star before he flew to Portugal to train for the Six Nations 2009. View their reports on the Centre's website.
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22 January 2009

School Reporters at Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre, Ipswich, Suffolk
Hard at work in the newsroom
The credit crunch, the inauguration of Barack Obama and a Strictly Come Dancing competition between teachers were the leading stories of the day at Chantry High School in Ipswich. The students' written and audio reports have been uploaded to the school website.
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At Lyndon School Humanities College in Solihull, West Midlands, 30 students worked in small groups; each reporting on one local and one national or international report. Humanities co-ordinator Rowena Bailey said: "Not all groups completed both tasks in the time, but this was all part of the learning experience, and very valuable as students learn how to manage their time and work to a deadline!" With the help of English teacher
School Reporters at Hamilton Grammar School
Presenting the final report at Hamilton Grammar
Emma Maslin, each group is now preparing a longer report for 26 March on an aspect of local news of interest to them. Ms Bailey added: "Students and staff enjoyed working on this project, and are looking forward to the real thing!"
Students at Hamilton Grammar School put their contacts to good use, lining up an American pupil to commentate on the inauguration of Barack Obama. Eleven students took part in the practice News Day on Wednesday 21 January.

School Reporters at English Martyrs School, Hartlepool, North Yorkshire
Pupils hit the streets to gather information
1800 Based at Teeside University, students from English Martyrs School in Hartlepool, North Yorkshire, focussed on school-based stories. They reported on the closure of one local school and a crisps ban at another. One teacher reported that students were quite relaxed about the deadline "as they were aware it was only a practice News Day", but that "the pressure will be felt much more when the real News Day arrives".

School Reporters at Brentside High School, Ealing, London
BBC mentor Esther McWatters talks to Vithuran and Naeem
1748 Knife crime, Heathrow airport expansion and the Hudson river plane crash were three of the main news topics reported by video journalists at Brentside High School in Ealing London. View their reports on the school website alongside an interview with a BBC School Report mentor.
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1726 At Shawlands Academy in Glasgow, the students interviewed one of their PE teachers who had a promising hockey career, and reported on the launch of a bill for Scottish money to be accepted in English shops, a change in the school timetable, Barack Obama becoming president of the USA, litter and a Celtic-inspired music festival. All the items have been published on the school website. School Reporter Grace said: "The day has been really fun and I enjoyed using the recording equipment." Megan added that she "really enjoyed the day".
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School Reporters at Nab Wood Community College, Bradford
Students get to grips with the camera and prompters
1648 The lead story of the video news bulletin on Nab Wood School's website involves the inauguration of Barack Obama. The other major news item covered by the students in Bradford is about the new facilities at the school which have been built as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme.
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1638 The work of students at Lyndon School Humanities College in Solihull, West Midlands, is now on their school website. The headlines on their front page include: Drug raids in Birmingham, 1,923,000 jobless, Traumatic start to police career, Two Burmese fishermen, Barack dreams, Fuel smuggling in Gaza, Jaguar Land Rover opens academy, Obama retakes oath and Villa legend dies.
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1633 Students at Bolton School Boys' Division in Bolton, Greater Manchester, have published their reports on their school website. The headlines of their text-based reports include: Missing girl found safe in France, Guantanamo Bay trials suspended, AIG pull out as Manchester United's sponsor, Sir Peter Ogden lands, Greenpeace buy Heathrow Terminal land, Jamie Oliver Opens Recipease stores, Changing timetable in Bolton School, Jonathan Ross returns after suspension, Chinese milk scam, Charlie and the charitable bike ride. Teacher Claire Spencer-Jones said: "The boys are really excited with what they have achieved and have begun reviewing how to improve things based on today’s experiences. It was a super opportunity."
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1558 Meldrum Academy in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, are running their first practice News Day on Tuesday 27 January. Teacher Rhona Robertson said: "We will be reporting on a number of school events and our two reporters Rebecca and Rachel will be attending their very first Burns Supper." Rebecca said: "It's really exciting to get the chance to go to the Burns Supper because it's usually only the senior pupils that are allowed to go so Rachel and I will be the only first year pupils there. It's especially good to be going to this one because it's 250 years since Burns was born."

1512 Seven students at Hillcrest School in Birmingham hit the deadline by successfully broadcasting a three minute bulletin which included a report on the significance of Michelle Obama's outfits during this week's US presidential inauguration, details of cross-departmental use of a new school greenhouse and reaction to their Ofsted visit earlier this week. Susan Miller, one of the teachers involved in the project, said the students were great and that "everyone had learnt a few things!". Vimbai, 11, had a hectic morning reporting on their school Ofsted inspection which took place earlier in the week - including interviewing the head teacher to see how it went. Fatima, 13, had the challenge of interviewing a four-year-old. "She kept laughing so I had to film it three times but it worked in the end," she said. It was more challenging and busier than she thought. "Everyone was everywhere!" she added.

1506 Horsforth School in Leeds, West Yorkshire ran their practice News Day on 12 January. News items in the school bulletin included road safety close to a local school and ethical shopping. For this story students asked teachers whether they shopped in high street stores, and if so, whether they knew ethical trading was taking place - and if this affected their shopping style. Nicola Hazel, the lead teacher for the School Report project, felt that the deadline was a "fantastic" experience enabling students to engage with the real world. She is now introducing sixth form mentors to the project, who will help the younger pupils with technology during the March News Day.

School Reporters at The Piggott School, Reading, Berkshire
Students practice their filming and presenting skills
1504 The Piggott School in Reading, Berkshire, held their practice day on Wednesday. News topics included the inauguration of Barack Obama, fishermen who survived a shipwreck by staying in an ice box for 25 days, fundraising for school solar panels and Reading Sports Personality of the Year, Amy Millar. The pupils enjoyed the day and were able to stick to the deadline.

School Reporters at Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre, Ipswich, Suffolk
It's smiles all round as School Reporters hit the deadline
1438 School Reporters at Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk, have been looking at the credit crunch and "how it will affect people," said Lauren from Year 8. Michelle added: "Prices are dropping in the shops, and then the shops lose income. We're doing research on the computer and different newspapers. We want to interview some sixth formers because they might have part time jobs - or they might have lost part time jobs - and some teachers about their income." Paul said: "We're looking at Barack Obama and the fact that he's the first black president and that everyone's going crazy about it." Pupils hit their 1430 deadline and are currently uploading their reports to their school website. BBC Suffolk also reported on the News Day on their website and radio station.

School Reporters at amilton Community College in Leicester
Leonie captures the US reaction to Obama's inauguration
1429 Students from Hamilton Community College in Leicester have been working on their Obama inauguration story all week. Their highlight has been speaking directly to American students in Washington during the historic event. Leonie, 13, said: "I cannot believe that I could speak to students in America on such an important day for all the world. The students did not get much sleep last night and it has been a long journey for them. I would travel to the moon and back to have seen this day. I am so lucky to have spoken to someone who was there it is something I will always remember."
1415 The Heath Technology College in Runcorn, Cheshire, ran a practice News Day in December and will run another in February. Students worked with Kate Sims, a reporter from BBC North West Tonight. In the morning they had editorial meetings, identifying good stories and pitching them to Kate. In the afternoon, they produced practice bulletins after identifying the stories they were going to use. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed it, as working with Kate "gave it an authentic and real feel", said E-Learning Manager, Kirsty Lowe. Students found working to a deadline frightening but enjoyed the motivational pressure they were under. They are looking forward to their next practice News Day in February.

1402 Students at Willingdon Community School in Eastbourne, Sussex, withstood the wind and rain to film an s-bend section of the Cukemere River, which the local council have decided to flood to reduce the flooding affecting local villages and roads. Phoebe, 12, said: "Local people care about it as it's a natural beauty spot which they like to visit and where they can walk their dogs. If they flood it, in some ways it will be good, but I personally think it should stay the same. For our news report we will speak to people on both sides of the argument." Teacher Gemma Rham explained that students had already spoken to a Geography teacher who often runs school trips to the spot, which is ten minutes from the school. Students are also reporting on other news topics including fund raising for disadvantaged children who attend a school in Ethiopia, Barack Obama, the effect of new health and safety regulations on the fire service, a lizard which became a household pet, online chat rooms and obesity.

1349 Footballer Kaka staying at AC Milan, rather than transferring to Manchester City, was important to young sports reporters in London because "he was offered a massive amount of money," said Ameer, 12, from Brentside High School in Ealing. He added: " I spoke to 10 people in my class. Most people said he should stay at AC Milan, some said he should have gone to Man City and others said he shouldn't have been offered that much money." He went on to give his presentation tips: "Be professional by looking straight at the camera, not anywhere else - and dress smart. If you are giving out information to lots of people, you need to give a good impression, otherwise people won't believe what you are telling them."

School Reporters at Rainham School for Girls, Gillingham, Kent
Abigail and Belinda edit their radio broadcast on internet safety
1337 Internet safety is one of the news topics being reported at Rainham School for Girls in Gillingham, Kent. Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC Radio Kent, John Warnett, is at the school to show a group of Year 7's how to create a breaking news story. Abigail, 12, said: "It's been fun being busy and learning how to make a radio show." Anna, 11, said: "'We've enjoyed working as a group and learning about how to be a good news reporter." Chloe, 13, a Year 8 mentor, said: "It's been a challenge. I've worked with the Year 7's, helping them with their scripts and teaching them how to use the equipment."

1300 Obama, a shark surviving fisherman, cars of the future and plans to improve their local are some of the stories on the agenda for the 29 School Reporters at Charles Burrell High school in Norfolk - and they've been working on news from their school too. "We're not allowed to wear religious jewellery at school like prayer beads and crosses" explained Crystal, 14, "and we wanted to find out why". So they interviewed their head teacher who explained this was for health and safety reasons. Safety concerns also came into a report on hair extensions. "Some of us had brightly coloured hair extensions - my mate's were purple - but they had to come out because school didn't want them" said School Reporter Patricia, 13. We thought it was unfair so we wanted to do a report on it. They interviewed the deputy head teacher who said it was because they might catch fire in Science and balanced their report with an interview with Shannon from Year 11 who is studying hair and beauty - and thought they should sometimes be allowed. Patricia said it was important for their report not to be biased. Jenny Selby, their teacher, said the day was going "really, really well" but as the deadline got near some of the students were running out of things to do. "We're already planning what to add in next time," she said.

Sir Peter Ogden at Bolton School Boys' Division, Bolton, Greater Manchester
Sir Peter Ogden arrives at the school by helicopter
1235 The top story at Bolton School Boys' Division in Bolton, Greater Manchester, is about Sir Peter Ogden arriving in the school grounds by helicopter. Students have been interviewing him about The Ogden Trust and his Knighthood. They have also been working on seven other stories - a mixture of local, national and international news - including one about Jamie Oliver. Working in small groups, pupils have spent the morning finding and gathering news using news websites and interviewing pupils at the school. They are having a working lunch and will come together for a feedback session this afternoon. Students have found it exciting working to a deadline and taking on board different roles including project managers, technicians and co-ordinators.

1230 School Reporters from The Vyne Community School in Hampshire are hard at work trying to hit their 1400 deadline. A group of Year 9 students are working on a number of stories including the state of some of the girls' toilets and the cost of recycling. The boys have contacted their local council as they want to know why their school recycling bins cost so much and are waiting for a response. Philippa, 13, and Holly, 14, are highlighting the state of some of their school toilets which they say are "awful". They have taken photographs of the loos before and after breaktime - and apparently there is a significant difference! They have also been vox popping some of their classmates and teachers. Philippa says all is going "ok at the moment but the pressure will get bigger when we get nearer to the deadline!" Students are being reminded regularly of their deadline by their BBC mentor Amanda who is working with them today.

1210 A helicopter airlift from school grounds to rescue an injured 15-year-old is one of the top stories at Desborough School in Berkshire. Matt, 14, one of the School Reporters working on the story said that the whole school turned out to watch the helicopter land last Monday lunchtime, 19 January. "Sam in the year above me had dislocated his knee but he's recovering well in hospital now". The whole thing was filmed by students on their phones and Dawn Hughes their teacher explained that the School Reporting team has spent the last hour working out how to get the video from their phones so they could use it in their reports. "Phones with video are everywhere now," Matt explained "which means it's quick to get video of news stories." The rescue is just one of the stories 18 School Reporters and their four student mentors have been working on at Desborough. Other stories include Holocaust Memorial Day, coming up on 27 January, and Barak Obama. Mrs Hughes said that the mentors, aged 14 and 15, had really been coming into their own. "We're just sitting back and the Year 10 students are running the day for the School Reporters which is great to see."

School Reporters at Brentside High School, Ealing, London
Lee reports on the Brentside Cookathon
1201 A primary school cookathon was filmed by Vithuran and Naeem, both aged 12, at Brentside High School in Ealing, London. Vithuran said: "In order to make the food look good, we started with a close up shot of the salad and soup and then zoomed out to show the students and teachers. At the moment we are practicing our script before we go in to record it."

1140 Students from five schools in Ealing are visiting Ealing City Learning Centre (CLC) in January to learn how to film their news reports. Pupils from Greenford High School, The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, Twyford Church of England High School, Villiers High School and Elthorne Park High School are shooting footage of their chosen stories on day two of a four-day course run for nine schools at the CLC. Topics covered include the youth programme at Brentford Football Club, plastic bags, the affect of video games on young people, traffic on local roads, teenagers behaviour and graffiti. Day one of the programme is an introduction to the news, where students discuss what is news, how to balance opinions and conclude with an hour in the CLC's TV studio, where a couple of groups present the scripts they have written. During day two, students leave the building to film on location. Some students gained access to Brentford FC to film the pitch and interview players and the manager, while others have been to the Thames' South Bank to film graffiti at a skate park. After editing their footage at the school, students return to the CLC for day three, when they piece together their reports into a half-hour bulletin. On the week of School Report News Day, each of the nine schools will visit the CLC for two hours to record their final news bulletin. CLC manager Karen Stead said: "The students have got really into it. Arguing over current affairs on day one gets them all fired up and on day two when I ask them if they have been watching more news, most say yes. When it comes to giving them hands on control with the equipment, you could cut the air with a knife. And when they've finished, the cheers go up. We're only half way through the School Report experience and already there has been positive feedback from schools."

1108 Students at Willingdon Community School in Eastbourne, Sussex, have left the school building to film on location. School Reporters have chosen to cover a story about the Cukemere River, where there is a proposal to flood an s-bend in order to create a flood plain.

School Reporters at Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre, Ipswich, Suffolk
School Reporters begin writing their reports
1102 The pressure is on at Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk, where the young reporters who prove their worth today will be selected to take part in the UK-wide News Day on 26 March 2009. Twenty two students have begun the day by scouring the daily papers, both local and national, to find stories of interest to them and their audience. They are working to a 1430 deadline to compose their online articles on laptops which will be then be published to the school website by the end of the school day.

School Reporters at Nab Wood Community College, Bradford
Researching the news at Nab Wood
1030 Newsgathering began early at Nab Wood School in Bradford with School Reporters arriving at 0730. They got straight into trawling the newspapers for stories. Tahira, 13, and a team of TV reporters - Lyel and Wahhab, 13, and Hanan and Josh, 14 - are working on their main story about the inauguration of Barack Obama, focussing on the fluffing of his lines while reciting the oath of office. Dzintra, 14, and another group of students are working on a report about the improvements that have been made in their school over the last two years, particularly security. In total, 15 students are working on a text, radio and TV report. Teacher Maxine Gordon-Jarrett said: "It is all going well and the students are greatly energised! Their teamwork skills are really excellent; groups of them are going out interviewing teachers and look quite impressive with their clipboards!"

School Reporters at Brentside High School, Ealing, London
Shane, Mason and Christopher report on the Hudson river plane crash
1029 The Hudson river plane crash, Obama's inauguration, footballer Kaka and a bus driver strike in north-west London are on the news agenda at Brentside High School in Ealing, London. Shane, 13, chose to cover the plane crash because "it's interesting, it's still quite up-to-date and there are a lot of things to report on including the flight data obtained, what happened to the engine and the pilot being hailed a national hero. The facts are the main bit of article as they grab the audience's attention." The 24 Year 8 students began the day by watching a video of Huw Edwards giving some journalistic advice and taking an online quiz about how to keep news safe and legal. They are currently researching news stories in the daily press and writing their scripts for their video news bulletin, which they will present at 1400. Pupil Neil said that meeting the deadline was challenging but that he was confident he could achieve it.

0940 Students at Lenzie Academy in East Dunbartonshire have written three news reports about young people's views on the inauguration of US president Barack Obama for their local paper, the Kirkintilloch Herald. Second year pupils, Victoria, Kirsty and Ciaran, aged 13, plus another nine of their classmates, spoke to students at Washington-Lee High School in the US by video link on Friday 16 January. As well as asking questions about the impact of having an African-American president, students also enquired about life in Washington DC. Teacher Alison Elliott said: It's great that we've got a relationship with the paper and Washington-Lee. We're really excited to continue both links. We study US politics at different levels so it's really fantastic to have a connection with the school in the US."

Daniel, 14, from Lenzie Academy spoke to Emily, from Washington-Lee High School, who was at the inauguration parade on Tuesday. She said: "I think the benefits of having an African-American president are substantial. We've came so far from the days of segregation and slavery. Public education needs reviving, hopefully Obama can do something about it. The amount of money spent on election campaigns is ridiculous, it's just unnecessary. The majority of the money spent is on TV commercials. Provided that Obama has the time and support, it's quite possible he can rescue the current economic problems. It's definitely a massive leap forward for an African-American to become president. Streets and metros are very crowded, it's very chaotic in Washington currently. I don't think many people will miss George W Bush, in-fact most people are relieved that he is about to leave office."

School Reporters at Lyndon School Humanities College in Solihull
School Reporters scan the daily papers
0915 School report practice News Day is underway at Lyndon School Humanities College in Solihull where Year 9 students are looking at the issue of whether there will ever be a black prime minister. Ashish, 14, said that they have been inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama. "We want to know if it will ever happen here. We are about to work out who we should interview and do some research to make our story". Students plan to speak to local councillors about the subject. Teacher Rowena Bailey said the students have enjoyed working though the lesson plans and are really looking forward to today. They will look at the day's news stories as well, before planning their filming. They hope to produce a podcast. Unfortunately their technical support has broken his arm, but they are hoping they will still be able to upload their work by the end of the day.


English Martyrs School, Hartlepool, North Yorkshire

Nab Wood School, Bradford

Shawlands Academy, Glasgow

Sir John Thursby Community College, Burnley, Lancashire

Willingdon Community School, Eastbourne, Sussex

The Vyne Community School, Basingstoke, Hampshire

St Robert of Newminster RC School, Washington, Tyne And Wear

Merchants' Academy, Bristol, Avon

Lyndon School Humanities College, Solihull, West Midlands

Desborough School, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Charles Burrell High School , Thetford, Norfolk

Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre, Ipswich, Suffolk

Bolton School Boys' Division, Bolton, Greater Manchester

Brentside High School, Ealing, London

Marden High School, North Shields, Tyne And Wear

Hillcrest School, Birmginham, West Midlands

Swindon Academy, Swindon, Wiltshire

Rainham School for Girls, Gillingham, Kent

Hamilton Community College in Leicester (January 19-23)

The Blue Coat School, Oldham, Greater Manchester (8 January)

Greenford High School, Greenford, Middlesex (8 and 12 January)

Lenzie Academy, Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire (12 January)

Elthorne Park High School, Hanwell, London (9 January)

St Augustine of Canterbury RC High, Oldham, Lancashire (12 January)

Horsforth School, Leeds, West Yorkshire (12 January)

Hornsey School for Girls, Haringey, London (12 January)

Hamilton Grammar School, Hamilton, Scotland (January 21)

The Piggott School, Reading, Berkshire (21 January)

Twyford Church of England High School, Acton, Middlesex (16 January)

The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, Acton, London (19 January)

Lampton School, Hounslow , Middlesex (19 and 26 January)

Villiers High School, Southall, Middlesex (23 January)

Skinners School, London (23 and 30 January)

Hampstead Secondary School, Camden, London (25 January)

Bath Rugby Education Centre, Bath (26 January)

Meldrum Academy, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire (27 January)

Burnage High School, Manchester (January)

Hartford High School, Northwich, Cheshire (January)

Doon Academy, Dalmellington, Ayrshire (January)

Carluke High School, Carluke, South Lanarkshire (January)

video and audio news
Practice News Day at Chantry High

Take part in a practice News Day
11 Dec 08 |  School Report
December's practice News Day
17 Dec 08 |  School Report
November's Practice News Day
14 Nov 08 |  Student reports



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