Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Join in our Practice News Day on 8 February

Hounsdown pupils work on editing their video
Hounsdown pupils work on editing their video

With the weeks counting down until News Day on 15 March, why not take advantage of the chance to have a dress rehearsal with a Practice News Day?

Wednesday 8 February is the last opportunity for schools, teachers and pupils to experience what it's like to report to a deadline and the lessons they can learn prior for News Day itself.

The main News Day in March will see students work to a 1400 GMT deadline to create video, audio and text-based news before publishing it on their school website by 1600 GMT.

So schools taking part in a Practice News Day might like to rehearse some of these elements, or just get to grips with the newsgathering and production side of the project - it's your call.

If time is tight, why not have a look at our News Day in an hour lesson plan for ideas?

What you report on is entirely up to you. It could be local, national or even international stories that your School Reporters look into. And if you have a topic which could be of wider interest up your sleeves, let us know.

The School Report planning diary is worth a look for some ideas and inspiration, while a scan of the local and national newspapers and websites will also help give you a starting point.

If you're still stuck, we've come up with some extra topics to report on:

• Next week marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne, on 6 February 1952. This year's service in Norfolk will represent the start of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations - building up to the Diamond Jubilee weekend on 2-5 June.

Pupils could consider the importance of the Diamond Jubilee alongside the other big events happening in 2012. Why not have a look at our special 2012-themed resources page?

• The Scottish government has just unveiled its strategy for dealing with high levels of youth unemployment.

The story broke a day after news that changes to how vocational courses are rated may make them less attractive to young people.

Get the students to consider how the economy is affecting young people's futures and career aspirations.

Kelly Holmes is among previous Laureus Award recipients
Kelly Holmes is among previous Laureus Award recipients

The Laureus Awards are amongst the most prestigious in world sport. Previous winners have included Kelly Holmes and Lance Armstrong - and this year, the event will be hosted in London on 6 February in recognition of the forthcoming London 2012 Olympic Games.

This is a great base for potential stories about school sport - from winning and losing to the importance of keeping fit. The Laureus Awards are based on sporting principals of fairness and responsibility - so issues like racism in sport are also rich possibilities for student reporting.

• The 200th anniversary of the birth of writer Charles Dickens will be celebrated on 7 February.

• And on the same day, Safer Internet Day will be marked across Europe. This is a good starting point for School Reporters to research and report on issues relating to their use of the internet (inside and outside of school), social networking, cyberbullying, and the school ICT curriculum.

Make sure to check to see if your school has any activities planned around Safer Internet Day already - and if it has, report it!

During the day, the progress of students across the UK progress will be featured in an blow-by-blow account on the School Report website, enabling students to compare their work with other School Reporters.

Schools may also run their own practice News Days on any date they choose if it's more convenient - again, just let the School Report team know when.

Planning to take part?

Please let us know using this form:

Your Email address
Your School
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The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Prepare your school webpage FAQ
06 Jan 12 |  Teachers' resources
Getting ready for News Day
02 Mar 10 |  School Report
January Practice News Day as it happened
20 Jan 12 |  School Report
December's practice News Day as it happened
09 Dec 10 |  School Report
November's Practice News Day as it happened
18 Nov 10 |  School Report


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