Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Thursday, 9 December 2010

December's practice News Day as it happened

A School Reporter testing out the camera at Horbury School - a Specialist Language College - in Wakefield

During the second of four News Day dress rehearsals , hundreds of teenage journalists had fun honing their news-making skills.

Read on to find out how they got on as they turned their classrooms into newsrooms.

AS IT HAPPENED (all times GMT)
School Reporters at the Cotswold School Academy, Gloucestershire
More trial runs to take place at the Cotswold School Academy
At the Cotswold School Academy, Gloucestershire, students were out of lessons for the afternoon of December 1 pulling together news stories, including features they had been working on in the run up to the day as well as breaking news. They covered entertainment, sport and weather stories. Teacher Laura Sewell said: "This all came together in our first broadcast! It was good fun and the students worked enthusiastically throughout a tough afternoon. The experience has made them realise that we will need lots more trial runs before the big day in March and everyone is really excited." Principal, Ann Holland, said she was thrilled with the enthusiasm shown by the pupils involved and is looking forward to the big day in March.

Young journalists at Freebourough Academy, in Redcar and Cleveland
Lucy, Hannah, Lucy, Adam, Matthew, Claudia, Richard, Becky, Isaac, Mrs Hudson and James.
Friday: At Freebourough Academy, in Redcar and Cleveland, students covered the opening of the academy, local snow conditions and the meaning of Christmas in their news bulletin. Four students, who took part in the previous year's School Report, became mentors for the new BBC reporting team, helping with interviews and video editing. Claudia said: "I really enjoyed the day" and Matthew added: "During the day, I interviewed five people about what they thought of the academy. "It was an enjoyable day." Becky said: "We interviewed staff about the snow conditions. We were even able to interview Mrs Halbert [Academy Principle] about what she thought about the snow and how it affected the school." Richard commented: "I enjoyed it because it was fun. We interviewed Mrs Rich, Mrs Halbert and some students on what they thought of the Academy. It was great, I loved it." Lucy added: "I really enjoyed today again - but as a mentor. I recorded a interview with Mrs Halbert. I wrote up ideas. I also helped the other press people with there work."

Practice News Day: 20 Jan 2011
Practice News Day: 17 Feb 2011
School Report News Day: 24 Mar 2011
Friday: Year 9 pupils from George Salter Collegiate Academy in West Bromwich were hitting the airwaves with radio reports on some of the latest activities in their school. As well as talking about the Children of Chernobyl Charity concert last week they were reporting on their success in the the Poetry Slam competition. The finals were on Thursday night - I wonder if they won?

Emal image
1655: Teacher Sue Charnley from Monkwearmouth School in Sunderland emailed in to reflect on the practice News Day: "We had a mixed class of 30 students from Years 8 and 9 interviewing staff and students about the weather and the change to the normal school day. Some of the students wanted to discuss the change in tuition fees for university students as they feel that they will be affected directly in years to come. Others were interviewing pupils and teachers about a big regeneration project starting in January 2011 involving lots of schools in the area."

Students at Accrington Academy
Trainee technicians: running the prompter at Acrington Academy
1616: Creative and Media Technician, Mark Duxbury, at Accrington Academy emailed in with his thoughts about day: "Today we ran a reflection session on what students did during last practice News Day. We had 10 Year 7 students and 6 Year 12 BTEC Media L3 students. The Year 12 students helped the Year 7's with the days tasks. The day was run as close to March's big day as possible; the Year 7's were split into local, national and international news teams, with one team, who are being trained as technicians, running the prompter and vision mixer. The teams then scoured newspapers and the internet for stories. The main national story was about a granny caught doing a bit of vandalism. The local news team covered our own staff Stars in Their Eyes Christmas show, filming a video vox-pop. We had two main presenters who linked the news programme together in the studio - oh - and a weather man who did rather well against a green screen! The day went very well indeed. The team are really coming along and we even had a visit from our head office in United Learning Trust."

1605: Students at Hamilton College in South Lanarkshire haven't been able to share their snow experiences as their school is still closed because of the bad weather. Earlier this week dozens of pupils and staff were forced to spend the night at the school after being trapped by snow. You can read the report here. We hope they can return to school soon and look forward to their School Report team sharing their snow-capped stories!

School Reporters at Alperton Community School in London
Interviewing the Alperton Winter Concert performers
1559: "Today began its 2010 programme of annual Winter Concerts in celebration of Christmas and the other seasonal winter festivals," wrote the reporting team at Alperton Community School in London. "The concert started off with the loud, lively beats and music of the dhol players. Mr Sehra, the organiser of the roughly twenty-four dhol players involved in the concert, admitted he was very nervous for the participants because they had trained hard but he expressed his confidence that it would go well." Read the full report on the school's website.


1527: Texting from Stafford Sports College, Teacher Rebecca Brunt commented: "We have had a very productive day and we have learned what works effectively in preparation for News Day."
School Reporters hard at work in Abbot Beyne School, Staffordshire
School Reporters hard at work in Abbot Beyne School, Staffordshire
1448: The Whitley Abbey School in Coventry met their deadline! They've since been reflecting on how they feel about the practice News Day. James found it "a bit stressful and panicky because we have a deadline for everything to be completed!" Clara said: "It was very stressful and I feel like a lot of pressure is being put on me!" Pavani added: "I liked it a lot and it was different from normal." Sascha said: "It was stressful but fun as we got it done, plus we also had fun helping the Year 7s." Darrall commented: "It has been a great experience as we're new to the team." Morgan added: "It was hard and stressful but the team work helps, especially from the Year 8s!" And three cheers to Miss Nguyen for making it all happen, even though she was feeling a bit under the weather!

Nikita and Nishi, both 13, interview staff involved with the winter concert at Alperton Community School, London
Nikita and Nishi interview concert staff at Alperton Community School
1430: The snow has been causing havoc for Beath High School in Fife and so they are unable to participate in practice News Day as originally planned. Teacher Alison Karalar says: "Pupils are busy finding news stories" and they will be writing them up once the weather allows them back into class!

1420: Besides doing interviews about the weather and the current top 10 Christmas present fads, students from Freebrough Academy in Redcar and Cleveland are also interviewing their teachers about the college becoming an academy. The interviews are being done in the school's studio using green screen technology and professional cameras, with four members of Year 9, who did School Report last year, acting as mentors. Teacher Alexander White said that the day is going really well, adding: "The students have taken it into their own hands. The mentors are helping a lot, especially in the studios with the camera work, although the staff are a bit embarrassed at being interviewed!"

1414: Killermont Primary School in East Dunbartonshire have had their practice News Day plans scuppered by the snow. The school has been closed for most of this week but their students are hoping to follow what other School Reporters are up to today by viewing this live events page!

The newsroom at Horbury School - a Specialist Language College - in Wakefield
Horbury School's newsroom
1402: Horbury School's reporting team have had the added bonus of some of their Year 11 students mentoring them throughout their News Day. Oliver, 15, has been helping out with camera skills and Megan, 12, has had some top presenting tips from Jacob, 16. He says: "Try and be confident and just be yourself." Max, 11, has been practising with the camera and says: "It is quite heavy after its been on your shoulder for a bit!" Hooray to all the Horbury School Reporters for all their hardwork!

1354: Brentside High School in Ealing, London, are about to go live with their news on their school website. Their broadcast deadline is 1400.

1329: School Reporters at Alperton Community School in London are having a great day, reporting on the winter concert taking place in their feeder primary schools. They have reviewed the concert performances, and interviewed performers and staff involved. Tulsi, 13, says: "It's interesting to learn that journalism isn't just being on TV and having fun! It is actually more involved, like researching your topic beforehand, and you have to get a lot of information that, in the end, you might not even use." Toni, 12, adds: "It's actually quite hard to improvise the questions, and some people can't always bothered to answer properly!" They are now in the final editing stages and are hoping to publish their report by 1400, so watch this space!

1323: Bath and Brazil, rugby and five-a-side football, are being brought together in an story idea at Bath Rugby Education Centre. Lead teacher for School Report, Chris Andrew, is hoping students in each country can explain the rules and origins of the sports to one another as a TV news package. Originating in Uraguay, futsal is a popular indoor soccer-based game in Brazil. "It is very popular and skillful with it's own rules," explains Chris, who is keen for students at the Bath centre to compare it with the public school origins of rugby, which is set to become an Olympic sport in 2016.

1259: Amy, 14, is the classroom news editor at Abbot Beyne School in Staffordshire. She explained: "I am editing our stories and going through some of our great ideas including the snow, sport, TV and local news. Our weather story is about how the snow's affected us. Our school is open but many children didn't get to school as it was dangerous - and we weren't allowed to go outside. We couldn't make it to some lessons as we couldn't travel between school sites." As Amy is discovering, in the newsroom, sometimes the lead story isn't immediately apparent. "Everyone is writing articles," she says "but I am not sure at the moment what our lead story is."

1226: Sometimes it's not just the news, but the newsgathering that's of interest and Catmose College in Rutland have published a video of School Reporter Charlie being interviewed over the phone by Jenny at the School Report headquarters in London.

School Reporters at Whitley Abbey Business and Enterprise College in Coventry
Joseph is interviewed by Morgan for the News with Whitley Abbey at One
1125: School Reporters at Whitley Abbey School in Coventry are still feeling confident about meeting their deadline as they are working a team and "working pretty fast". James and Pavani, both 12, have been compiling online stories about their visit to a local art gallery and museum - they found out about how World War Two affected Coventry - and Pavani even had to smell a medieval loo. Pooh! James is now uploading his audio clip from an interview he did yesterday and Pavani is involved in producing a team diary of their day. Joseph, 11, is putting together a picture gallery about their recent school panto. Andrew and Luke, both 13, have taken part in School Report before and are sharing their top tips with the younger students. Luke is helping the Year 7 students pick their best photos to make a picture gallery and how to re-size the images to best effect. Andrew is sharing his experience of using a camera and microphone.

Charlie, Catmose College
Cricket fan Charlie is excited to follow the Ashes in Australia
1139: Charlie, 13, from Catmose College in Rutland is getting a great insight into life as a sports correspondent, reporting on England's progress in the Ashes. He's really enjoying the series and learning that reporting doesn't just involve watching the match; it also requires a lot of background research into the facts and figures and watching the players closely. Kevin Pietersen's double century was a highlight for Charlie. England easily won their last match and the Australians could be worried, as Charlie revealed there's talk of them bringing Shane Warne on. Despite the matches being played on the other side of the world, and therefore broadcast in the UK in the middle of the night, Charlie has been keeping up with England's progress by watching the highlights on Skysports. As a cricket fan, being able to report on a sport he loves has been a fantastic opportunity.

1104: Students from Horbury School in Wakefield are preparing their first reports. They are just about to interview Year 8 student, Rose, who won the annual Horbury's Got Talent contest. Kath Farrell, who leads the project in the school, says: "All our Year 7's are very excited and extremely enthusiastic - and they say 'good luck' to other School Reporters across the UK!"

School Reporter Jade, from Southfields Community College, Wandsworth, putting questions to Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board
Jade put some questions to Tony Hall, Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board
1046: School Reporters Dexter and Jade from Southfields Community College, London, put their interviewing skills in practice earlier this week when they attended a special press briefing about the Cultural Olympiad. Check out their report.

1026: Years 7-8 students from Whitley Abbey School in the West Midlands visited Coventry Herbert Art Gallery yesterday as part of a learning project about Coventry and the Blitz. They had the opportunity to interview a curator and tour some of the collections - and the School Report team plan to reflect this in their news bulletin which will be live at 1300 today!

0952: Teacher Lucy Dyke from Abbot Beyne School in Staffordshire was eager to get started with her reporting team. She emailed in at 0742 to say: "I'm just setting the classroom up for the day - the students are so excited - again! They were all at the Christmas concert last night with their press passes taking notes!"

0941: School Reporters from Alperton Community School, London, are preparing to report on the school's winter concert which is happening today.

0927: The practice has begun. Check out the list below to find out which schools are taking part.


Abbot Beyne School, Staffordshire

Accrington Academy, Accrington

Alperton Community School, London

Bath Rugby Education Centre Playing for Success Centre, Bath

Beath High School, Fife

Brentside High School, Ealing

Catmose College, Rutland

Collingwood College, Surrey (7 December)

Freebrough Academy, Redcar and Cleveland

George Salter Collegiate Academy, West Bromwich

Hamilton College, South Lanarkshire

Horbury School - a Specialist Language College, Wakefield

Killermont Primary School in East Dunbartonshire

Monkwearmouth School, Sunderland

Southfields Community College, Wandsworth

Stafford Sports College, Staffordshire

The Cotswold School, Gloucestershire (1 December)

Whitley Abbey Business and Enterprise College, Coventry

London 2012 is not all about sport
07 Dec 10 |  Student reports
Pupils spend night inside school
07 Dec 10 |  Glasgow and West Scotland

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