Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Practice makes perfect in Lewisham

The Bonus Pastor Catholic College pupils discuss their editorial ideas
The morning editorial meeting produced some interesting ideas for stories

School Reporters from Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Lewisham have been putting their ideas to the test in their practice News Day on 4 February.

Their morning editorial meeting saw the team discuss stories such as the teenager building a "death ray" machine in his shed, Spanish striker Fernando Torres' £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea and the voice actor in the new Gnomeo and Juliet movie who is scared of gnomes!

School Reporters at Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Lewisham
Students think carefully about writing within a word limit

Nearly 30 students from Year 8 were split into three news teams at Lewisham CLC to produce TV broadcasts of breaking news, entertainment, sport and weather.


Alysha, 13, the entertainment news presenter, chose to report on the actress Emma Blunt, who voices the character of Juliet in new animation Gnomeo & Juliet - and who used to be frightened of gnomes!

She felt that recording herself on camera and then watching it back was a "good experience for learning, for building up confidence and for speaking and listening". She added: "It is good to have that memory to look back on when I'm older."

School Reporters at Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Lewisham
Tim, Sarena, Alysha and Anthony front the news at Lewisham CLC

Anthony, 12, whose role was to provide links between each of the specialist presenters, offered his anchorman tips to others: "Watch the news, gather some understanding, look at other anchormen: how they talk, how they present the show, their creativity."

'Big shoes'

Entertainment presenter Sarena, 12, decided to report on the royal wedding. She said: "I think it's going to be a historic event. Katie has big shoes to fill."

Commenting on the collaboration in the newsroom, she said: "During the editorial meeting, I think we did well listening to each other. We decided, as a team, which news stories to use and which to leave out."

She added: "Even though I find it a bit boring when I switch on the news on the TV, I enjoyed making our news."

School Reporters at Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Lewisham
Students achieved their speaking and listening functional skills

Tim, 12, also a presenter, said: "I'm really proud of myself and when my mum and dad see what I'm doing, they'll be really proud too."

Curriculum goals

Teacher Colm McGregor explained that during the practice News Day, students had been assessed on their speaking and listening functional skills, achieving their goals in this area.

The practice News Day was an opportunity for different activities, such as discussion in the editorial meeting and presenting to camera, to be matched to the curriculum.

He also commented that students thought "much more carefully" about writing when doing so within a word limit and time count.

School Reporters at Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Lewisham
Nearly 30 students from Year 8 were split into three news teams

He observed that the script-writing gave a "clear focus, a real audience and real content with a real audience at the end of it".

"They have made brilliant progress. In one day here [at the CLC] they have made more progress than they would have done in four or five weeks back at school," he added.


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