The Channel Hop Hub was one of seven groups of schools involved in the newsgathering project on News Day 2011
Students shared their news story ideas with pupils in other parts of the UK, during a project which saw schools mirroring the BBC's own news gathering operations.
To mark five years of BBC News School Report, an extra dimension was added for News Day 2011, and, as well as publishing their finished reports on their school websites, seven groups of schools - or hubs - reported on the news-making process throughout the day.
Some schools take on the role of field reporters while others become news gatherers, and, like at the BBC, the "Field Reporter" schools sent short updates, by phone and email, about the news-making progress at their schools, to their dedicated "Gatherer" school who publishes them to a running commentary page on their school websites.
The seven pages produced were akin to the
on the BBC News site, giving an immediacy to schools' News Days as well as a hint of competition between the schools in each hub.
Spot the difference
Watching their own LiveEvents pages develop throughout the day and making contact with other schools, especially on the phone, was part of the enjoyment for students.
Students at Marden High School on practice day
They commented on the differences in diversity, technology and uniform. Students from Sir James' Smith's School in Camelford thought another school was "posh because they wore blazers" while those from St John Wall Catholic School in Birmingham were interested to discover that another school in their hub was predominantly white in comparison to their own diverse ethnicity.
St John Wall pinned photos from the other schools' websites on a board. "This gave the students a focus and gave them instant results because they knew who they were talking to and what their school was like," said teacher Sharon McLoughlin.
It's good to talk
Students valued the peer to peer contact. Marden High School in North Shields ran the
News Matters to Marden hub
and relished the personal contact. Pupils tuned in to different accents on the phone and laughed with each other when they misinterpreted or didn't understand what was said.
Teacher Joan Bloomfield said: "It's like an adventure talking to someone in Manchester. For some of them it's a long way away."
Students ringing Plumstead Manor High School's
insisted on speaking to a peer and not to the teacher.
Students at St John Wall's
Central Heartbeat hub
were also persistent in contacting their schools. Lead teacher Sharon McLoughlin felt it gave them "control and responsibility which they enjoyed".
Looking to the future
Following the News Day contact, several schools would like to develop their relationships with each other. Some because they have the same specialism and others to improve research and communication skills through an exchange of information.
Schools are looking forward to taking part again in the future and plan to improve on what they produced during News Day. Sir James Smith's School are keen to be a reporting school, now they know what they are expected to do, and say that they will be "ringing all the time"!
Chris Eames summed up the day from a teacher's perspective: "I felt like I suddenly sussed what it was about and then I felt excited. I felt the page gave School Report a 24-hour buzz," he said.
Schools that took part this year include:
The Orbital Hub
- Central and North London Hub
Loreto College, St Albans
Camden School for Girls, Camden
Paddington Academy, Westminster, London
St Andrew's School, Bedford
The St Marylebone CE School, Westminster, London
Brentside Buzz Hub
- West London and the West
Brentside High School, Ealing, London
Acton High School, Ealing, London
Reading School, Reading
- South East London, Kent and Surrey
Plumstead Manor School, Greenwich
Guildford County School, Guildford
Our Lady's Convent High School, Hackney
St Catherine's Catholic School for Girls, Bexley
Channel Hop Hub
- The South and South West
Sir James Smith's Community School, Camelford
Coombeshead College, Newton Abbot
Dartmouth Academy, Dartmouth
La Mare de Carteret High School, Guernsey
Le Rocquier School, Jersey
Les Beaucamps School, Guernsey
Central Heartbeat Hub
- Midlands and East Anglia
St John Wall Catholic School, Birmingham
Chantry High School and Sixth Form Centre, Ipswich
Longsands College, St Neots
Northgate High School, Dereham, Norfolk
North Walsham High School, Norfolk
Shepshed High School, Leicestershire
The Bemrose Community School, Derby
News Matters to Marden Hub
- The North West and North East
Marden High School, North Shields
Ryburn Valley High School, Sowerby Bridge
Trinity Church of England High School, Manchester
Wales High School, Sheffield
William Howard School, Brampton, Cumbria
Scotland and Northern Ireland Hub
Shawlands Academy, Glasgow
St Cecilia's College, Derry