Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Monday, 14 November 2011

School Report: Information for parents

School Reporters in action
School Reporters hone their interviewing skills

Wondering exactly what your children are up to with this mysterious BBC News School Report project?

This information will help you understand what your children can expect and experience when they take part in the award-winning BBC journalism project.

WHAT IS BBC NEWS SCHOOL REPORT?

BBC News School Report gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience.

Using lesson plans and materials from this website, and with support from BBC staff and partners, teachers help students develop their journalistic skills to become School Reporters.

In March, schools take part in an annual News Day, simultaneously creating video, audio and text-based news reports, and publishing them on a school website, to which the BBC aims to link. The next News Day is Thursday 21 March 2013.

You can watch a video about the project here .

WHAT SORT OF THINGS WILL MY CHILD DO AS PART OF THE PROJECT?

All schools run the project differently so speak to your child's teacher to find out the exact details.

But some of the areas and activities which often come up are interviewing, filming, writing scripts and stories, presenting and editing.

Some schools run lessons that cover all sort of aspects of news making - you can see the sort of activities here.

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE NEWS DAY?

Filming tips
School Reporters get some tips for filming from a BBC producer

The next News Day is 21 March and on the day pupils across the UK will all be making the News to the same deadline - 1400 GMT.

This news will be put on the school's dedicated School Report webpage and we will link to there from our map.

On 21 March the BBC will create an event on air. We will showcase news reports from across the whole of the UK on BBC News outlets including the School Report website and Red Button.

In previous years we have also had reports made by young people on the BBC News channel, the News at One and local and regional BBC TV, radio and online.

WHAT DOES MY CHILD GET OUT OF TAKING PART?

Teachers decide how they are going to run the project, so they can use it in a way that will work for whatever age or ability of pupils they are working with.

The project can help pupils develop core skills including team work, literacy and working to deadlines, and has been backed by academic studies into its effectiveness. "School Report offers an authenticity and realness I've not seen matched," said Don Passey, from the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University.

"It gives students a voice, enables them to do something with credibility and allows them to have contact which they could not otherwise have."

WHAT ABOUT THE PAPERWORK?

A key part of the project is that pupils' reports can be looked at by a real audience. Putting reports on to the school website means that people can see the work that schools have produced.

We drive internet traffic to the work by linking to it from the BBC so we have to make sure that your child has permission to do this. We ask schools not to use surnames and there are more details on the paperwork.

You can find all the paperwork here.




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