Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

In-school journalism field trip

School Reporters at Whitton School
A School Reporter writes his report
Five classes of Year 7 students at Whitton School in Twickenham, Middlesex, took part in a News Day on 3 December 2008.

Charlotte, Laura, Ciorstaidh, Jack and Khyrhys write about their experiences.

By Charlotte, School Reporter
Whitton School, Middlesex

Today it is Day Zero, which is basically a school field trip, but whilst other members of the school are taking part in activities, such as going to the Science Museum and PE, our Year 7 students have been visited by BBC Media Co-ordinator, Adam Broadhurst.

He has helped us to take part in our practice BBC News School Report Day.

Would you like to be a journalist? Well, today Year 7's got that chance.

We had to research information on the computers, both individually and for our group projects.

My class were even camouflaged, donning black stripes across our faces, even though we were in the green team.

During past Day Zeros, Year 7 pupils have gone to London's Young Mariners, where we did canoeing and team building activities. However, School Report was nothing like this.

We interviewed head teacher Mr Davies about Day Zero using one of the most fundamental principles of journalism, the six W's: Who, what, where, when, why - and how (well, it's kind of a W).

Here is what he had to say:

Who first decided to take part in School Report?

It was a collaboration of Ms Kirk, Mr Cahill and Ms Lagast.

What activities have your students taken part in?

Obviously Year 7 have been doing School Report, Year 8 have had a challenge day, Year 9 have gone to either the Science or Natural History Museum, whilst others are doing work with a fantastic graffiti artist. Year 10 are working with a man who has been convicted for crime and finding out what his life was like; they are also doing PSHE work. Year 11's are doing work around their next steps in life such as college and university.

What do you think students have learnt from this experience?

Hopefully, that school can be enjoyable and that the best way to learn is when you co-operate.

How do you feel about School Report?

I think that it is a fantastic idea; I am looking forward to seeing the end result.

Are you looking forward to the big News Day?

Of course. Another teacher, Mr Swatts, will be emailing the reports from the website to all governors of the school to show them how good some of the schools students are.

All in all, I have had quite an experience and am certainly looking forward to the next School Report.


School Report Diary
By Laura
School Reporter, Whitton School, Middlesex

I am here at Whitton School. It is Day Zero, when the students don't have traditional all-day lessons.

Whilst all the Year 7 students are working with the BBC, other students are participating in a range of different events.

During our first Day Zero, we went to Thames Young Marines and had a fantastic day. On our second day, we are working with the BBC.

Under their instruction, we have until 2pm to compose four stories, both working as a group and individuals, to get the exclusive scoop!

We were separated into five groups before being dispatched to research our stories.

I was elected as editor of my group. I assigned five students to write about a variety stories that we found interesting, with the help of our BBC mentor.

A copy of these reports will go to the governors of Whitton School.

Our head teacher, Mr Davies, said he hopes that everyone learns something from this. He hopes that the Year 7's learn about working together with people and with mates.

He also said it is a wonderful thing for Year 7 to work with the BBC at Whitton School.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our School Report. I've had so much fun producing news stories.

I am now looking forward to our next practice News Day and, of course, our awards ceremony for the best articles produced. I hope I win!


My report on Day Zero
By Ciorstaidh
School Reporter, Whitton School, Middlesex

School Reporters at Whitton School
A student edits his news report
Today I'm at Whitton School on Day Zero. It's a day when all students have an off-timetable day and we have loads of fun doing exciting activities.

On our last Day Zero, the whole of Year 7 went to the Thames Young Mariners in Ham. We had a superb day: We learned how to kayak in the river then played team building games in groups. We had to work together to solve puzzles. It was so much fun!

Today people from the BBC have come in to tell us about the BBC and how to write news stories.

Year 7 have split into their five English classes and are competing against each other to write the best report and film it. The best student will get a prize! We all really want to win and we're all having a great time so far!

We have already researched the stories we're going to report in our groups and we have chosen who is doing which story.

I'm doing a report on the fake Lapland that got over 1,000 complaints from angry parents. A couple of members of staff were injured by the parents, but not that severely.

All of the students are having a terrific day and have enjoyed all of the activities they have done so far. They have worked extremely hard to deserve such a wonderful day.


By Jack
School Reporter, Whitton School, Middlesex

School Reporters at Whitton School
Editing the soundtrack takes a great deal of patience
This year, Whitton School's Year 7 are taking part in BBC News School Report. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for kids to get involved in journalism with help from the BBC.

Furthermore, on 26 March 2009, schools across the UK will get together to broadcast news by writing reports and interviews for their school website, which will be linked to from the School Report website.

Over the last few weeks, we have been learning about all aspects of journalism such as reporting, newspaper writing and article writing. Today we put all our skills into practice.

The day began with us being split into separate teams. Then, we decided the role of each person in the team.

After that, we decided what news we would write about, and found out as much as possible about each subject.

Oliver, a journalist from the yellow team, was writing about today's News Day. I asked him if today's experience had made him more aware of how news is put together.

He explained: "Yes, because before today I didn't know how reporters asked questions and gather news but doing this has taught me how they film reports and how everyone in a news team works together to make the news."

As for my own experiences, I have learned a lot today, such as what kind of stories are newsworthy, how to interview somebody and how to use video cameras professionally.

Overall, everybody enjoyed the day a lot and learned loads about how news is gathered and published.

I can't wait for our next News Day!


My day as a journalist
By Khyrhys
School Reporter, Whitton School, Middlesex

School Reporters at Whitton School
A School Reporter puts the finishing touches to a news article
Have you ever thought of being a journalist?

Have you ever dreamt of reporting for the BBC?

Well I have.

At Whitton School on 3 December 2008, my dream became a reality.

Every term we do something called Day Zero; it's basically a normal day, but you just do one subject all day.

Today was our day to become journalists. A man came in and demonstrated to us what journalists do.

We then had to go away in our groups and write articles under the guidance of our editor Laura.

She divided us into three groups and assigned us articles to write.

I had to write questions about the football players and what the latest scores were. I have always been interested in football so I found it easy to write about Manchester United.

After my sports article, I was specially chosen to go out and write a report with our mentor, who had visited us from the BBC to help us complete our project.

During BBC School Report, schools nationwide are producing new stories and television packages for their websites, which are linked to from the BBC.

I think this scheme is really informative and I found it very interesting. I will always remember what journalism skills I have learnt today.

I might just want to be a journalist if I do not become to be a football player!




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