It was a first for BBC School Report on February's practice News Day when students took on the job of reporting the news from other schools.
Throughout the day, five students from Alec Hunter Humanities College in Braintree, Essex, rang students from three other schools - Hillhead High School in Glasgow, Abraham Moss School in Manchester and the Vyne Community School in Basingstoke - as well as speaking to School Reporters at their own school.
They wanted to know what stories the schools were working on, how they were progressing, who they were interviewing, what media they were using - and they asked for photos to be sent to them.
The students then wrote up their findings as short updates, just like BBC journalists do when they ring schools on practice News Days and on the ultimate News Day.
Only this time, the stories and photos did not just appear on the BBC School Report's constantly updated "live events" page, but also on a similar page set up on the Alec Hunter school's website, which you can see
The day was a great success, and the students from all the schools involved enjoyed the chance to interact and learn a little bit more about each other.
FANCY DOING THE SAME ON 11 MARCH?
Teachers may find these tips, on how to set up and run a "live events" page, useful: • Any number of students can take part, but four to five is a good number.
• Ask a member of staff who is familiar with ICT to set up a "live events" page on the school's website. They need to be on hand to update the page throughout the day.
• It is also useful to have access to a phone (ideally with a speaker phone facility) that the students can use on the day, and an email address which the other schools can use to send in their photos.
Don't forget to include your own school in your live updates
• Before the News Day, make contact with the schools you want to ring on the day. Great schools to contact are those you already have links with, either in your area or abroad. One thing to bear in mind is consent. If you are featuring students on your school website, it is vital that you have their headteacher's permission to do so. If the other schools are also taking part in School Report, the headteacher may have already agreed to this; check with the School Report team.
• Agree times to call them during the day, making sure they don't coincide with break times. And take a telephone number you are confident you can reach them on.
• Good times to ring are: after the morning's news meeting to find out what stories they are working on; before lunchtime to check how the day is progressing; and just after the 1400 GMT deadline to find out how the day has gone.
• During each call, remind the school to email in some photos. Double-check the students have permission to be featured on your website. Ask for captions to go with the photos, but remember that you can only use first names.
• Each school will find their own way of gathering the news from other schools, but the students at Alec Hunter preferred it when one student made the call and asked the questions, and another took notes while listening-in on speaker phone - and together they wrote it up.
• They also found it helpful to have a prompt sheet to read from. Here is one you can use as an
Remind the students of the need to ask follow-up questions and to check spellings.
• Students added the times of each individual update and, because of the nature of a "live events" page, they needed to work quickly to get their update on the site as soon as possible.
If you are planning your own "live events" page, please contact us so we can give it plenty of promotion on the BBC School Report's own page on 11 March. You can contact use the form below.
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