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Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Thursday, 12 January 2012

This pick and mix section allows teachers to create bespoke lessons by picking activities and resources

School Reporters pose with BBC commentators Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson


This page contains a collection of videos, activities and web links relating to the historic events taking place in 2012.

Remember - it's not just the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad all going on as well.

We would value your feedback on the resources
Email or fill out the form at the foot of this page to get in touch
And if you have any suggestions about how to improve the classroom activities or ideas for new exercises, we'd love to hear from you!

With all these major events taking place in the same year, School Reporters have a host of opportunities to report on events that will be talked about for years to come.

These resources are designed to give you some food for thought and research material for stories relating to 2012 and, just as with the other resources, we've organised them into a pick and mix - so you can read through and select the materials that best fit in with your plans.

Please note that all times for activities are approximate and will depend on class size, age, etc.

We also have a special Teacher Essentials section which includes lots of extra information and advanced resources.

You can also use our six lesson plans if you prefer a more structured approach.


Event reporting

2012 will involve so many big events - local, national and international - that there are reporting opportunities to be had throughout the year and throughout the UK.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Diamond Jubilee, the Cultural Olympiad will all produce chances to tell the stories taking place. But events can take many other forms too - sports days, school plays, local carnivals and festivals - so don't miss the chance to get involved.

The masterclass with BBC presenter and newsreader Sophie Raworth will help identify some of the key skills and preparation needed to report properly on events.

Another way to report on big events or sporting occasions is with live event pages, and we've produced a guide full of tips for both sport and news stories.

(NB - the last three activities should ideally be done together)

Olympic and Paralympic Games

London won the race to hold the 2012 Olympic Games back in 2005, and the excitement and anticipation have been building ever since.

For a few weeks in the summer of 2012, the eyes of the world will be on London - but there are potential stories to do with the Games already, and all over the UK.

Whether it's the ticketing system, a local athlete hoping to make Team GB, teams training in your area, the Torch Relay passing through your town or a historical connection to the Games, the Olympics and Paralympics are massive events that produce stories galore.

These resources will help shed more light on the event for pupils, put the Games into historical context and point you in the direction of other BBC material that can assist your coverage.


Queen's Diamond Jubilee

2012 is the 60th anniversary of the Queen taking the throne, and there will be celebrations to mark the occasion with the focus on the extended four-day weekend of 2, 3, 4 and 5 June.

Events will include a Big Jubilee Lunch, a flotilla of boats on the Thames, a concert at Buckingham Palace and the lighting of 2012 beacons throughout the UK.

Towns in the UK will also be able to compete to become cities, so good local and national stories could be at your fingertips.

These resources explain the history behind the anniversary and help explain in more depth what is planned.


Sports journalism

While there is more to 2012 than just sport, there is no question that interest in all things sporting will rocket.

In addition to the Olympics and Paralympics, the school year will also take in the Rugby World Cup in the autumn and football's European Championship in the summer of 2012, not to mention the endless list of other sporting action taking place.

Arguably the next best thing to being an athlete is reporting on the action, so these resources will help any sports-mad pupils understand the essentials of sports journalism.


Cultural Olympiad

Organisers are keen that London 2012 offers something for everyone - even those who don't like sport.

The plan is "to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people" - and that means there are stories to cover everywhere!

It culminates in the London 2012 Festival from 21 June to 9 September 2012 - but there are events going on all the time, and all over the UK.

From theatre to dance, art to music, there's something to get your teeth into and these links will help you find out what's going on in your area.


Other BBC events

Charity events like Children in Need and Sport Relief offer great opportunities to get reporting, with events taking place all over the UK.

Find out if anything is going on in your area by checking the official websites and reading our guides and suggestions.


Video: Event reporting masterclass (2 mins 30 secs video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

School Report's reporting events masterclass (duration: 2 mins 30 secs)

BBC presenter and newsreader Sophie Raworth has been lucky enough to report on some of the biggest national events, like the Royal Wedding, during her career as a broadcaster.

2012 is a year which will give you the chance to follow in her footsteps, with the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to London and sporting events being held all over the UK.


But the year is not just about sport, with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad all offering up great reporting opportunities.

Sophie gives her top tips for covering big events.

You can recap the key points in the accompanying worksheet or read a transcript of the video:

Guide: BBC experts on writing live event pages

Whether it's the latest big football game or a rolling news story like the recent riots in England, a live events page is a great way to get all the latest information to your audience as quickly as possible.

Football specialist Jonathan Stevenson and news reporter Victoria King are both experts in how to bring these pages to life, while always keeping the basics of journalism to the fore.

Video: Olympics overview (2 mins 30 secs)

London 2012 - An Introduction

This video, from the BBC's World Class Olympic Dreams project, provides an overview of the Games and gives a sneak peek inside the stadium.

With the Games moving ever closer, excitement is building...

Video: Reporting sport masterclass (4 mins video + 2-3 mins to recap/discuss)

School Report's sport reporting masterclass (duration: 4 mins)

Sonali Shah

has presented BBC coverage of big sporting events like the 2008 Olympic Games, the Cricket World Cup and Wimbledon.

So she has plenty of tips to help you bring your sports stories to life and keep your audience captivated.

Remember - just because you are a big Manchester United fan, for example, doesn't mean your audience are too!


They want to hear, see or read a balanced account of what happened, so make sure you leave your personal bias out of your reporting!

You can recap the key points from the video using the accompanying worksheet or read a transcript of the video:

Activity: 2012 fact finding (10 mins)

Work in pairs.

Choose one of these topics:

  • Olympic Games
  • Paralympic Games
  • Torch Relay
  • Diamond Jubilee
  • School sports and/or cultural activities

Research your chosen topic to find out the key facts: who, what, where, when, why.

Remember to make notes and to bookmark the most relevant web pages so you can return to them later. An advanced search might help you find the information you are looking for more efficiently.

Activity: Researching 2012 (20 mins)

Get together with the other people in your class who chose the same topic as you and, between you, answer the relevant questions below. You'll need to do some more research, either online or by asking around at school. Remember to take notes, bookmark and use advanced search techniques.

Olympic and Paralympic Games

A School Reporter from Hackney Free and Parochial School  interviews hurdler Daniel Davies
Is one of your teachers training for the Olympics?

How close is your school to one of the 30 Olympic stadiums? As well as the venues in London, sports like cycling, canoeing, rowing, sailing, mountain biking and football are being held elsewhere in the UK.

  • Are any of the teams from overseas nations being hosted near your school?
  • Does your school have a connection with another nation represented at the 2012 Games?
  • Are any of the Olympic and Paralympic test events taking place near your school?
  • Does your school have a connection with any Olympians or Paralympians - past or present?

Torch Relay

  • How close does the Olympic Torch come to you on the Torch Relay route? And when?

Diamond Jubilee

  • Is there anyone connected with your school who has a connection with the Royal family?
  • Are there any Diamond Jubilee related events happening near you?

School sports and cultural activities

  • Make a list of all the cultural activities that are taking place at your school in 2012 that you could report on eg a school play.
  • Make a list of all the sporting activities that are taking place at your school in 2012 that you could report on eg a football tournament.
  • Which of the sports that you do at school are Olympic or Paralympic sports?
  • How do people in your school feel about the Olympics, Paralympics and Diamond Jubilee? (Some people may not be interested at all and it's good to get a balance of opinions.)

Activity: Planning a 2012 report (10 mins)

School Reporters making notes
Start thinking about how you will report your chosen events

Each group, present your research to the class.

As a class, decide which topics to report.

Now, before the end of the lesson you need to plan the next stage of your report. And planning involves asking yourself the 5 W's too! So answer these questions:

  • Who are you going to try to interview? What topic areas would you like to ask them about? There is no need to write individual questions at this stage.
  • Who is going to be the reporter, editor, camera or radio operator, picture editor (finding relevant photos)?
  • What are you going to do next? Plan the next stage of your reporting.
  • When will you next meet up to continue your news report?
  • Where will you next meet up? Where might you like to visit as part of your research and newsgathering?
  • Why are you reporting this? Remind yourself why people might want or need to know about this.

Find out what's going on in your area on the BBC's London 2012 website. Scroll to the bottom of the website and select your region.

Explore the BBC's map to find out where the Olympic Torch will stop overnight during its tour which begins on 19 May 2012 at Land's End and ends 70 days later at the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.

Discover more about some of the more inspiring athletes hoping to compete in 2012.

Discussion: Alternative Olympic opinions (10 mins - 60 mins) While many people are excited about the Olympics and Paralymics coming to London (and other venues around the UK) in 2012, there are a range of alternative opinions to be considered - and perhaps reflected in your reporting.

In your class or group, discuss what having the Olympic Games in London means to you.

Does it make you proud and excited to see such a massive event taking place in the UK? Or do you think it will be a letdown? What sort of factors affect the way you feel about the Games?

It could be where you live, whether you managed to get tickets, how old you are or how interested in sport you are. Perhaps you feel too far away from the action for it to really be on your radar.

And what about the financial cost of staging the Games? In a time when money is tight for the government and ordinary people in the UK, billions of pounds have been spent to build new stadiums and facilities. Is that a good use of public money?

Will the Games have a genuine legacy for young people, in terms of getting them more active and healthy? Or will the Olympics be quickly forgotten by 2013?

There are lots of viewpoints surrounding the Games - and some of them will be worth thinking about and possibly including in your reports.

The Olympics came to London in 1948 and the BBC Archive has lots of examples of how the BBC covered the Games back then.

Find out what Britain was like when the Queen was crowned in this video and read more about the big day.

Queen Elizabeth II was actually coronated in 1953 - so can you discover why we are celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, rather than 2013?

In 2002, the Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee. Take a look at what happened and how the BBC covered it.

You'll see that the BBC News website isn't as sophisticated as it is today. In particular, video and audio galleries had less impact due to the technology available. This may be the case in your school - but you can see that it's still possible to create a dynamic selection of news stories.

A collection from the BBC Archives that follows Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's journey from princess to monarch, from her first broadcast at the age of 14 to the announcement of her accession at 24.

You can also watch the full broadcast of her wedding in 1947, and hear the official Royal announcement of the birth of Prince Charles.

If you're covering a story on the British Royal Family, you'll need to know some basic facts about how it works.

The BBC's College of Journalism site has all the dos and don'ts when it comes to reporting on the Royals - from stories like the Royal Wedding to day-to-day life in Buckingham Palace.

You can also find key links to allow you to do your homework before you get started. You can also take a Royal quiz to test your knowledge.

Royal Correspondents are responsible for reporting on every facet of Royal life.

They often have close relationships with Royal Family members and must show tact and diplomacy with the Royal Family's Public Relations officials.

Peter Hunt reveals what's required to be a successful Royal Correspondent on the BBC's College of Journalism site.

Millions of people across the world watched and listened to BBC coverage of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Royals weddings, funerals and births generate a huge amount of public interest and media coverage. It's important to make sure your coverage is perfect - and you only get one shot on the day.

Find out from the BBC's College of Journalism site about the planning and preparation you'll need to put in to ensure you get it right.

Find out the latest details on the plans to celebrate 60 years of the Queen's reign.

Find out what is going on in your area and get reporting!

All the details on how to get involved with the Festival.

If you want to get an athlete or sportsperson involved, you need to track them down!

Read our guide for contacting athletes to stand the best chance of getting hold of your dream interviewee.

Self-confessed "sports nut" Damian Derrick covers all sports for the BBC website. In this video, from the BBC's College of Journalism, he talks openly and in detail about his jobs - what he loves, what he hates, and how he got there.

In this video, from the BBC's College of Journalism, BBC Radio 5 live commentator Alan Green sets out how he approaches each football match.

How he strives to "tell it like he sees it" and never forget the basics of the craft.

Watch football commentary expert Jonathan Pearce give School Reporters from JFS School in London a commentary master class.

He explains the importance of doing your research and why you shouldn't share your mic during a match.

What makes a great sport story?

In this video, from the BBC's College of Journalism, you can see some great examples of strong stories, with journalist Ian Winter offering his tips on crafting a great report.

You may not be a big sports fan but as a reporter, you may find yourself covering a big sporting event or personality.

Test your knowledge about football, cricket, golf, rugby, horse racing and tennis on the BBC's College of Journalism website and see how much you know.

The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) has come up with this initiative to help pupils improve their knowledge of statistics.

Journalists often use statistics, polls and surveys as the basis for stories, and the material and advice here will help make sure they are getting the full picture.

This resource is based around sporting data, such as pulse rates, and also has quizzes and suggestions to help develop statistical awareness.

For more general statistics-related teaching resources, the CensusAtSchool project is also available to provide help and teaching material.

The return of Sport Relief in 2012 will see people across the UK taking part by getting active to raise money for charity.

With plenty of big name sport stars and celebrities involved, there are sure to be some great stories and events to report on, maybe even in your school or local area.

The event will take place from 23-25 March 2012, and you can find out all the latest plans on the Sport Relief website.

Schools all over the UK will be involved in raising money for Children in Need, the BBC charity which supports thousands of people aged 18 and under.

Charity events can make for great reports, so why not see if there's anything going on in your school or local area?

The event will take place on 18 November 2011, and you can find out all the latest plans on the Children in Need website.

Quiz: Reporting 2012 (10 mins)

School Report Quiz: Reporting 2012

There are lots of big events going on in 2012 - which means there are lots of things for you to report! Test how much you know about reporting live events with our special quiz.

School Reporter reading the news

1.) Reporting live events

What should you do before you go live with your bulletin?

School Reporter sitting in radio studio
  1. Take a rest to recharge your batteries
  2. Rehearse the bulletin and check that all the equipment you are using is working
  3. Have a cup of tea

2.) Reporting live events

How should you prepare for commentating on your school's sports day?

School Reporters doing research
  1. Research the event, the sports and the people taking part in the event
  2. Arrive just before the event starts
  3. Choose a commentator you like and learn how to impersonate them

3.) Reporting 2012

How many days will the Olympic Torch relay take to travel from Land's End to the Olympic Stadium in London?

The Olympic Stadium in London
  1. 50
  2. 70
  3. 90

4.) Reporting 2012

The Queen is visiting your school but she hasn't arrived yet. You're reporting live for the school website. You should...

Queen Elizabeth II
  1. Post an update saying she hasn't arrived then have a cup of tea.
  2. Talk to people waiting to meet her.
  3. Chat to your friends while you wait,

5.) Reporting live events

Live updates on your website should be...

School Reporter uses a laptop
  1. Long paragraphs
  2. Posted every 15 minutes
  3. Short and snappy updates

6.) Reporting live events

You are editing a live events page covering your school football tournament. What should you do?

A School Reporter takes photos in a stadium
  1. Wait and see what happens on the day.
  2. Think about the things you want to include on the page.
  3. Write lots of content ahead of time so you don't have to do much on the day.

7.) Reporting live events

School Reporters are at your school's football tournament. How do you get their updates onto your live events web page?

A School Reporter from Whitley Abbey Business and Enterprise College recording audio
  1. Ask one reporter to bring messages to you.
  2. Ask your teacher to bring notes from the reporters to you
  3. Ask them to send text messages to you.


  1. You should rehearse the bulletin and check that all the equipment you are using is working. While it may be tempting to have a rest or a cup of the tea, there's still plenty to do. Run through the bulletin and check your equipment to avoid mistakes during the live programme.
  2. Research the event, the sport and the people taking part in the event. It's important to be fully prepared so you can tell your audience the most interesting and have some ideas for good questions to ask. Get there early so you have a good spot to watch the action. It's great to learn from other commentators but remember to be yourself!
  3. It will take 70 days. The torch will be carried by 8,000 people on its way round the UK, Guernsey and Jersey. It will reach the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday 27 July 2012.
  4. Why not talk to the people who are waiting to meet her and find out how they feel about her visit? What seems like a frustrating wait can actually be a great opportunity! Maybe one of them went to her coronation.You might find a great story or some fantastic quotes.
  5. They should be short and snappy updates. Keep your audience interested by posting little and often. Don't hold back information if you know it's accurate and useful!
  6. You should think about the things you want to include on the page ahead of time. That way, you'll be able to make sure you're covering all the angles of the story.
  7. Asking reporters to send text message updates is a great way to update your live events page. But remember to ask your headteacher if you're allowed to use phones in school. If you have to pay for your text messages, you might need to find another way of sending updates.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Keep working at it

4 - 5 : Good but could be better

6 - 7 : Well done!

The online test gives you the answers at the end of every question. If you are using the quiz worksheet, the answers can be found here:

This multiple-choice quiz is designed to test your knowledge of the issues that accompany the reporting of 2012 - whether it's the Olympic Games themselves or the cultural side of things.

It also provides some real-life scenarios to get you thinking about how you might approach things when it comes to reporting.

Pupils can take the above test online, either on this page or on a separate page which is easier to email and distribute at school; a low-tech alternative would be to print out this worksheet:


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