Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

School Reporters go Christmas quackers

The Horley Duck as a School Reporter
The Horley Duck as a School Reporter
Pupils at a school in Oxfordshire adopted a stone duck as their School Report mascot when they went to interview its owner during a practice News Day.

Young journalists from Banbury School, who were joined on the BBC Bus by pupils from Burford School, also chose to investigate the age of a tortoise believed to be the world's oldest animal.

Read their reports:


By Jamie, George, Sarah and Freya
School Reporters, Banbury School, Oxfordshire

During our practice News Day for School Report, we met Maureen from Horley, near Banbury, who told us a story about her stone duck, Judy.

We witnessed her dressing up Judy as a BBC News School Reporter and captured the interview on film.

We also asked the public to send in ideas for costumes!

Then we whizzed back to Banbury School to write up the story and download the footage.

Here is our interview with Maureen:

What is the history of the duck ?

Maureen dresses Judy the Duck
Maureen dresses Judy the Duck
Well, I used to have some ducks in my back garden but they got too messy and too noisy, so I had to give them away to a sanctuary. So I decided to go to a garden centre and get a concrete duck.

Why did you call it Judy?

Well, I called it Judy from the start but nobody knew that, and all the kids in the village were coming up to me and asking me what its name was.

So I decided to do a competition for them. They had to guess the name of the duck and who ever won got a £5 book voucher.

Why do you dress the duck up?

Well, to start off with, when I first got the duck, it looked a bit cold so I decided to dress it in a scarf and hat and ever since then I have dressed the duck for all occasions.

If any of the people from the village ask me to dress the duck up for parties or a celebration, I do.

Judy the Duck wears her School Report press pass with pride.
Judy the Duck wears her School Report press pass with pride.
How many costumes have you made?

I have lost count because I have made so many. Earlier this week someone left a package on the duck's head and it turned out to be a new outfit that someone had made. I put the costume on the duck and I hope that whoever made it was able to see Judy wearing it!

How old is the duck?

The duck is now 10-years-old


Jonathan the tortoise - impostor or authentic?
By School Reporters
From Banbury School, Oxfordshire

A School Reporter from Banbury School, Oxfordshire, researches the home of Jonathan the tortoise
A School Reporter researches the home of Jonathan the tortoise
On 18 December, Banbury School took part in a School Report practice News Day and one team of teen reporters set out to bust the myth of Jonathan - reportedly the world's oldest tortoise.

Jonathan lives on St Helena, a small island 47 miles square, and he lives in the grounds of Plantation House, the governor's residence.

He has become a local celebrity.

A photograph of Jonathan, taken during the Boer War, around 1900, helps to suggest he is the oldest animal on the planet - and this has been reported by newspapers around the world.

Today we interviewed Nick Thorpe, a historian from St Helena, who said: "I wouldn't say he isn't 176-years-old, it's just that tortoises are very difficult to date."

He added: "The largest tortoise on the island is given the name Jonathan, so this one may not be the Jonathan in the picture from 1901."

So is Jonathan really the world's oldest tortoise?



SEE ALSO
Schoolchildren get 'beer goggles'
03 Dec 08 |  Berkshire

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