Dawn Hughes and Desborough School pupil
Maidenhead's finest Earth Hour
By Linda Serck
Desborough School in Maidenhead are planning a mammoth School Report day, covering issues affecting local residents and people across the globe.
An interview with satirical author John O' Farrell and actively participating in Earth Hour - Desborough School are really spanning the spectrum of journalism for the BBC's School Report Day.
The 20 year eight and year nine pupils at the Maidenhead boys school have been preparing since September to ensure a top-notch newsroom on Thursday 26 March.
"The new boys are very nervous!", explains ITC teacher Dawn Hughes, who's overseeing the day, "they don't want to let any of the team members down."
Their 2008 School Report day was such a success - with a rare Nick Hornby interview and the BBC filming their piece on contraception - that four from last year's team are acting as mentors this year.
John O' Farrell
Nearly in the can is an interview with a well-known former pupil.
"We interviewed John O'Farrell a couple of weeks ago," says Ms Hughes, "about what he enjoyed about Maidenhead when he was here, why he picks on Maidenhead a bit in some of his books. He also talks about his latest movie that features some of Maidenhead."
The pupils filmed the interview, which lasts over an hour, and will be editing the footage themselves to appear on the school's website on Thursday.
Watch reports here:
Clearly the pupils already know that preparation is everything, for while the team will arrive at 8.30am on Thursday to scan local and national newspapers, they've already got telephone interviews lined up.
One hot topic is Maidenhead's regeneration plans. The students will be interviewing a member of the local council and a press officer from Maidenhead United, which is also part of the revamp.
Preparing for School Report
"Maidenhead has got a lot of shops that have just closed down and it's beginning to look very shabby," says Ms Hughes, "so the boys wanted to see what was going to happen with Maidenhead town centre."
She adds: "We might go out and do some vox pops, using a mobile digital camera, we'll probably head down to the station because we're close to the station. Hopefully we'll have a few people that will stop and talk."
With this raft of powerful local stories comes a major issues that affects us all: the environment.
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2009, Earth Hour has the goal of one billion people switching off their lights, and Desborough School is taking part.
"We're the only people in the area that are taking this on board," says Ms Hughes. "We have to choose an hour in the day where we power off all necessary lights, computers, fax machines to conserve energy for that one hour, we then take a reading to see how much energy we've saved.
She adds: "We're planning on doing a walkabout in that hour to see what classrooms are actually taking part, and if they're not, why they're not."
Check this page for Desborough School's full report on Thursday 26 March.
last updated: 24/03/2009 at 14:36