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28 October 2014
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Hannah live on the radio
Hannah live on the radio

School children to go to Number 10

Six students from Coventry and Nuneaton went to Downing Street for a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Fed up with school? Angry about crime levels? Worried about environmental damage? Who is the best person to ask to answer these concerns? You could try your parents, teachers, councillors, or how about the Prime Minister?

See what happened when the pupils met the PM:

It sounds crazy but that’s exactly what half a dozen students from Coventry and Nuneaton did. Six thirteen year olds from Hartshill Technology College, Lyng Hall School and Tile Hill Wood School got the rare opportunity to interview Tony Blair.

School Report

The Prime Minister’s interview is part of BBC News’ project called School Report which gives 12 and 13 year-olds from 100 UK schools the chance to make their own news for broadcast for one day. Find out more by following the School Report link above.

Intensive training

Three of the reporters - Jack, Pardeep and Hannah
Reporters - Jack, Pardeep and Hannah

On Tuesday, 20 March, the group had an intensive media experience to prepare. They spent a day at BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, being trained in media techniques for radio, television and online. They were also given detailed training in interview style from BBC Five Live’s political reporter Ross Hawkins.

In addition they became stars themselves, chatting live on air with Liz Kershaw, interviewing Bob Brolly and being filmed for BBC Midlands Today and News 24.

In their words

To tell you more about the whole experience are some of the students themselves, using their honed media skills here for the first time in their web logs. Click the links below to read about their journey into journalism.

Pardeep’s web diary 20.03.07

Hey Guyz! I am Pardeep, 13 from Lyng Hall Secondary School and I was chosen, along with a friend Jack, to be part of School Report. This opportunity opened a whole new door, and that was that we will be visiting the Prime Minister on Thursday! Also we have the chance to interview him at 10 Downing Street itself! So, like, at the moment I am too excited but nervous at the same time.

Pardeep interviewing Bob Brolly
Pardeep interviewing Bob Brolly

There are three schools involved and two pupils from each have been selected to actually take part in this. Three will be doing all the technical work, and three will be interviewing. I will be the stills photographer and even though I won't be able to interview Mr Blair, it will be really fun capturing moments which can last for a life time!

I will also get to shake the man’s hand!! Yes, I felt all the excitement when I actually heard the news, and today I went to the BBC and did some work to help out. Basically Heartshill, Tile Hill and Lyng Hall schools joined and finally met. We all learnt a lot and did variety of activities, we all went on the radio at some point within the day, some of us, more than once. We were seriously treated like A-Listers :p

It was really fun, we got to know each other, and everyone was sooo nice. Everyone was so welcoming and working with professionals, was an ABSOLUTE treat. We were filmed a lot of the time, with each other, or individually.

It was all fun, and gave us a taste of what it is like in the media business! We had lots of re-takes which I found really fun (laughs) since as prepares me for what life may be like if I became an actress. I have always wanted to work with a professional camera crew...and to be on the TV, radio, in 10 Downing Street and meet the Prime Minister...is quite amazing! I can't believe (SERIOUSLY) that I am actually even going to go into 10 Downing street in two days!! I am just soaking it all up before the big day!

I even went to get my hair cut (Laughs) This is a HUGE chance, and it is sooo astonishing that I got chosen to do it! A lot of people I could think of would want to do this!

So yeah, I am very excited!! And I will update you all sooooon! Cya guyz xox

Hannah’s web diary 20.03.07

Hello my name is Hannah, this is my online diary on BBC School Report. I am one of many teenagers who were given the chance to join in with an amazing event, this was to be a part of the BBC team reporting for the television and radio.

Hannah live on radio with Bob Brolly
Hannah live on radio with Bob Brolly

We were also told that we were going to meet Tony Blair, can you imagine how excited we all were! Even better news we found out that we are going to do the interview at number 10 Downing Street you never know we might get a tour. We were all ecstatic!!!

Today we went to the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio station. As soon as we got there all six of us went into a radio room where we went live on air. This was great fun as we talked about why we were chosen to take part in this event, and gave some idea of the questions that we were going to ask the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

After this we all chose our roles for the forth coming event.  These roles were camera man, sound person, photographer, and three reporters. My job is to be the sound person. As soon as we had finished in the sound room we were given some ideas on what sort of questions would be appropriate and why. We then went to film us as a group, with a handheld video camera and the big cameras too. This was just some of the things that might be used on TV. I was a bit nervous when I had to say my part but with encouragement I felt much better and flew through it.

We then went to talk to a reporter from BBC Five Live and we talked to him about the exact questions we were going to ask Mr Blair. I believe these questions will be successful and we will get good answers back from them.

We also did a number of other interviews on the radio- one was with a gentleman from the BBC he was very nice and very funny. [Bob Brolly – Ed] We asked him a question about how he got his hair straight, he replied that he used to put tights on his head and this was live on the radio we had a laugh. We then did a bit more filming using our roles to practise for the actual day. That was most of what we have achieved today I feel that I had a great time and enjoyed myself immensely I can't wait until we go and meet Mr Blair. Signing off Hannah.

Jack's web diary 20.03.07

Hi, I'm Jack and this is my blog on BBC School Report but this blog isn't going to be very long because I don't like typing lots of stuff.

School reporter Jack filming
School reporter Jack filming

At the start of this, it was a big surprise for me because I was called over the school's tannoy to report to the Headmaster, Mr Green, so I thought I was going to get in trouble, but then Pardeep also walked into the office and I realised that I was safe.

Mr Green said to me and Pardeep "I want you to do an important job for me, you are going to interview someone for me - the PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair". I instantly thought to myself god mate you must be joking, but it was true! Which is why me, Pardeep and four other children from Hartshill and Tile Hill Wood School are going to the one and only 10 Dowing Street to interview the Prime Minister!

On Tuesday, me and Pardeep arrived at the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio Station to have a day of "A-List" stardom. It was great - we were on the radio twice in one day! My favourite part of the day was when Bob Brolly's producer put me up to say to Bob about him straightening his hair by sleeping with his mums tights on his head; it really made Bob laugh when I said that live on the radio.

I found out I won't be asking the Prime Minister questions, but I will be filming it all on a high tech camera! So I guess that was my day at the BBC.

On Thursday I'm going to see the Prime Minister in London at Number 10 Downing Street. It's going to be a great experience and 'Im really nervous but it should be good. I'm signing off now. In a bit... Jack.

last updated: 24/06/08
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