Lesson 5: Reporting 2012

A School Reporter recording audio Image copyright Other


This lesson, the fifth in a series of six, encourages schools to begin researching 2012-related events and planning the reports they will make for School Report.

We also have a pick and mix section where teachers can pick out resources to create bespoke lessons for their pupils.

And the special Teacher Essentials section includes lots of extra information and advanced resources.

Please note: this lesson is designed to run for an hour, but all timings (except for video durations) are approximate and can be expanded or reduced as required.


1. Video - Olympics overview 2 mins 30 secs Internet access
2. Activity - 2012 fact finding 10 mins Internet access
3. Video - Event reporting masterclass 2 mins 30 secs Internet access
4. Video - Sport reporting masterclass 4 mins Internet access
5. Activity - Researching 2012 20 mins Internet access
6. Activity - Planning a 2012 report 10 mins Writing materials
7. Quiz - Reporting 2012 10 mins Internet access or printable worksheet/answer sheet


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Intro to 2012

Video: Olympics overview (2 mins 30 secs)

Watch this video from the BBC's World Class Olympic Dreams project.

It provides an overview of the Games and gives a sneak peek inside the stadium.

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


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 cultural activities

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

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


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

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BBC presenter Sophie Raworth gives her top tips for how to report on the big events that are going on all over the UK in 2012.

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:

Event reporting masterclass: key points [28.86] Event reporting masterclass: transcript  [25.37]


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

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BBC presenter Sonali Shah gives her top tips for reporting on sport events and stories.

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:

Key points: Reporting sport masterclass  [21.64] Transcript: Reporting sport masterclass [23.94]


Video: Royal reporting masterclass

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The BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt's top tips on how to go about getting an interview with the Royal Family - and what to do if you land it.

Being the BBC's royal correspondent allows Peter Hunt regular access to one of the highest profile families in the UK, as he follows their activities wherever they go.

Having a chat with Prince William about his beloved football club Aston Villa may sound great, but actually securing an interview with him isn't easy.

Here, Peter offers his top tips on how to go about getting face-to-face time with a member of the Royal Family - and what to expect if you are granted an audience.

You can recap the key points from the video using the accompanying worksheet:

Key points: Royal reporing masterclass [36KB]


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

Image copyright Other
Image caption Find out if anyone you know has a connection to the Games

How close is your school to one of the 30 Olympic stadiums? As well as the venues in London, 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 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)

Image copyright Other
Image caption Planning is a really important part of covering an event

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 and 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?
  • Why are you reporting this? Remind yourself why people might want or need to know about this.


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!

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:

Quiz: Reporting 2012  [25.05]

For reference, teachers may like to look at previous years' resources including 2009-11 and 2006-8.

Image copyright bbc

This lesson has been approved by the BBC College of Journalism.

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