School Report: Schools join forces in News hubs
Schools from different areas of the UK will have the opportunity to mirror the BBC's own journalistic operation by joining forces in newsgathering "hubs" on 15 March.
This year, a total of 26 schools will be involved in four hubs which will add an extra dimension to their reporting, and also enable them to make connections with School Reporters outside their own area.
The hub model was first introduced last year with central "gatherer" schools being used to collate telephone or e-mail messages about the News Day experiences of "field reporter" schools in their group and use them in a frequently updated live text page.
These are similar to the LiveEvent pages on the BBC News site and give an immediacy to the activities of School Reporters, as well as providing an insight into what others are up to on News Day.
- BRENTSIDE BUZZ
- Brentside HS
- Reading School
- Sir John Talbot's Tech Coll
- Bramcote Park Bus School
- The Hermitage Academy
- St Anselm's Catholic School
- Hawick School
- CHANNEL HOP HUB
- Sir James Smiths
- Roseland Community School
- St Philip Howard Cath HS
- Maidstone Grammar School
- Plumstead HS
- Ysgol Y Gader
- CENTRAL HEARTBEAT
- St John Wall
- Northgate HS
- St Andrew's School
- Craigmount HS
- Chailey School
- The Priory School
- MARDEN HIGH
- Marden High School
- Ryburn Valley HS
- Wales HS
- St Catherine's Catholic School
- Uplands Community School
- The Cotswold Academy
- Our Lady's Convent School
The hub exercise proved hugely worthwhile 12 months ago as students were able to discover differences between their own schools and others in their hub, across a wide range of issues like technology, uniforms and ethnicity.
Even listening to unfamiliar accents on the phone added to the enjoyment of News Day for some pupils.
"It's like an adventure talking to someone in Manchester. For some of them it's a long way away," said teacher Joan Bloomfield of Marden High School in North Shields, which acted as one of the "gatherers" and will fill that role again this year.
Her view was echoed by Eilidh MacAlistair, a teacher at Shawlands Academy in Glasgow, who commented: "I like the idea of being in touch with other schools. Sometimes it's very easy to forget you are not the only school involved."
The hub operation begins with each "field reporter" school making contact with its "gatherer" to establish the method by which copy, usually no more than a sentence or two, will be sent.
And last year, students watched with excitement as their own live events pages developed throughout the day, keeping them informed about the activities of their School Reporters.
As they raced to meet News Day deadlines, the immediacy of supplying information to a minute-by-minute live events page gave them a flavour of the fast-paced world of news reporting.
"I felt the page gave School Report a 24-hour buzz!" said Chris Eames, a teacher from Sir James Smith's School in Cornwall.
Because of the hub partnerships, students are also able to exchange photographs, so they can see who they are collaborating with.
And there can be additional benefits, once News Day is over.
Last year, several schools indicated they would like to continue to develop their relationships, some because they had the same specialism, and others to improve research and communication skills by an exchange of information.
School Report is an annual BBC project which helps young people make their own news reports for a real audience.