School Report's Olympic torch relay highlights

Commentating in the rain, exploring the first Olympics in a field, rubbing shoulders with politicians...

It's all in par for the course for School Reporters covering the epic trail of an Olympic torch around the UK.

The relay has been on a 70-day journey taking in 8,000 miles and 8,000 torchbearers in the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games. Here are some of the highlights produced by our fearless, persistent and creative School Reporters.


It all began on 18 May 2012, one day before the official start of the relay David Beckham and HRH Princess Royal were on a plane clutching the Olympic torch ahead of its landing in the UK in Penzance and School Reporters were on the case.

As RNAS Culdrose prepared for the big arrival, Tanisha and Jacob from Mounts Bay Academy starred on the BBC News Channel, along with torchbearer Henry, to tell presenter Jane Hill about their exclusive access to the base.


Image copyright Wordle
Image caption One of several Word Clouds made up of entries sent by School Reporters

"Legends", "courage", "gold", "dreams" and "McDonalds". What else would you possibly come up with when thinking about the 2012 Games?

The School Report Word Cloud was designed to visually represent a flavour of what was going through the heads of pupils in the build-up to the big event. This cloud example was created by the contributions from Diss High School and Lampeter Comprehensive School, while lots of other schools also contributed.


To help celebrate the torch's trip around the UK, Horrible Histories author Terry Deary worked with School Report to produce a hatful of bone-chilling stories.

One blood-curdling tale, dating back to 1175, involved the Normans, hungry Welsh warriors and an untimely slaughter over some Christmas turkey. Horrible!

Meanwhile, School Reporters from Parkside Sports College in Durham caught up with Terry to hear the shocking news that he hated history at school, along with his large repertoire of terrible jokes. Click here to watch the interview.


Niamh and Tiffany report as they wait for the torch to arrive.

Music, choirs and school bands were at the top of the agenda when the torch - on its journey between Middlesbrough and Hull on day 31- arrived at the Open Air Theatre in Scarborough.

Niamh and Tiffany, School Reporters from St Augustine's School, provide 14 seconds of fantastic commentary as they describe the excitement while waiting for the first sighting of the torch.


As the relay made its way from Lincoln to Nottingham on day 41, one of the most moving stories to emerge from the 70 days involved a torchbearer called Ella.

The 12-year-old's profile says she has continued to "always put others before herself" despite the tragic death of her mum last summer.

School Reporters from Arnold Hill Academy cheered on their fellow-pupil in Mansfield in atrocious wet and windy conditions, interviewing head teacher Mr Fugill, who said: "It's a proud moment for Ella, as well as the teachers who nominated her."


School Reporter Harry interviews spectators at torch relay

Most kids would be busy blowing out candles and playing party games on their birthday.

Not Harry from Charlton School who joined forces with Charlie to cover the torch relay in the Olympic borough of Greenwich interviewing spectators about what the Olympics in their home town meant to them.


Image copyright School Report
Image caption Creative beauty from Holyhead School

With Usain Bolt and his Jamaican team-mates based in Birmingham preparing for the Olympics, local pupils from Holyhead School wanted to provide their own spark to celebrate the Games and torch relay.

More than 250 staff and students worked, or rather stood, together, to create a rather special pic. School Reporters Jasmine and Arshpreet said: "As we handed out the T-shirts we sensed the excitement as the students waited in anticipation for the picture to be taken."


Over the course of the relay's journey, the School Report cameras were in overdrive.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Student Rachel helps light up Selby with the torch

Many photo galleries were created along the torch route, but there is one colourful collection of pictures that must not be missed.

School Reporters snapped shadow chancellor Ed Balls and chancellor George Osborne (but not together sadly!), TV presenter Ben Fogle was on a helium balloon ride and there was even a very unusual 100m world record broken.

Check out the gallery here.


The Blue Peter team and School Reporters worked together on creating video packages throughout the relay.

As the torch travelled from Cardiff to Swansea, reporters from St Cenydd Comprehensive School in Caerphilly discovered some crazy facts about the local area. Did you know there was a totem pole standing proud in Wales?


With the 2012 Games from the middle of London now upon us, who'd have thought the inspiration of this incredible event was a muddy field in Shropshire.

School Reporters from William Brookes School in Much Wenlock got their wellies on to explore old stories from 1850 of competitors chasing pigs and battling on greasy poles.

I wonder how the likes of Usain Bolt or Jessica Ennis would have performed in those events?


With the torch flying into Inverness on day 24, School Reporters from Elgin High School were keen to explore the local area's connections with the Games.

Pupils at Elgin High discover Olympic links to their school

Pupils Summer, Sophie, Naomi, Caitlin, Morgan, Carys and Georgia produced a stunning package which aired on BBC Radio Scotland's MacAulay and Co programme.

Find out about a local hammer thrower and how a 57-year-old is hoping for success in the marathon.


It is 40 years since Dame Mary Peters won gold in the pentathlon at the 1972 Games in Munich.

With the torch arriving in Belfast on day 19 , the School Report team from Carrickfergus College in County Antrim was able to grab a few words with the Olympic legend.

Asked about the effect of the Games, Peters told the School Reporters: "It is lighting people's imagination."


BBC School reporters describe the arrival of the torch in Cheshire

Hooray! School Reporters can climb onto the podium having bagged two gold medals in the event of live commentary on the torch's arrival.

Gold No 1: The first competitor is Knutsford Academy with School Reporters Oliver and Billy describing the moments of the torch turning up at Tatton Park in the rain.

"It's an eruption of noise. Even though it's tipping down, you can't fault the enthusiasm and spirit. The flags are just a blur - even chancellor George Osborne has turned out."

Gold No 2: Next on the podium is a very excitable and professional School Reporter from Morley Academy in Yorkshire.

After pupils grabbed a few words with shadow chancellor and local MP Ed Balls, it was time to hand the microphone to Jonah for some torch relay fireworks.

A small flag and a few magical words are all you need for a golden commentary moment.


Words are almost unneccessary for this final entry in School Report's list of the best bits from the torch relay.

School Reporters from around the UK responded valiantly to our plea for pupils to produce their own 'Keep on running' videos. Miss this fitness feast at your peril.

Look out for School Report's favourite quote of the relay: "We're the most Olympic-est school on route."