November Practice News Day

Key Points

  • The first BBC News School Report Practice News Day of the 2012-13 academic year took place on 16 November
  • This is the story of the reporting going on in classrooms all over the UK

    Good morning and welcome to the very first School Report Practice News Day of the 2012-13 academic year.

    We're all excited and raring to go at School Report HQ, and can't wait to find out what the schools taking part today are up to. It's a great opportunity for pupils to hone their reporting skills so they're on top form by the time the big News Day comes round on 21 March.

    And we're also going to take the opportunity to flag up some of the great reporting that has already been taking place by School Reporters already this year, so hold on to your hats!

    Mo Farah with pupils The Feltham Community College pupils welcome Mo Farah back to the classroom

    2012 has been a year to remember for Mo Farah, with two fantastic Olympic gold medals under his belt and two twin daughters too! His distinctive 'Mobot' celebration became one of the iconic images of the Games - and three lucky School Reporters got to perform their version of it with the man himself!

    Farah made a visit to his old school - Feltham Community College - and Kirran, Ben and Saed got the chance to interview the British athletics hero in one of the first reports of the 2012-13 academic year.


    Pupils from Clifton Community Arts School from Rotherham have arrived at the BBC at Media City in Salford. Their 10 children are aged between 11 and 14 - plus two teachers - and they are expecting an exciting and busy day!

    Good luck with all the reporting guys!


    It's not only School Report Practice News Day today, of course. There's also the little matter of Children in Need, the BBC's annual charity fundraising event!

    Are you working on a story about Children in Need today? If so, don't forget to check out their website for lots of useful information about what's happening in your local area and how the appeal got started.

    And School Report has also produced a resource to help you with your reporting about Children in Need, full of top tips to make the most of an exciting day.


    Riddlesdown Collegiate in Croydon have already had roving reporters out and about gathering news. Their most recent report is an interview with 14-year-old Modupe who is a member of the UK Youth Parliament. They asked her about her role and how she is feeling about going to an event at the House of Commons as part of Parliament Week activities next week.

    To find out more check out their Q&A on their school website.


    Just to flag up some of the fantastic reporting that School Reporters have already got under their belts this year...

    Pupils from Villiers High School and Burlington Danes Academy in London teamed up when they attended a special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Teach First, a scheme which tries to attract high-flying graduates into teaching.

    They found out more about the organisation and spoke to some of the key figures involved, and also looked into the controversial topic of the new English Baccalaureate, asking teachers whether they could spell "baccalaureate"!


    Students at The Compton School in London are eager to get reporting. But before they could get started, students who wanted to occupy the big editorial jobs had to do an interview!

    The reporting team at The Compton School The reporting team at The Compton School are raring to go!

    Miss Peel interviewed Year 10 and 11 pupils for roles such as editor, broadcast editor, picture editor and features editor. The students took this formal process very seriously and have embraced their new roles and started work on some fantastic ideas for news stories including:

    • An investigation into the building of a large incinerator locally, linking up with the geography department

    • UK Youth Parliament - reporting on fellow student's role as Barnet leader and what it means for them

    • The plans for new GCSEs, theatre reviews and a visit to local university where they teach BA Journalism so hope to get some top tips!

    We look forward to seeing what you come up with!


    An eventful day has started for Clifton Community Arts School with a news and ideas workshop led by BBC School Report producer Hannah Johns at The Lab in the BBC Children's building in Salford.


    As well as the reporting that's actually going on today, we also want to tell everyone about some of the reporting that's already under way and ongoing.

    Pupils from Haydock High and their teacher Miss Vernon are starting to get busy for School Report and thinking about News Day 2013.

    Two groups of students had a School Report masterclass from the BBC last week. The Year 8 group learned all about news and where to find it while the Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils, who are working on a Hate Crime project in association with Merseyside Police, got some handy interview tips and some advice on how to deal with the tricky subject.


    School Reporters from Wallace Hall Academy in Dumfries have already been busy covering interesting stories right under their noses. They are working on a report about a fellow pupil who recently attended a British Swimming Camp in France with a view to him participating in Team GB for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Glasgow.

    Don't forget that great news and story ideas happen every day right on your doorstep, in your school and local community - and you could get the exclusive! So don't talk to your teachers and other students and friends to find out whether they've got some stories you can report on…

    Watch Huw Edwards explain how journalists find stories and get some top tips from him- then get reporting!


    Students from Bishopbriggs Academy in Glasgow have been following the Scottish independence story in great detail over the last few months.

    As well as being part of a team of Scottish schools who interviewed SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond, some of their pupils took part in an in-depth discussion on BBC Radio 4's You & Yours about whether 16 and 17-year-olds should really have a vote in the referendum over Scotland's future.


    As well as School Report's first Practice News Day of the year, there's another huge media event taking place today: Children in Need!

    The School Report team really likes cake - and with some help from our BBC colleagues in the newsroom, we are holding a bake sale to raise money for Children in Need!

    Cakes decorated for Children in Need Our pop-up cake stand in the newsroom for Children in Need

    If your school is doing anything special to raise money for Children in Need, don't forget to report it!

    School Report has produced a resource to help you with your reporting about Children in Need, full of top tips to make the most of an exciting day.


    Our friends at BBC World Class have been running live online debates all week on a variety of topics - and they are bringing things to a close today with a discussion about young people making their voice heard.

    They're inviting pupils from around the world to discuss what they would choose as news stories where they live - and how pupils can use their own voice and 'be heard'.

    Why not check out the discussion, which runs from 11:00 to 13:00 GMT?


    School Reporters from Horbury Academy in Wakefield are "well on" with their first news-making activities of this year. Updates on their top stories of the day to follow…


    Students from Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury, Suffolk have been busy reporting on the International Education Week events taking place in their school!

    Ready for Children in Need! Dressing up for Children in Need!

    Alfie says "It's a fabulous opportunity learning how students from other countries spend their free time".

    As you can see from the photo, students are also dressed up for Children in Need and will be out reporting at breaktime at 11:00!


    Class 8Q2 at Brentside High School in Ealing, West London, have been busy preparing their stories all morning.

    Their first deadline is at 11:05 so they are printing off their scripts now! Jai, 13, says her report is on the Ealing Half Marathon and is ready to go. She said she has been "stressed" but that "it is really fun!"

    Mikolaj, 12, has been the School Report editor, checking the grammar of the reports. He says that he has corrected some punctuation. "It is going to be good, everyone is excited!" he added.


    BBC News School Report is up and running again in Marden High School, with Year 8 students focusing on next week's Takeover Day, when students get the opportunity to decide what goes on in and around the school.

    One group has already interviewed Mr Morris about the exciting new plans for the LRC - Learning Resource Centre, or library if you prefer! - and the other groups are now out and about gathering footage for their reports.


    School Reporters at Buile Hill High School in Salford are putting their specialist sporting knowledge into action.

    Seven members of the school rugby team from Year 9 - Ewan, Jack, Dylan, Brandon, Henry, Mitchell and Ryan - are working with teacher Mr Davies to cover some recent school successes.

    They're doing match reports and player profiles because they've got to the quarter-finals of the National Schools Rugby tournament.

    Congratulations - on the reporting and the rugby! And good luck in the quarter-finals!


    The day is just getting better for Clifton Community Arts School from Rotherham, who are visiting MediaCityUK in Salford today.

    They have had a tour of the shiny new BBC Radio 5 live studios in Salford and are now interviewing BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell about his job and career.

    Mike Bushell with School Reporters Mike Bushell chatted to School Reporters in Salford

    We'll bring you more on this story later...


    School Reporters from Southend High School for Girls are working on a story that involves trying to get 12 rubber ducks to Manchester!

    The ducks will be passed from person to person and hopefully, they will end up at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Pupils have been naming the ducks and setting up a blog and a map to track their progress. The team promise to keep us updated on how it goes - and where the ducks end up!

    But that's not all - teacher Miss Ashton says: "We are also currently editing video footage taken during our school birthday celebrations before half-term."


    It's a very special day for St Edmunds Catholic School in Dover. Staff and students are celebrating their school's 50th anniversary with a special Mass at Canterbury Cathedral.

    Students Hanna and Jack report that 800 students will be attending the event, as well as school staff, governors and past pupils.

    Three students from St. Edmunds have the opportunity to ring the cathedral bells before and after Mass. Sian, Ross and Jacob ring the bells at their local church and following a request from them, they were invited to ring the bells in the cathedral.

    "Sian said: 'I'm feeling quite nervous, but also very excited and honoured to be a part of this celebration!'"

    We're hoping to get more updates from the reporting team later, so stay tuned!


    Horbury Academy's reporting team includes 16 students from across Years 7-11.

    This morning they've been gathering news stories and are now beginning to divide into sub-teams to begin our reports and gather the facts.

    The Horbury Academy reporting team The Horbury Academy reporting team are ready for action

    Jess and Katie have been involved in BBC News School Report for the last three years and are today mentoring younger reporters.

    They also have the added bonus and expertise of Oliver who is an ex-student and has returned to help with the filming and editing.

    Oliver says: "When I was at Horbury I got so much out of the School Report and I want to inspire others to grab the opportunity to be involved, it is such an enriching opportunity and the skills I have learnt have opened many doors for me."


    Students at Notting Hill Prep School have been spending their morning conducting interviews in the playground, discussing big issues like cyberbullying and the global effects of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his astonishing fourth goal for Sweden

    Team editor, Scarlett, 12, is in the final stages of putting together a re-enactment of that sensational Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal for Sweden, and is confident her team will make their 13:30 deadline.

    Ciara, 12, is the editor in charge of the cyberbullying package. Her team of Artemis, Ludo & Edward are filming interviews all morning and the mood is one of excitement! Ciara says: "I'm really excited, it's so much fun!"

    Teacher Scott Durkin added: "The School Report pupils are riding off of the momentum of their US election report from 6 November. Reporters have been working since their arrival to school on gathering news and prioritizing their stories for production later in the day. Stay tuned!"


    Welcome to School Report Cullybackey High! Students at the school in Ballymena are taking part in project for the first time this year - and they have big plans.

    They are eager to get started and so are planning some reporting around their school's Anti-Bullying Week activities next week. Good luck and happy reporting!


    At Alperton Community School in Wembley, Kajan, 12, conducted a big investigation into the effects of video-games on young people.

    School Reporter Kajan does an interview Kajan has been putting his interview skills into practice today!

    He conducted a survey of his classmates and found that Xbox owners in his class spend a combined 170 hours a week playing on their consoles. Kajan also phoned retailers to ask them about selling adult-rated games to his underage classmates.

    Kajan admitted to finding meeting his deadline tough, but also admitted: "I do love getting to be a journalist."


    Students at Tadcaster Grammar School in North Yorkshire have become the centre of a media story themselves after a fundraising video made by a teacher went viral.

    Teachers at Tadcaster Grammar School performing the Gangnam Style dance

    Mr Dawson re-wrote the lyrics to hit song Gangnam Style and introduced the world to "Tad-Gram" style in a video made to raise money for Children in Need.

    The video has now become an internet sensation, as students Lucy and Eleanor report.

    The Queen meets School Reporters The Queen gives Emily and Laki a big smile as they wait to meet her!

    The Queen doesn't tend to give interviews, but she did find time to have a chat with School Reporters Emily and Laki from The Heathland School in Hounslow when they reported on Her Majesty receiving the special Jubilee Time Capsule on Wednesday.

    Emily and Laki interviewed lots of other people who had been invited by the Royal Commonwealth Socirty, but the highlight of the day was undoubtably talking to the Queen!

    "It was a jaw-dropping and mind-blowing moment to actually meet her!" said Emily.


    Marden High School in North Shields have taken parting School Report since the beginning of the project back in 2006.

    Today, they've been reporting on their school's Takeover Week, which takes place next week.

    School Reporters gathered round a computer The team have started work on their film

    They've been asking staff how they feel about the prospect of wearing school uniform and finding out what dishes the students would choose for the lunchtime menu.

    The team is now editing the video after spending lunchtime picking up some final interviews and filming cutaways for their report.

    Well done team!


    St Philip Howard High School pupils are getting to grips with creating a podcast with an International Education Week theme.

    Earlier this week they had a visit from Sir Richard Jolly to talk about his UN role and interest in global issues and the intrepid Year 8 reporters interviewed him.

    They are also hoping to include input from the school's global ambassadors and an interview with assistant head Alison Baker, who recently returned from an exchange visit to a school in Rwanda.


    Thumbs up to students at Ruislip High School, particularly Daniel, Charlotte, Katie, Lee and Hattie, who have been reporting on the International Education Week activities taking place in their school all this week!

    You can read their excellent report on what they got out of a week of activities in which students from many different countries and cultures shared their languages, cooking skills and so on.

    A School Reporter gives a thumbs up A big thumbs up from Team Ruislip High!

    A team of five School Reporters from Whitley Academy in Coventry have spent the day reporting and getting their team diary together so that they can plan future reports. Louis, 11, said "today has been great". He said that the team were planning a trip to London in December to report on hearing loss, where they are planning to interview some deaf people. They've made a list of the lucky School Reporters who will get to go on this exciting assignment.

    James, 11, has been carrying out interviews to find out what is happening in the school for Children in Need. He said that students have paid a pound to wear non-uniform for the day, and one boy Aaron has even worn a dress to raise money! Daisy, 12, said that she is enjoying the day and that not wearing uniform makes her happy as she is raising money for a good cause.

    School Reporters on the phone The team found time to file updates back to School Report HQ

    Abby, 12, has been working on a photo story and sound clip about Children in Need with the rest of the team. They asked students and teachers what else the school could do for Children in Need in the future, and suggestions included more cake sales and sports competitions.

    Olivia, 12, has been helping the School Report team today despite being on a school trip earlier in the week. She also helped to sell cakes and biscuits at break time and says that they have raised a whopping £60 for Children in Need. She added that she is really enjoying the non-school uniform day, she said "it makes me feel free and happy!"


    School Reporters from Clifton Community Arts School have been busy touring the BBC's Salford studios today - but they still found time to grab some cake!

    The team met up with staff and students from Lancasterian School, another School Report school who were at MediaCityUK selling cakes to raise money for Children in Need.

    Clifton reporter Danika said: "The cake was scrumptuous and even nicer because it was in a great cause!"

    Well done to both teams!


    From tightrope walking to talent shows, Castle School in Pembrokeshire is doing lots of fun things to raise money for Children in Need.

    Six School Reporters have been kept very busy doing interviews, taking pictures, recording audio and even filming parts of the day.

    Francesa, 13, said: "We've got loads of fundraising events, we've been having football tournaments, cake stalls, tightrope walking and there is a talent show this afternoon.

    "It's been fun and quite busy - we've seen that one thing always follows another!"

    Rosie, 13, has been the team's chief scriptwriter and although it's been tricky, she's enjoying it. But it's not the only new skill she's been mastering today.

    "I tried the tightrope walking - it was fun but it was quite hard," she said.


    School Reporters from Wallace Hall Academy and Primary School in Dumfries have been busy preparing reports all term, not just on Practice News Day!

    Students looking at a computer The team have had lots of research to do

    Most recently they've been writing about the topical issue of Scottish Independence, the nationwide "Operation Safety" programme, a recent team-building trip for younger pupils and a local youth music event in Dumfries and Galloway called "Youthbeatz", where Alexandra Burke performed.

    The students have also been researching a unique project their school is involved in, which involves buying land to grow an orchard to serve the local community.


    School Reporters at Brentside High School are now wrapping up for the day. They are finalising their edits after working on several stories including the closure of their local A&E, the Ealing Half Marathon and activities for Children in Need. Maddie, 12, described how it felt working to their 11:00 deadline.

    "It was nerve-racking going live as there was no going back!" she said. "We had a few run-throughs beforehand and there was a little mistake at the beginning but we just carried on."

    Well done Brentside School Reporters, you are all true professionals!


    At Ounsdale High School, Tom, aged 11 and 15 of his fellow pupils in Year 7 have spent the day interviewing fellow pupils about their involvement in Children in Need. They've been speaking to some sixth formers dressed as Teletubbies but their favourite interviewee was the sixth former dressed as a chicken!

    Tom interviewed the head teacher who wants to smash last year's Children in Need fundraising total of more than £900. Tom said his day has been "very enjoyable" and they're having a great of deal of fun watching the videos they've made.


    Thomas Gainsborough School's report about International Education Week is now live on their school website.

    Pupils at the school have been part in online forums and shared their thoughts with students from all over the world on the topic of Young People and Free Time and the TGS Media Crew have been reporting on all the activities going on across the week.


    The Compton School journalism club are already well underway with their reporting and working on their next school magazine.

    Top stories they're working on include the Movember fundraising in school and their local library, which was closed by the council but since been taken over by squatters who have reopened it as the People's Library. It's proving very popular apparently.

    School Reporters team photo The team strike a pose despite their deadline

    The students in the photo are: Sarah, Sara, Umal, Katie, Stephanie, Akshay, Rebecca, Emma, Kevin, Amin, Catherine, Lauren, Mustapha, Shimyla, Priya, Oliver, Shola, and Farah.


    The team from St Edmunds Catholic School in Dover have been at Canterbury Cathedral today to celebrate their school's 50th anniversary with a special Mass.

    Ross, Jacob and Sian ringing the bells at the cathedral Bell ringers Ross, Jacob and Sian were nominated to ring the bells

    School Reporter Macaulee spoke to executive headteacher Mr Atkins after the service and asked him how the day had gone.

    "My highlight of the day was Mr Benson's speech as it was really from the heart. He is a real Trojan as far as working for the school is concerned as he has served as a Governor for 50 years," he said.

    Students Ross, Jacob and Sian got to ring the cathedral bells during the service - check out this picture of them in action.


    A big welcome to Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow, who have just taken part in their first Practice News Day!

    It's their first year taking part in School Report and a group of Year 7s put their new reporting skills into action for practice news day. But technical difficulties meant they couldn't get them up online today.

    Well done for all your hard work team!


    The staff of Waingels College in Reading came together to produce a "talent" show to raise money for Children in Need, which reporters Olivia, Ellie and Hannah have reviewed.

    The teachers performed memorable routines that "will go down in Waingels history", from a remake of the Thriller dance, to the associate head teachers performing YMCA and last, but definitely not least, the highlight of the show... "an original 'Gangnam Style' performance, which did not fail to get everyone up on their feet!

    The team also spoke to fellow students who watched the performance.

    Reece, 14, said it "was definitely the best as we all got to give it a go" and Caitlin, 15, said it was nice to know the school "raising money for such a good cause and we could do it by enjoying ourselves".


    All the way back at 1029 this morning, we told you we were holding a bake sale in the newsroom at BBC Television Centre.

    Here's what it looked like then:

    Cake sale in the newsroom

    And here's what it looked like after lots of hungry journalists visited us:

    The cake stand at the end of the day, with few cakes

    After selling lots of cakes, brownies, biscuits and macaroons, we are really pleased to announce that we raised £150.64 for Children in Need!


    Clifton Community Arts School got the chance to sit down with yet another famous face at MediaCityUK!

    Barney Harwood meets School Reporters Barney found time to sit down with the team before joining a flash mob!

    Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood told the team he "loves being part of Children in Need" and had seen first-hand that the money raised for Children in Need was for an amazing cause.

    After a quick interview, Barney had to zoom off and take part in a flashmob on the piazza at MediaCity.


    We're going to bring today's live page to a close - but what a day of reporting! We've been really impressed by the sheer range of stories and the enthusiasm shown by School Reporters from all over the UK.

    Thank you to all the pupils and teachers who made the day happen today - we wouldn't have anything to write about unless you were out there reporting, so it's thanks to you that the day's been such a success. We really hope you enjoyed the day and learned some valuable lessons ahead of the big News Day in March.

    Don't forget our next Practice News Day is on Wednesday 12 December! And you can read a round-up of some of today's reporting here.

    And we'll leave the lst word to Kajan from Alperton Community School in Wembley, who did some great reporting on the impact of video games on young people and went as far as approaching retailers for their take on young people playing adult-rated games.

    Kajan admitted to finding meeting his deadline tough, but concluded: "I do love getting to be a journalist."

    You can't say fairer than that!

    Late update!:

    Students at Notting Hill Prep School had some technical difficulties on Friday afternoon but their stories are now up on their website.

    Among the topics the team coverered were Sweden player Zlatan Ibrahimovic's amazing goal against England and the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head after campaigning for girls' education.

    Ciara, Artemis, Edward and Ludo also investigated how cyberbullying affects teachers and interviewed the staff at their school to find out more, although nobody they spoke to had experienced the problem.

    Mr Durkin told us that the reporters were "exhausted but exhilarated after a long day of work". Well done team!

    Late update!:

    The reporters at Killermont Primary School in Glasgow were kept very busy covering all the fundraising events being held to support Children in Need.

    Reporters Ben and Lisa in, who are part of the Pupil Council, about the plans they had made for the big day.

    Rahul told them he thought they'd raise at least £200 but at the end of the day, the total was £638.83!

    Practice news day is over but the reporters at Killermont Primary are already making plans to cover Scottish Book week and the school's involvement in a local reading project.

    Late update:

    School Reporters from Theale Green Community School in Reading were lucky enough to tour BBC Television Centre on Thursday and even spotted some celebrities!

    The building was buzzing with activity as BBC staff prepared for the big Children in Need Appeal show.

    The students spotted Little Mix and Fearne Cotton - and were of course wearing their School Report pin badges!


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