December Practice News Day 2013-14 as it happened

Key Points

  • The second BBC News School Report Practice News Day of 2013-14 is under way in various schools around the UK
  • School Report is a project that gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience
  • The schools work towards a deadline of 14:00 GMT on News Day, which this school year takes place on Thursday 27 March 2014

    And with that, it is time to wrap up today's live text commentary on Practice News Day. Thanks for your company today - join us again for our next one on 23 January.


    The final three candidates in this year's Young Sports Personality of the Year award have been announced and they are golfer Charley Hull, skeet shooter Amber Hill and athlete Dina Asher-Smith. Find out who wins on Sunday's live show on BBC1 from 19:00 GMT.


    1759: Students Megan and Oli from Fowey Community College, Cornwall have been reflecting on the life of Nelson Mandela and his influence of their political views.


    BBC School Reporters at Hendon School have taken vos pops of staff and students' reflectioins on the life of Nelson Mandela:

    By reporters Tolu and Mariam:

    Mr McKellar, Head Teacher: "He was my idol. Free-ee Nelson Mandela! I was devastated about his death; he was a great leader. He made people stop and listen."

    Form 10.6, aged 14-15: "We were upset and shocked when we heard Nelson Mandela had died, but we knew he was ill so some of us were expecting it. We believe in what he worked for because he did the right thing to stop racism and segregation in South Africa and his message spread throughout the world. He promoted peace and forgiveness. If it wasn't for Nelson Mandela, there would still be segregation and inequality in many places. He showed us how we can change this peacefully."

    By reporters Khalisha and Shivani:

    Miss Das, English teacher: "I didn't know as much of Nelson Mandela when he was alive, but I'm learning more now since he's gone. I would describe him as wise, passionate and forgiving. Without his work, I think the world would be a worse place."

    Mr Tompkins, music teacher: "I was sad but not shocked to hear of Nelson Mandela's death because we knew he was very ill. He was amazing, brave and compassionate. Without Mr Mandela's work, I think the world would be a more ignorant place."

    By reporter Hamda:

    Various staff and students:

    "I think Nelson Mandela is a good man and people will remember him for a long time."

    "Nelson Mandela's death does not really affect me personally because I don't know him, but his change impacted the whole world."

    "Nelson Mandela's death was not very, very shocking because he was old, however it was still very sad and I think people will remember him for a long time."

    "Life without him would be very different because separation of people by skin colour would still happen in this day and age."

    By reporters Julia and Selin:

    Imani, 11, a Year 7 student: "I know Nelson Mandela was the president of South Africa and he stopped the racism. I was sad when I heard he died because he was a very nice person, but I also felt happy because he was 95 years old. He was important to me because he was a lovely man and a very caring person."

    Natalie, 13, a ear 8 student: "I'm sad that Nelson Mandela died. He fought for civil rights and went to prison for 27 years. He was brave and not scared to fight for his country."


    School Reporters from Brondesbury College pose for the camera after a hectic Practice News Day! Well done gentlemen!

    Students pose for camara

    1610: The Upper IV Cave School Report team at St Benedict's School in Ealing have had a busy Practice News Day.

    Among the stories they have been covering are:

    - Should GB boycott the Russian Olympics?

    - Violence among football fans

    - Do people eat too much at Christmas?

    - Anticipating Mandela's funeral

    - Tackling dementia

    - Suicides from school bullying


    Check it out! St Comhghall's College, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh have uploaded a wonderful video to their website. The college have been raising money in aid of the Philippines. Keep up the great work everybody!

    Carshalton High School for Girls

    1555: The Carshalton High School for Girls School Report team are in central London visiting the South African Consulate to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela. They have also posted a video tribute on their school's School Report website.


    More reaction to Nelson Mandela's death. School Reporter Jade from Langley Grammar School reflects on the life of the late South African leader:

    "He has taught us that no matter what is thrown our way, with courage and faith, we can defeat any obstacles," she said.


    Highgate Wood School have been taking part in Practice News Day. They have been filming stories about Nelson Mandela, their Winter Concert and a Christmas dinner for the elderly at a local cafe.


    More updates from The Arthur Terry School in Birmingham. School Reporters have written up their results of their survey on attitudes to charity and interviewed the school's "upcoming boy band…smash hit sensation", the York Tenors aka teachers Mr Blunt, Mr Bennet and Mr Ball.

    Milly, Aimee, Emily and Olivia report: "Don't worry all you One Direction lovers out there as they were all in agreement that they were not ready to take on One Direction. Well at least not just yet…"


    1515: A huge shout-out to reporters from Pimlico Academy who shared their top tips for reporting!

    1. Be impartial

    2. Make sure your surroundings are safe. An example is not to stand in crowded areas as there is risk of being pushed around; ruining the shot and endangering yourself

    3. Do not enter an interview without your questions ready.

    4. You must be passionate for your interview to make your audience listen

    Great advice guys!


    Reporters Joel, Maddy, Abby and cameraperson Sam from The Arthur Terry School in Birmingham filmed an interview with Helen Relihan, head of fundraising at St Giles Hospice in Whittington. They found out about the kind of services the hospice provides and how they raise money.

    Priory Community School

    1445: News in from School Reporters Sophie and Alex from Priory Community School in Weston-Super-Mare.

    "We are part of our school's School Report team and we were challenged by our teachers to go out into our local community and ask the public questions on the town's Christmas lights and the sad passing away of Nelson Mandela.

    "We decided to hit Worle High Street and we gathered a great selection of interviews! Next week, we plan to edit our footage and put together our own news report in the style of the BBC!"

    Compton School

    1432: Fresh off the press! School Reporters from The Compton School reflect on their day at Broadcasting House by saying it "beats doing maths."


    1414: Bury St Edmunds County Upper School's School Reporters have been interviewing local music bands and putting together footage of their Charity Week, where they raise thousands of pounds for international, national and local charities. Events so far have included sponsored leg waxing and teachers v students netball.


    1354: More Nelson Mandela reflections from Shelley College's School Reporters.

    "Mandela was a true hero and had a huge impact on many lives. His inspirational actions for fighting against prejudice and discrimination as well as keeping the peace and fighting for justice, is something that will live on throughout many generations. He was a great conqueror and I am sure without a doubt, will never be forgotten," said Amy, aged 16.

    Katherine, also 16, said: "Instead of seeking pity or revenge after his walk to freedom, Mandela, a modest yet motivated man, simply cast his ordeal aside, focusing on the task that would change people's lives forever - something the majority of us could never do. He taught people around the world valuable lessons - his life, actions and experiences are still inspiring us, and still teaching us many more important lessons."


    1352: We have had some reflections on the life of Nelson Mandela from School Reporters at Shelley College in Kirklees.

    Aaron, aged 16, said: "Nelson Mandela may have passed away, but the changes and the inspiration he has spread to the modern world will certainly survive for ever more. Full of courage and great will, Nelson Mandela will be missed."

    "The world has lost one of its most influential figures, but he shall remain forever in history as a hero." said Amy, also aged 16.


    1340: More from the Marden High School team.

    Ethan, 13, has been filming and editing a report about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary and has been interviewing fans in the school. He says: "It has been fun and busy and I have been gaining in confidence."

    Olivia, 13, has been doing a report about Christmas and what it is like for homeless people and has been asking people what it would be like if they were homeless themselves. "I have learned how to edit and only include the necessities and narrow it down," she tells us.

    Richard, 12, has been working on a report about the World Cup and has interviewed six people about how England will do. The general consensus is that they won't do that well because their group is quite tough, He said: "It's been a bit of a rush but its been fun and busy."


    1335: Marden High School's Practice News Day is continuing with details on their live page.

    Some of the School Reporters took time out to speak to School Report HQ about their day.

    Sol, 12, has been doing some sports reports on next year's Winter Olympics and Newcastle's win at Manchester United last Saturday and says "I have learned a lot about editing."

    Alicia, 13, was picked to be a mentor to the younger students taking part and she has been helping them work on a report about Nelson Mandela. She has learned how to film and says working on the project has been "quite good".


    1328: Bullers Wood School are uploading their Christmas stories over the next couple of hours featuring their interviews conducted around Broadcasting House last week.

    Carshalton High School for Girls

    1322: Carshalton High School for Girls are on their way into the city on BBC School Report business.

    First stop is the South African Consulate to report on the life of Madiba (nickname of Nelson Mandela). Then second stop, St Agnes Church to cover a world renowned a capeella group.


    1312: Students from St John's School in Surrey have been putting some more newsgathering time into their ongoing report about Rwanda this week.

    Yesterday they interviewed Lindsey Hilsum from Channel 4 News about her experience of reporting in Rwanda in 1994 and in the New Year they are hoping to speak to ITN journalist Mark Austin who was also a correspondent at the time.

    Watch this space on News Day for their final report marking the anniversary of Rwandan genocide…


    School Reporter, Emma, 15, from The Compton School reflects upon her team's interview with John Whaite, 2012 Great British Bake-Off winner

    "The interview with John Whaite was very relaxed and I was able to ask him all about his recent work on his new book and his thoughts on teaching cookery to young people. He said writing a recipe book was 'tasty but tiring work'."


    1259: A big shout-out to St Comhghall's College Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, who are taking part in Practice News Day today.

    St Aloysius RC College special assembly

    1255: Students from St Aloysius RC College, London have been responding to and reflecting on the death of Nelson Mandela this week. They have had special assemblies led by one of their teachers who is South African.


    1254: A team of 10 School Reporters from Cams Hill School in Fareham, Hampshire are having a run-through in preparation for School Report News Day. Subjects they are reporting on include rap, sport and sign language.

    They have just one hour left before their deadline.

    Rebecca, 14 says: "It is all coming together really well" and that "we work well as a team". Rebecca added that she "doesn't mind" being the only girl out of the 10 reporters. Girl Power!


    1245: It's all go at The Arthur Terry School in Birmingham, where the students have chosen to do a special report about charity.

    The students are working on a feature highlighting the work of local charities and have interviewed someone from St Giles' Hospice.

    The group have also organised a survey around the school to find out about people's views on charity. The team are hard at work writing up the results.

    Teacher Miss Meade wanted to send a special message to her team: "Good luck to all the School Reporters at The Arthur Terry School."

    Chris Bradford showing off his books in samurai style Chris Bradford showing off his books in samurai style

    1228: Acclaimed author Chris Bradford, creator of the Young Samurai and the Bodyguard series inspired students from Carshalton Boys Sports College on Wednesday. He was joined by Philippa Joy (BBC mentor), who lent a helping hand for the day.

    School Reporters with cake

    1223: The hard-working School Reporters from The Compton School have taken a well-earned break. But before leaving, they had time to buy cakes from the charity cake sale at which they interviewed John Whaite and Susan Rae.

    The sale is to raise money for a lymphoma charity who are launching a new patient clinical data registry in memory of the late Radio 4 newsreader Rory Morrison.


    If you are taking part in School Report for the first time or even if you are an old hand, why not check out our resources to help students and teachers get the most out of your reporting.

    Their is a huge range of advice from newsgathering to editing films to broadcasting and writing for a website so one day you could run a page like this!

    Susan Rae and School Reporters

    1154: But before the write up, another interview falls into their laps - this time with Radio 4 newsreader and continuity announcer Susan Rae. No time to prepare any questions - the team have to think on their feet!

    John Whaite and School Reporters from The Compton School

    1150: Interview done, it is time to listen back and prepare to write it up - after stopping for a quick photo of course!

    School Reporters interview John Waite

    1145: Second big interview of the day for the School Reporters from The Compton School at Broadcasting House is taking place right now.

    They are speaking to John Waite, the 2012 winner of the Great British Bake-Off, who is in the building to take part in a charity cake sale.


    Having just finished the team's interview with Steve Herrmann, Editor of BBC News Online, School Reporter Sanj reflects on his experience:

    "I think it was very interesting to talk to someone who has a lot of experience in journalism. I also learnt some tips that I might adopt when I'm writing for The Compton Catch-Up (weekly online school newsletter)."

    Carshalton High School for Girls

    1132: Carshalton High School for Girls paid their own tribute to Nelson Mandela as you can see from this photograph.

    The BBC Learning website has a wealth of material which schools can use to teach students about his life - and it can all be found here.


    1122: As we mentioned earlier, we had a lot of reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela which was covered in a live page we ran last Friday.

    More has come into us during the past few days, including these reflections from Langley Grammar School in Berkshire:

    "For me, the news has been devastating; but I know that even though he will never live on this earth again, his legacy will wander the world and own our thoughts, giving guidance to us and future generations." Marium, aged 14.

    "Mandela once said - "It always seems impossible until it's done" just like this unfortunate event." Amber, aged 15


    1115: The Compton School are not the only school taking part in Practice News Day today.

    Marden High School's live Practice News Day page is up and running.

    One story they are covering is about HMS Illustrious, a ship which has been dispatched to deliver aid to the Philippines in the wake of their recent disaster and will stay there over Christmas and the new year.

    They have been receiving a lot of messages of support from celebrities and one of the school's members of staff has a partner out there so they have also been transferring messages which will hopefully will make for a good report!


    Another of the School Reporters from The Compton School visiting us at Broadcasting House is James, who tells us:

    "Me and my group of young reporters have worked well with each other. Ready to interview John Whaite. My feeling of our first group interview is that I am feeling confident yet a bit nervous. I hope to get on well with him and to get a lot of information."


    School Reporters from The Compton School are at Broadcasting House today as one of them, Amir, explains:

    "We are going to be interviewing John Whaite. We will be questioning him on how his life has changed since 'The Great British Bake-Off', what he is currently working on and how his childhood experiences allowed him to become a world-famous baker. We are feeling both nervous and excited, but we will give the interview our best shot."


    1058: The interview with Steve Herrmann has just concluded and School Reporter Amir from The Compton School has picked out his favourite quotes.

    Steve said: "The best thing to have as a journalist is a sense of curiosity." He added: "There will be less people coming to the news and more news coming to the people."

    Great stuff Amir!

    Steve Herrmann being quizzed by the team from The Compton School Steve Herrmann being quizzed by the team from The Compton School

    1048: The team continue to quiz Steve Herrmann - with questions ranging to coverage of the Nelson Mandela story to the feedback he receives from the public about the BBC News website.


    1038: School Reporters from The Compton School in Finchley are in Broadcasting House and right now are interviewing Steve Herrmann - the Editor of BBC News Online.

    The Compton School's School Reporters preparing for their interview The Compton School's School Reporters preparing for their interview

    School Reporters from The Compton School, Finchley are busy planning questions for their big interview with John Whaite the winner of the Great British Bake-Off 2012. From left to right in the picture are Amir, 13, Emma, 15 and James, 14. Good luck guys!

    Vanessa and Shaiyan from Highbury Fields School interviewing Kirsty Lang Vanessa and Shaiyan from Highbury Fields School interviewing Kirsty Lang

    1017: Radio 4 presenter Kirsty Lang visited Highbury Fields School in London this week to talk about her career as part of the Speakers For Schools project.

    Students Vanessa and Shaiyan interviewed her about her career highlights, her most memorable interviews and found out what she was like as a teenager.

    The school's mentor, Laura MacDonald, says: "Well done girls!"


    1002: The reporting team from Brondesbury College for Boys are putting their news-making skills into practice for the first time this year and focussing on school news including a recent charity dinner event and the school wrestling team winning in Ireland.

    They are also thinking about how they can do some World Cup-related research and reporting for News Day on 27 March - and they've got an interviewee right under their nose as their teacher is from Brazil!


    0955: Carshalton Boys Sports College in Surrey did their practice news day on Wednesday.

    The team have been busy reporting on author Chris Bradford's visit to their school and preparations for their Christmas pantomime "Cinderfella".

    The school's BBC mentor Philippa Joy says: "If this is what you were able to do after just a couple of preparation sessions I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with on School Report News Day. Keep up the enthusiasm and aim high."


    0950: A big shout-out to the schools who have told us they are taking part in Practice News Day today. If you are participating and have not told us or we have missed you off this list then please let us know!

    Carshalton High School for Girls in Sutton, Horbury Academy in Wakefield, St Ambrose Barlow RC High School in Salford, Oasis Academy in Salford, The Arthur Terry School in Birmingham, Brondesbury College for Boys in London, St Benedict's School in Ealing, Perry Beeches: The Academy in Birmingham, Hendon School in Barnet, Highgate Wood School in London,Marden High School in North Shields, Birkdale High School in Sefton, Gosford Hill School in Oxfordshire, Stoke Park School and Community Technology College in Coventry, London Nautical School in Lambeth, Bordesley Green Girls' Specialist Business and Enterprise School in Birmingham, Eastbury Comprehensive School in Barking & Dagenham, Castle School in Pembrokeshire, Newcastle School for Boys in Newcastle and Brondesbury College for Boys in Brent.

    St Benedict's School, Ealing

    0944: This is Team Upper Four Cave, from St Benedict's School, Ealing - with this photo taken on a misty morning in west London but they are now back in the warm and busy newsgathering and planning some stories. Watch this space to see what they decide to work on!


    Need inspiration? Why not check out some of the highlights from our November Practice News Day.

    BBC School Reporters from Northwood School interviewed presenter Jeremy Vine about his famous interviews with Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson.

    Want more? BBC School Reporters Rachael and Gregory from Holbrook Academy interviewed the speaker John Bercow at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.


    0926: We had a lot of reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela from schools around the UK last Friday.


    0910: How have preparations been going in your school so far this year? Have you conducted any big interviews or completed any reports already? Do you have any specific themes for the year?


    0900: Good morning and welcome to the second Practice News Day of the 2013/14 academic year. Over the course of the day we will be bringing you updates around the UK as School Reporters continue their preparations for News Day in March.


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