BBC News School Report launches for 2014-15 - the ninth year of the project

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BBC News School Report has officially launched for the 2014-15 academic year.

The project, which will be entering its ninth year, gives 11-16 year-old students the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience.

Nearly 1,100 schools and more than 30,000 secondary school pupils around the UK took part this year.

The project builds up to an annual News Day on which all the schools have to finish their reports by a 2pm deadline. Next year's News Day is on 19 March.

Some stories are featured on the School Report website but each participating school needs to set up their own website on which to feature all their content.

The BBC links to those sites so that all of the School Reporters' articles, reports and features are accessible via www.bbc.co.uk

How does School Report work?

BBC News School Report explained

Any secondary school in the UK can sign up to take part in the project.

Students can report on anything which interests them, whether it is a local or national issue, a big or small story or something very personal to them.

Using lesson plans and materials from this website, and with support from BBC staff and partners, teachers help students develop their journalistic skills to become School Reporters.

Some stories are featured on the School Report website but each participating school needs to set up their own website on which to feature all their content.

Those sites are linked to from the School Report website so that all of the students' articles, reports and features are accessible via www.bbc.co.uk

Miss Piggy and Kermit Miss Piggy and Kermit became honorary School Reporters

Sometimes reporting opportunities are offered out to schools who have signed up to take part in the project.

For example, this year School Reporters interviewed Education Secretary for England Michael Gove, Winter Olympics gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold and stars of the Muppets - Kermit and Miss Piggy.

They also co-hosted several live programmes across the BBC including special editions of The One Show, Radio 4's Woman's Hour and a two-hour show on BBC Radio Humberside. In addition, all of the weather forecasts in the evening news across the UK were read by students taking part in the project.

How do schools get involved?

Form 1

Schools have to complete two pieces of School Report paperwork to take part in the project.

Form 1 confirms that a school is going to take part in the project and entitles them to use unique School Report branding, appear on the School Report map, to take part in monthly Practice News Days, and receive one-to-one advice from BBC members of staff, either by phone, email or sometimes in person.

Form 2 confirms that a school has individual consent from parents for every single student who is taking part in the project.

Take part in School Report assignments - right now!

Why School Report is so beneficial for secondary school students

Students do not have to wait until September to get involved in School Report - they can get reporting right now by taking part in one of the new School Report assignments once they have sent in the paperwork to take part in the 2014-15 year.

Before the end of this term the big summer of sport features events like the World Cup, Wimbledon, the Open Golf and the Commonwealth Games.

Looking ahead to the autumn term there is the Scottish Referendum in September, the ongoing situation in Syria and then the General Election in May 2015.

School Reporters are encouraged to get the story behind the story and report it - with teachers sending the content into School Report, where the best will feature on the website.

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