Going Live!

BUDDING journalists have made their own headlines after presenting live on the BBC.

PUPILS from Wyvern Academy, Darlington, were chosen from hundreds of schools across the country to broadcast live to the nation as part of the BBC’s School Report News Day.

Students Peter Gartland, Ryan Goldsmith, Jonathan Deery, and Joshua Jackson presented the 1.30pm and 2.30pm BBC sports bulletins, alongside presenter Tim Hague, before being interviewed live on air on their experiences as news reporters.

Wyvern Academy principal Mo Wilkinson said: “I am the proudest head teacher in the country at the moment. “We had applied to go to the BBC’s Salford studios as part of the School Report News Day but had no idea that our students would be chosen to be put in front of the cameras to present the news– in fact I only found out about it five minutes before they actually appeared on the television. “All four boys were absolutely outstanding and a real credit to our school. They were articulate, confident, totally professional and took it all in their stride.”

The BBC’s School Report News Day project aims to give young people from across the UK the chance to make their own news and broadcast it to audiences via school websites linked to the BBC.

Year 11 students Joshua Jackson and Jonathan Deery presented the 1.30pm sports bulletin leading on the day’s top stories, including the sacking of Middlesbrough Football Club manger Aitor Karanka and the Cheltenham Festival.

Joshua, 16, of Darlington, said: “I’m already thinking about a career in journalism so it was really interesting to see how it all worked, both behind the scenes and in front of camera.

“We got to meet the producers, see how a running order works, plan the bulletin and present it, which was quite nerve-wracking at first. Once the camera was on and you were reading the auto-cue you forgot you were talking to millions of people at home.”

Year 10 students Peter Gartland and Ryan Goldsmith presented the 2.30pm report with stories on Arsenal’s Champions’ League hopes and news on the England rugby team.

“We didn’t get a lot of time to think about going on air so there wasn’t much time to get nervous,” said Peter, 15, of Darlington. “I was quite relieved when we didn’t make any mistakes.

“I already have a motoring blog and I write for our academy magazine, The Wyvern, so journalism is something I’m thinking about in the future.”

Students at school also joined in the day’s events writing copy for the Wyvern magazine, and creating news broadcasts in the academy’s own TV studio, including reporting on the brave actions of Year 11 student Simon English, who raised the alarm when a man collapsed in his local Tesco.

English and drama teacher Gillian Batchelor, who accompanied the students to the Salford studios, added: “The students all coped really well under the pressure of being on live TV.”

Click here to see their reports.

Wyvern young Journalists who took part in the BBC’s School Report News Day with English teacher Gillian Batchelor and Principal Mo Wilkinson.