Deadline to success for school news team

PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010

STAFF from The Crow took time out from their own busy news room and joined students taking part in a newspaper day. Youngsters at The Meridian School, Royston, were set the task of creating a 22-page newspaper for the Times Educational Supplement s (TES)

STAFF from The Crow took time out from their own busy news room and joined students taking part in a newspaper day.

Youngsters at The Meridian School, Royston, were set the task of creating a 22-page newspaper for the Times Educational Supplement's (TES) national competition.

Complete with news, features, entertainment, sport and community and school issues, 14 students got to grips with the writing and designing of the paper - called The Oracle - in little more than six hours.

English teacher Sarah Holmes said: "The project encourages journalism in schools and it is a great way of generating interest in local, national and international affairs.

"The school has entered the competition for the past few years and has always had good feedback - every year the paper gets better."

To generate ideas and stories for the paper, the students looked through a number of local and national newspapers.

They also used a news board to keep track of all the stories and crossed them off when completed.

Year 11 student Hunter Burns, who wrote the sports pages, described the day as an enjoyable experience and said that he has thought about becoming a journalist when he is older.

He said: "I have always thought about writing newspaper articles. I'm known for my ranting and opinions - so working for a newspaper would help me get a lot of things off my chest."

The TES has run the News Day competition for the past 15 years, and one of the main aims is to raise awareness on issues both at home and across the globe.

Year 10 student Jenny Watson said: "It's a good way of learning about the world and we have learned things we might not have necessarily known about. Overall the day has been a lot of fun - although working to such a tight deadline is very stressful."

Responsibility for the newspaper fell to Year 11 student, James Day, who was given the tough job of editor.

Overseeing the rest of the group and making sure the newspaper was running smoothly, James described his role as "highly enjoyable".

He added: "I liked being the editor as you get to make a lot of the decisions.

"One of my main decisions was making the newspaper look professional. I didn't want a tabloid style of layout, I wanted to create a newspaper like The Independent."

The newspaper will now be sent to a panel of experts, including The Times and BBC journalists. The results are expected next month.

Miss Holmes said: "Everyone worked really hard and the newspaper looked really good.

"The students should be very pleased. I think they have a good chance.


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