Pakefield High School’s news day hailed a success

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Students experienced the pressures of a busy newsroom as they created their own newspapers.

The classrooms at Pakefield High School took on the guise of a bustling office environment for a special 'News Day', which aimed to give the pupils an insight into the workings of the media.

The event was run by the school's communications faculty and was described as 'a day of fun and surprises'.

'Pupils were organised in to mixed 'news teams' and the aim was to make a four-page newspaper, based on events which took place around the school during the day,' said Paul Usher, head of the communications faculty.

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To start the day off, pupils gathered for a whole-school assembly with five special guests – boxer Anthony Ogogo, BBC East's Shaun Peel, BBC Radio's Nina White, University of East Anglia media manager Simon Dunford and The Journal's Mark Boggis. They were all quizzed about their role in the media.

'Pupils asked some very probing questions to the guests, putting them in the hot seat for once!' Mr Usher said.

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Teams were then organised in to 'news hubs', which were tasked with creating their own newspapers. They were informed, via e-mail, of press conferences which took place during the day, and there was also the opportunity to buy adverts, ask questions and collect pictures from the day's news events.

The news stories covered included an outbreak of a viral infection, which had created zombie-like symptoms for its victims, assistant headteacher Stewart Wrigley winning the Euro Millions lottery and plans to build a new nuclear plant at Sizewell, complete with a protester who opposed the development. Other members of staff took on acting roles to host and present the news at specially-arranged press conferences.

'It was rather hectic, but the teams all coped admirably with the busy day!' Mr Usher said.

At the next day's assembly, a team from each of the school's five houses was given prizes and certificates. The winners – from the Anglo-Saxons – were rewarded with commemorative mugs, reporters' notebooks, stationery and gift vouchers. The team was: Harley Walpole, Joshua Sturman, Olly Howes and Jack Kettless, all from Year 7.

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