Students make the headlines as part of news project in Lowestoft

Ethan Smith, Mollie Murrant, Ashlyn Manning, Hayden Lee and Daniel Harrison in the green room. PHOTO

Ethan Smith, Mollie Murrant, Ashlyn Manning, Hayden Lee and Daniel Harrison in the green room. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Working to tight deadlines and coming up with inventive ideas are typically associated with school life.

But add in some directing, presenting, script-writing, editing and an opportunity to work on a national news reporting programme, then the pressure is somewhat increased.

It was all part of the BBC school news report project, which allowed 15 students from Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft to come up with their own ideas and add them to an online webpage – which could be accessed by people across the world.

The students, from all year groups, created eight features as part of the day – held at the school on Thursday, March 10.

These included a Skype interview with Eastenders actress Kellie Bright, through links with her father Alan, who works at the school.

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Five students asked her a number of questions including how she obtained more confidence and whether it was difficult to remember her dance routines – in reference to her time on Strictly Come Dancing.

After the morning meeting had been held, where students discussed their ideas, the plan began to kick into action – with filming assignments, recording links and editing content required.

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'I felt famous, I really want to carry on presenting now,' said 13-year-old Ethan Smith.

The news day was the tenth year the national scheme had been run, with school reporters having a deadline of 2pm to finish their stories.

Students at the school, on Yarmouth Road, also interviewed principal Peter Marshall, curator of Lowestoft War Memorial Museum Robert Jarvis and completed other projects including a weather report.

Will Gatley, digital media technician, headed up the project. He was assisted by a number of staff members including ICT support technician Daniel Morris and Julie Durrant, marketing and communications officer.

'We left it completely open to them and right up until the last minute, it was their news,' Mr Gatley said.

'We tried to just let them be self-sufficient and it was a great opportunity for students.

'We are going to try and make an enrichment programme out of this now.'

Nabila Haque, 14, who took on the role as director on the day, said: 'The deadlines were something we saw as a challenge at the start of the day, but I think we got everything finished quicker than we expected and we uploaded more pieces than we initially thought.'

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