Young journalists at Cottesmore Millfield Academy learn tricks of the trade

Young journalists at Millfield Cottesmore Academy EMN-160523-155858001
Young journalists at Millfield Cottesmore Academy EMN-160523-155858001
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Budding young journalists have been learning the tricks of the trade from industry experts.

A group of Year 5 and 6 pupils at Cottesmore Millfield Academy have been working in their own newsroom at the school, which is on the Kendrew Barracks site.

The 10 enthusiastic youngsters have been learning writing, broadcasting and behind-the-camera skills with help from the Young Journalist Academy (YJA).

YJA senior editor Bill Thompson and colleagues visit every Tuesday and help the pupils plans and write articles and film video reports which are published on the school’s website.

Subjects covered by the newshounds in recent months include Dr Who film rumours, Sarah Outen’s round-the-world journey, search and rescue dogs and an interview with Andrew Brown – who recently stepped down as High Sheriff of Rutland.

As well as working at school, the group were also invited to the University of Lincoln where they recorded a radio programme.

Headteacher Rachel Thomas said the work has given those taking part a new lease of confidence.

She said: “The journalism sessions take place every Tuesday afternoon as an enrichment to the curriculum.

“They have had the amazing opportunity to work alongside professionals from a range of backgrounds within the media world.

“Bill has helped them gain the skills and confidence to competently interview people such as the High Sheriff, plan and research articles and publish their work to the web.

“They have been doing it for a year now and it has been very beneficial indeed.”

Bill Thompson, a former BBC journalist, said the young newshounds have been working very hard.

He said: “Rather than a teacher-pupil dynamic, we work with them as if they are newsroom colleagues.

“We don’t teach them grammar but we do harness the skills they have got and work on story construction techniques.

“It’s great for boosting confidence and the fact we publish work online means it’s seen by a big audience.”