Student teachers from Bradford College are helping to create breaking news stories for the BBC. The student teachers are working with young people from three schools in Bradford to help them produce news stories for BBC School Report Day in March. The students and young people were inspired after a VIP visit in January to the BBC Broadcasting Centre in Leeds. The aim of the visit was to launch the challenge and to watch Look North being broadcast live on air.
Bradford College ITC Lecturer, Clare Wolfenden explained: "BBC Leeds kindly agreed for us to take a tour of their studios and backstage. Pupils from Laisterdyke Business & Enterprise College, Grange Technology College and Dixons City Academy came on the visit, along with six Secondary Trainee Teachers from Bradford College. We were all really excited to be there as the atmosphere was electric. All around us people rushed around, speedily gathering information on a breaking story that was going to be uncovered by the Look North Team, with just minutes to go before the programme went live on air.”
Clare continued: “During our visit I sat on Christa Ackroyd’s chair in the studio and Harry Gration said hello to me!” Christa and Harry are the co-presenters for BBC Look North. Clare added: “The Gallery was the nerve centre of the whole operation and I felt like I was standing on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. It was very impressive!”
Commenting on how the students benefited from the experience, Clare said: “It really helped the students, link learning to reality, as they watched some of the journalists edit both their own written and videoed stories.”
Clare remarked: “We also met the Radio DJ, Steve Bailey. He does the 5-7 drive time slot and was fantastic! He wasn’t fazed at all by our group standing in his studio, and even went on to interview some of them live on air! We were amazed to find out later that Steve actually writes all of his own content.”
Clare added: “The day was fantastic from beginning to end, by the end of the tour everyone was brimming with enthusiasm!"
Each team involved in the project worked together to create stories under the broad theme of ‘Putting Bradford on the map.’ The news stories are set to be published on the web, along with material from dozens of schools from around the country, including seven or eight other schools in Bradford who have also signed up for the challenge.
The involvement of student teachers by Bradford College is supported by the Teacher and Development Agency for schools and aims to encourage teachers to use technology in the classroom. The student teachers involved in the project each received special journalism training from BBC video journalists.
Clive Opie, Assistant Director at Bradford College commenting on the success of the programme said: "This is a great learning opportunity for both student teachers and young people in Bradford schools. The BBC has been fantastic in their support for the programme and we will also benefit from training and resources provided by the National Media Museum in Bradford. We are confident this will be an exciting and successful project that will enable young people to create positive news stories that develop journalism and technology skills, as well as helping to put the educational creativity of this city on the map."