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The deadline victors

Judging was tough in the 14th year of The TES's school newspaper competition. Rachel Morris reports.

Aspiring journalists from St Paul's girls' school know about rushing to beat a deadline.

Having produced their entry for The TES Newsday competition, they jumped in a parent's car and raced across London from Hammersmith to Paddington to make sure it made the last post.

But the effort was worthwhile after the pupils from the pound;3,530-a- term independent secondary day school scooped the key stage 45 award and the website award for its paper The Marble.

Lower sixth students Annie Blackadder, Iris Andrews, Tessie Prakas, Angela Fanshawe and Natasha Lennard led the 50-strong team behind the entry, which included a newspaper, website, three CDs, a magazine and a modern languages supplement.

The 17-year-olds described the experience as "hectic but exciting" leaving them "exhausted, but in a good way".

The competition is in its 14th year and attracted entries from 700 schools in 16 countries. Judges said the high standard of the students' work made choosing the winners tough.

Diane Hofkins, TES assistant editor, was impressed with the diversity of stories including articles on the effects of binge drinking, eco-schools, Medecins Sans Fronti res and teachers' cars.

She said: "At The TES we believe it's very important to encourage the next generation of journalists. From the hilariously funny spoofs to the serious, well-researched features on issues of national importance, tomorrow's journalists have produced innovative and lively school newspapers."

The awards were handed out by Lizo Mzimba, the BBC Newsround presenter, which included RM Tablet PCs, digital cameras and editing software.

Seven secondaries and five primaries were presented with distinction awards.

The Latymer preparatory school, in west London, won the key stage 12 award for The Prep Press.

The Moat School, an independent school for dyslexic pupils in London, won the key stage 3 category for The Moat Metro.

Pupil Alex Fenichel, 15, said: "It was quite hectic but it was all worth it and I think it was a really good experience, just to see if we could do it.

We are just very proud we won an award."

Students from Gymnasium Ulricianum Aurich, in north-west Germany, were at the ceremony to receive the international award.

Gateshead's Falla Park community primary entered the competition for the first time this year and won the best newcomer prize.

John Redman and Yannis Reissis, from Northwood prep school, in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, won for the best feature article.

Whitstone technology college, in Somerset, Theydon Bois primary, in Essex, and Whickham school, in Gateshead, were presented with curriculum awards.

Milford primary, in Nottingham, was presented with a whiteboard by Unibind Systems Limited, for best interactive teaching.

The competition's sponsors were RM, Granada Learning, Macromedia, Unibind Systems Limited and ProQuest.

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