Ice cream vans and sea rescues caught the eye of the TES Newspaper Day judges. David Budge reports
Manchester grammar school pupil Robert Harris took little more than a millisecond to reply when asked what he had learned by taking part in the TES Newspaper Day competition. "The meaning of stress," he said.
But his smile was melon-wide because he and two schoolmates, Andrew Daniels and Chris Unwin, had just collected the Best Secondary Newspaper award from Cherie Blair at a reception in the Palace of Westminster.
They and their teacher Jo Dobbs were looking forward to a bus tour of London - and their prize, a multi-media computer supplied by Xemplar Education.
For the second successive year the top international award went to Falklands Focus, produced by the islands' community school. The judges were impressed by its report on the rescue of Indonesian seamen, a quirky letters page and the mutton recipe cookery section.
Primary winner, Kingsleigh junior, carried less dramatic news: a poorly-parked ice cream van has been causing "havoc" outside the Bournemouth school. But The KJ Times did have some memorable reports on the retirement of the school secretary - and a headlice inspection.
Kingsleigh also endeared itself to the judges by not going overboard in its coverage of the film Titanic, which demanded more column inches than the other big issues of Newspaper Day - the Northern Irish peace negotiations and the plight of mountain gorillas. "I read 257 reviews of Titanic," said Brian Robinson of Tees Valley Educational Computing Centre, the competition's organiser. "I'll never need to see the film."
Cauldeen Primary School in Inverness won a distinction.
Scottish schools highly commended were Baldragon Academy, Dundee, and Kilsyth Academy. Schools commended were Peterhead Academy, Inverness Royal Academy, Ellon Academy, Corseford School in Johnstone, St Aloysius' College in Glasgow and St Ninian's High, Eastwood.
The School House Home Education Association in Gourock was also commended.
International schools awarded a distinction were Georg Wilhelm Steller gymnasium, and Gymnasium Ulricianum Aurich, Germany; and Overseas School of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
"I read 257 reviews of the Titanic. I'll never see the film"