Pupils in print: read all about it

7th July 2006 at 01:00
Promising young journalists rewarded in TES-Newsday competition, report Adi Bloom and Charlotte Thomson.

The workplace is full of ambitious tea-boys hoping to work their way up to the executive office.

Thornaby community school, in Stockton-on-Tees, is just the same. The 850-pupil school was one of the winners of the annual TES-Newsday competition.

More than 700 schools entered the event, which requires pupils to compile a newspaper or website in just one day. The Thornaby paper, The Roundel, was edited by a team of Year 10 and 11 pupils, but each of them had joined the paper as an 11 or 12-year-old, working their way up through the editorial ranks over the years.

Jessica Fawell, 15, started as a junior reporter, writing articles she describes as "very small and not very good". This year, as a Year 10 pupil, she was a sub-editor, responsible for laying out pages.

"I've earned the right to that job," she said. "I was particularly bossy to the Year 8s, so they knew who was in charge. They can do that to someone else in a few years' time."

Christine Everett, Thornaby's head of business, said: "The older ones train the younger ones. Each year they take on a little bit more responsibility.

"It gives them a feel of the real world, working your way up from the bottom."

But, she said, no Year 7 pupil has yet had to start out as the coffee-girl or tea-boy.

"That's my job," said Ms Everett. "I make sure tea, coffee and chocolates are there. It's the most important role."

The winners of the competition were announced at a prize-giving ceremony hosted by Vera Baird MP at Westminster Palace last week. But two winning pupils were unable to attend. Max Schneider and Alasdair Elder, from Robert Gordon's college, in Aberdeen, were to pick up awards for their key stage 5 newspaper, Piranha. But mobile stairs collided with the left wing of their aeroplane as it prepared for take-off, preventing them from reaching London.

Alasdair said: "The ceremony was supposed to be the highlight of our very last day at school. Now there is little chance we will forget the day."

* adi.bloom@tes.co.uk

Winners

Key stage 1 Woodlands infants, Kent

Key stage 2 St Edward's middle school, Staffordshire

Key stage 3 Northwood preparatory school, Hertfordshire

Key stage 4 Thornaby community school, Stockton-on-Tees

Key stage 5 Robert Gordon's college, Aberdeen

First-time entry Claydon primary, Suffolk

International Gymnasium Ulricianum Aurich, Germany

Website All Souls, Church of England primary, City of Westminster

Feature article Claire McMahon, Luton sixth-form college

Photojournalism Max Schneider, Robert Gordon's college, Aberdeen.

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