Lealands school reporters tour BBC News while classmates shoot bulletin

Anchors Jessica and Megan ready themselves before the start of Lealands' news bulletin
Anchors Jessica and Megan ready themselves before the start of Lealands' news bulletin

Seven budding journalists were given unique insight into the inner workings of the country’s busiest newsroom, as they toured BBC’s Broadcasting House.

Lealands High School pupils Naa Ntodi, Sevin Stamp, Tim Abayomi, Abigail Smith, Amoy Smith, Rudo Makoni and Sarah Hilsdon were invited to the corporation’s HQ as recognition of their efforts in taking part in the BBC’s School Report project.

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The UK-wide scheme gives students between the ages of 11 and 16 the chance to test their journalistic skills while getting to grips with professional filming and editing equipment.

While on the tour the pupils provided updates for the BBC’s School Report live page and were given a workshop on how to shoot a professional news report using only a smartphone.

They also met Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.

Lealands teacher Daniel Furkins told the Luton News: “From a teacher’s point of view it was amazing that they were able to see how many jobs there are that they probably have never thought of before.

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“At that age most think that most people coming out of university will either be a doctor, lawyer or a teacher.

“It was really eye opening for them to get out and see a real life news room.”

The tour coincided with this year’s School Report news day on March 10, which nearly 40 Lealands pupils participated in.

Mentored by John Hand, BBC journalist and former Lealands student, the pupils put together a 17 minute news bulletin which featured items on the EU referendum, Aldi’s plans for a new store opposite the school and the Semi-Final County Cup success of Lealands’ Year 7 football team.

The latter included footage of the school’s winning goal, shot by Ryan Russell.

Students also interviewed Luton-born author Steven Kelman, whose debut novel Pigeon English was nominated for the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

Despite losing experienced reporters to the BBC tour, John said pupils worked ‘like the team was complete’.

He added: “This is a very professional set up and the amazing thing is that it comes together in just a few weeks.

“They come up with ideas and like any good news bulletin there are things that get left out.”

> Watch the bulletin by clicking here