Primary pupils produce paper in a week
12th November 2009
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What a hectic week this has been.

Balladen Primary School in Rawtenstall is a very go-ahead school with a forward thinking head teacher Mr Sumner who could see the merit in my zany idea of producing a school newspaper in a week. Yes a primary school newspaper in a week.

After selling the idea to the head, staff and pupils the paper was launched on Monday 9 November - titled the Balladen Express, a name which earned one pupil a bar of chocolate!

We had only just started when a powerful smell of gas could be detected inside and outside the school. With safety uppermost, a whole school evacuation took place, followed by all children being sent home so no news was written that day.

The following day year five became star journalists making up poems, interviewing teachers and one pupil wrote the front page based on the previous day's events. Year one pupils had written about their outdoor play area, reception children were interviewed about a dream day at school while year four devised wordsearches and year three wrote about their hobbies and clubs and drew pictures of themselves.

Five pages were completed on Tuesday night and by Wednesday things were really hotting up. Year six found themselves in a real life newsroom situation with deadlines to meet, stories to write, interviews to conduct and photographs to take. They stepped up to the mark and surpassed it. Meanwhile in year two children devised riddles and drew pictures and year four pupils wrote about music and sport.

Another six pages were completed on Wednesday night leaving just the front end of the paper to be subbed and edited on Thursday. Job done by 3pm and the paper should be ready in school on Friday.

Stories range from the gas leak to the winning football team, facts about teachers to the cheerleading team.

A pioneering school has championed an innovative idea - to produce a newspaper in a week involving the whole school. Well done to Balladen I hope everyone enjoys reading all about it.


Catherine Smyth Media - freelance journalist, PR and editor of school newspapers!

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Catherine S

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