Student Journalist Report on Mental Health
As Saint Aidan’s take part in their eighth BBC News School Report Day, one student, Millie Stephens (13), who was producer for the day, reports on what happened during the day.
On Thursday 16th March, all members of Saint Aidan’s Media Club took part in BBC News School Report Day- a whole day filled with filming, editing and laughter. We took a break from lessons and focussed on a topic very important to us and everyone- mental health. It was different from the usual school day, in which we weren’t concentrating on maths and English, but journalism and reporting on subjects we had chosen previously.
After splitting off into groups, we scripted stories and got ready to film. Ex-student Josef Houldsworth came in to help us out, sharing his expertise in journalism and media.
Prior to the day, we also did lots of scripting and preparation, including sending out a questionnaire for students to complete and many emails attempting to organise interviews.
The morning was filled with students running around school, filming different pieces and trying not to disturb the other student’s lessons. Most of us came away with more bloopers than actual footage. As well as filming, there was also voice recording and photo taking. The morning was also assisted by Lucy Breakwell from North West Tonight, who gave us tips all about the cameras and filming. By break most of the filming was done and some groups went outside to ask people about what they think causes metal health issues.
After break, there was a lot of frantic filming and desperate last-minute recording because we aimed to have gathered all video footage before lunch- we didn’t. Although the morning had been busy, we all wanted a break, so we stopped for a while, headed down to the lecture theatre, and ate! (Cake included- if that doesn’t make you want to join Media Club, I don’t know what will!)
After returning to IT1, we turned our attention to editing the videos. Lots of cutting and deleting later, most groups had something resembling a news report, and the anchors, Isobel and Becky, had filmed their parts- the introduction, the parts between the stories, and the ending scene- with the help of a clever green screen. Surprisingly, we managed to go the whole day only losing one piece of footage!
Eventually, the room began to quieten as many of us left to relax in the lecture theatre, while some stayed behind to write news articles- including one student who decided to write an extremely long article about the day she had had. With half an hour remaining, everything was almost done, apart from a crisis in which not all of the lens caps or memory cards had been returned. Luckily, all was resolved soon enough.
Personally, I enjoyed the day just as much as the previous year, and I especially enjoyed getting to boss people around as the ‘Producer’ of the project. I also got to learn a lot of new information about mental health and mental health issues, services that are available to help people who are suffering, charities that specialise in them and how to maintain a good state of mental health. I’m looking forward to next year already!
Mrs Samantha Kalinski, Teacher of English responsible for the day, said, “Over the 7 years I have done this day, I really feel that this year was the best yet. Not only were the students brilliant at what they were doing but they worked well together to create a very important piece of journalism. It is available here. if you haven't seen it yet.
She added, “I am so, so proud of what they produced and hope that they enjoyed the experience of day. They really were a credit to Saint Aidan's. Now we just need to start thinking about how to top it next year!”