Newsbeat. Read by Valley Park.

10 year 9 Students went to London’s BBC Broadcasting House to be part of this year's School Report.


After  meeting at Maidstone East Station, they travelled up to London Victoria and by tube to Oxford Circus. They were met by their guide, Peter Gilman, and Newsbeat journalist Kat Collins, who took them to the seventh floor, home of Radio One.

Chloe recording Newsbeat

Year 9 student, Chloe Leipnik, recording a Newsbeat Bulletin, helped by fellow student Kasey Williams and Newsbeat Journalist, Kat Collins.

In the Learning Centre they formed three groups and carefully sorted through newspapers, selecting stories that would fit their brief of writing a Newsbeat bulletin aimed at 13-14 year olds. They summarised these stories, then crafted their language to make it appropriate for the radio, all in just 40 minutes. 

After tight deadlines, they went to record the bulletin in the actual Newsbeat studio. 'It was a surreal experience for us,' said year 9 student Chloe Leipnik, 'as many popular presenters have sat in the very chairs we sat in!'

They then began the exciting and complicated process of recording their Newsbeat bulletins, before going on a tour of Radio 1. They briefly met some of the many presenters who were recording that day’s news, and watched them at work from the studio opposite. The whole building was very open-plan and spacious, with modern and personal finishes on every wall. It would be a truly wonderful place to work. 

Jim Chapman

Vlogger Jim Chapman being interviewed for the Radio 1 News Report Festival.

After lunch they formed part of the Radio Theatre audience, and were part of the first Radio 1 School Report Festival. All the schools that had been invited to attend were there, and Valley Park's Newsbeat bulletin was broadcast. Celebrity vlogger Jim Chapman answered questions about his experiences, and gave the audience an insight into his career and life as a famous YouTuber, offering tips and valuable advice to students about how to become a successful vlogger.

They were also able to ask radio 1 controller, Ben Cooper, questions about his role. He explained how important it is for young people to listen to the radio and how he is aiming to make it more accessible to teenagers. He said that online content and apps are becoming an increasingly popular way for teens and young people to consume their news.

'The overall day was a brilliant experience,' said Chloe. 'Being interested in the idea of journalism myself, I found it very interesting how much work goes into a simple bulletin, that we as consumers take for granted. So many hard working and dedicated people wake up at the crack of dawn to produce our radio programmes; this experience definitely was enlightening, and helped all of us appreciate the amount of work that goes into Newsbeat.' 

'The students were very interactive during the task and didn’t need much encouragement,' remarked Peter Gilman, their BBC guide for the day. 'My biggest learning curve came from trusting them and letting them get on with it, just being on hand when needed.'

He added, 'Although really the biggest enjoyment came seeing their reaction when we bumped into Fern Cotton in the Live Lounge!'

'The group was a pleasure to work with,' said Newsbeat journalist, Kat Collins. 'They all clearly put a lot of effort into it and I really hope they took something from it... and enjoyed it too!'

A video showing photos from the day, accompanied by one of the Newsbeat bulletins, can be viewed below.