Doncaster academy’s media stars of the future visit BBC

Trinity Academy students Adam Johnston, Cara Dolby, Matthew Thompson, Ryan Cassidy, Liam Sutton, Amy Sykes, Ryan Firth, Sam Bell, Konna Kerrigan and Ewen Keen.
Trinity Academy students Adam Johnston, Cara Dolby, Matthew Thompson, Ryan Cassidy, Liam Sutton, Amy Sykes, Ryan Firth, Sam Bell, Konna Kerrigan and Ewen Keen.

Students from a school in Thorne were featured on the BBC’s main evening news programme on the opposite side of the country last week after being invited to take part in a series of workshops at MediaCityUK, Manchester.

The ten Trinity Academy students, from Year 7 right through to Year 13, joined pupils from several schools from across the north of England in learning how to enhance their digital and journalistic skills, as part of the BBC’s national School Report News Day on Thursday 15th March. The students were given advice on securing careers in the media; lessons on how to use Smartphones to create professional standard videos; sports reporting, producing and presenting; and they even got to road test the BBC’s newly-launched ‘iReporter’ fake news game.

Highlights for the older students included meeting BBC Breakfast presenter Roger Johnson and watching BBC Sports presenters Hugh Woozencroft and John Watson in action. Meanwhile, the younger pupils were thrilled to be addressed by Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya on how he made it into broadcasting through sheer determination and hard work.

BBC crews were filming throughout the day, and some of the Trinity students even made it onto screen that evening as part of a feature on the 6.30pm ‘North West Tonight’ programme (Manchester’s equivalent of Yorkshire’s BBC ‘Look North’), when presenter John Watson joked that Cara Dolby and Konna Kerrigan’s sports bulletin was so good, he felt his job might be under threat from them.

Trinity student Liam Sutton (16) is now considering news producing as a possible career. “I really enjoyed the day as it gave me a crucial insight into a career I’m interested in,” he said. “All the staff were really helpful and answered every question I had.” Cara Dolby (16) added: “I was very nervous about presenting, but it was a lot of fun and it was great to be around so many professionals.”

Media Studies teacher Sara Backhouse, who organises Trinity’s involvement with School Report each year, said: “This was a unique opportunity for our students to really understand how a top media organisation like the BBC operates, and it gave them all practical experience in a range of skills that will benefit them in the future, whatever career path they decide to take.” She added: “It was the first year that BBC School Report has been extended to include Sixth Formers, so it was also really useful practical experience for two of our Year 13 students who will be going on to university in September to read media and journalism.”