Last year, over five hundred students from in and around London, took part in the Young Reporter Scheme, an excellent extra-curricular activity, open to all school students from Year 10 and above. The scheme, which starts up every September/October gives students a voice to write about what is important to them and every article they write is published on our online newspapers.
We are now starting up for the thirteenth year running and are incorporating Sussex and Essex into the scheme this year.
Jenny Harris, Head of Careers at Royal Russell School, said: “I cannot recommend this scheme highly enough. From the ease of setting it up, to the support provided and the amazing opportunity to experience working in the media, it really is a great scheme for Year 10 to Year 13.”
The current pandemic has forced the scheme to take a look at the programme and re-think it this year, to fall in line with government guidelines and as a result it is now bigger and better than before.
In the past, it was always a struggle to get around to all the schools because of the size of the areas that the scheme covers, but with online meeting platforms, this will now be possible. It means the scheme will be able to reach more students than in the past and open up an opportunity for those taking part to interact with other students from different schools.
Josh Bartholomew, one of our two top reporters who competed last year, for the third year running, said: “Partaking in the Young Reporter scheme again was a wonderful experience, and one which I hope will have helped me to develop some useful skills. Writing to deadlines and practising specific forms of journalism was a really useful challenge to undertake.”
The media has always held an interest for thousands of students, but work experience placements are few and far between for those still at school. To fill that gap, the Young Reporter Scheme offers those interested in considering this career, a chance to see their work published regularly over an eight month period. Every article they write is published and it gives them an opportunity to build up a portfolio for use with their CV and UCAS applications.
Our other top young reporter for 2019/20 was Nicholas James from Wilson’s school. He added: “Not only did the scheme help me improve my writing, but I also got a much better understanding of my local area. I met lots of interesting people and heard loads of great stories that I would have never heard otherwise. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone who likes writing.”
Running from September through to April 2020, students have to be registered by the end of October to be included in the programme for this year.
It is such a fantastic opportunity for young people to showcase their work whilst building confidence and allowing them to explore the world of journalism. Universities are looking for more than just good grades and this scheme shows a huge commitment and dedication from those who complete the programme. Students studying for Duke of Edinburgh can also do this as part of their qualification.
Schools fear there will be a lot of extra work and pressure put on teachers already stretched to the limits. This is not the case as the Young Reporter team work directly with the students. All the schools have to do is put forward the names of enthusiastic pupils who they feel will benefit from this amazing scheme.