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School Reports

School Report gives students a real audience, by linking to their work from the BBC website.

Final Schools Reports 2014

A LETTER TO LACEY: Changing Rooms

World theatre day at Hove Park school and the performing arts couldn't be more prominent: with a sellout performance of 'Grease' and upcoming 'Shakespeare for Schools' productions. A group of Year 10 drama students are coming together to deal with a variety of controversial subjects, in a production of 'A Letter to Lacey', by playwright Catherine Johnson, who was best known for her screenplay of bestselling UK film 'Mamma Mia!'.

Recently, Hove Park students tested the play before a mere 25 people, but soon will be bursting onto the stage of the Capital Horsham as part of the new Theatre Connections scheme, performing their production before a 300+ audience.

The play itself deals with issues like abuse, domestic violence and rape, all set around a young relationship. These are of course very unusual and controversial subjects for a school to cover, which is possibly why there has been so much interest in the production.

With today being world theatre day, the spirit of performing arts is heavy in the air, and at this school in particular, with it's strongest performances fresh in peoples memories, things are looking good for Hove Park's theatrical future.

Sussex Sporting Stars- Who will be our next generation of Olympians?

By Jess and Aisha

It's 863 days until the Rio Olympics and young athletes are becoming more talented than ever. India and Ellen are two aspiring Olympians from Brighton and Hove, who hope to leave their mark in the sporting industry.

Ellen began running when she was 10 years old, and trains on the track four times a week. She is the youngest runner at her athletics club and has won a gold medal at the Sussex championships. Ellen is currently training for a 400m race, which is taking her out of her comfort zone as it’s ‘a very hard race to run’ and ‘physically demanding’ combining speed and stamina.

India has been cycling since she was just 6 years of age, but didn't take this hobby seriously until last year. India cycles 4-5 times a week at her club and around her local area. India is currently training for the National Youth Omnium, and the National Championships. India has also been invited to cycle at the Olympic Velodrome in April, after being noticed for her unique sporting ability.

India’s advice for aspiring cyclists was: “Make the most of your local area's cycle routes and mixed terrain, and never be afraid of competition.”

Hove Park Students visit Buckingham Place for a royal interview

By Student Reporter, Ruben

Student Reporters at Hove Park School were given an exclusive interview with HRH The Earl of Wessex at Buckingham Palace as part of his 50 Birthday celebrations. 

The students discussed with The Earl his active role in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and his role as of Patron of the British Paralympic Association, as well as the delicate topic of his forthcoming big 5-0 in March.

The students secured the interview after writing to The Earl when looking for possible stories for their work on the BBC News School Report, a project run by the BBC which helps young people experience broadcast news. Aisha, one of the junior reporters to write to The Earl said: “When we wrote the letter we were expecting a polite ‘no’. It felt incredible and unreal when we heard it was ‘yes’”.

During the interview The Earl expressed his enthusiasm for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and explained to the students how it is a life changing experience for many young people, giving them the opportunity achieve their full potential whatever their circumstances.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is open to those aged 14 - 24 years and has three Award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. It helps over 275,000 young people every year from every background. Over two million young people have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh's Award since it began in 1956.

Poppy, one of the four students involved in the interview said: “The whole day was fantastic and even though I was very nervous the Earl put us at ease before we started our questions.” Another student reporter, Amy, said: “The interview was conducted in a grandly decorated room close to the famous balcony where the Royal Family wave to the crowds from. Just being there was amazing!”   

Before leaving the students gave The Earl an early birthday card which was designed by Ruby a Year 7 student at the school.

A broadcast version of the interview will be aired later in March.

Listen to the BBC radio report of the visit here.

Hove Park journalists meet with Head Judge at Hove Crown Court

By Student Reporters, Tyler and  Ruben 

Student journalists were given a lesson in crime and punishment when they met the Resident Judge, Her Honour Judge Barnes, at Hove Trail Centre Crown Court last week. The visit to the court, and interview with the Judge, was aimed at giving the students an insight into the running of the courts and the role of a court journalist.

Upon arrival, students were searched by security and escorted to a courtroom in which students were able to interview Judge Barnes. This was followed by a taste of a real trial in action as students watched from the public gallery whilst the judge gave her sentence on a case. To the students surprise one of the Barristers on the case was an ex-Hove Park student, Mr Dale Sullivan; who was delighted to see students from his former school take such and interest in the law.

Judge Barnes, who had just come from a murder trial she was presiding over, talked about cases she had dealt with and explained the court procedures. The young journalists were interested to find out that journalists were not given access to any facts that were not also available to the general public. Journalists, however, were not allowed to report anything said in an on-going case that was not said in front of the jury. This was to ensure the jury could not read anything outside that courts that might prejudice the case.

Judge Barnes talked about how she thought her job was both enjoyable and satisfying. It can take around 30 years to become a judge who has to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor, with the approval of the Queen. Judge Barnes went on to explain how it takes hard work and dedication if you are to have a career in the law but the most importantly you should “care about other people” and do your best to help them. Many of the cases she deals with are both sensitive and upsetting she commented that “often fact is stranger than fiction”.   

International footballer inspires students

By Student Reporter, Isabel 

Matthew Upson, former international player and Brighton and Hove Ablion’s central defender, ended a busy week of training with a visit to Hove Park School to be interviewed by student journalists about his role at the Albion and his illustrious international career.  

Upson, who joined the Seagulls in January, raved about the new stadium and the fantastic welcome he has had from the fans. Upson said it was a great club and felt that with the right investment the Seagulls had the potential to reach the Premier League in the future.

Whilst there have been many great moments in his career Upson said one of the most extraordinary was when he played for England in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “When the national anthem was played I felt very emotional,” he said “but then became clinical and focused because we had a job to do”. Upson went on to say how his most memorable moment was scoring in the world cup. “It was an intense moment with all eyes upon you...then I scored. It was amazing.” 

Upson admitted he was obsessed with football when at school but realises that, while he was one of the lucky ones to have a career in football, he took a risk and should have also worked at all his subjects at school. Upson said “Football is so competitive, many talented young footballers just don’t make it, it is important to have something else to fall back on.” 

His tip for the best way to prepare for challenges in sport and study is to programme ourselves with a good attitude towards our goals. He advised students to “picture a positive outcome and have a belief you won’t fail.”

Editor gives students insight into journalism

By Hove Park Journalists, Thembi and Callie 

Michael Beard, Editor of The Argus urged aspiring young reporters to be courageous, nosey and above all different, in a recent interview with Year 10 student journalists at Hove Park School.

Mr Beard explained that getting noticed when you start out is always difficult but he said “if you have a real desire to be a journalist and the courage to be different and stand out” you might just make it. Mr Beard said that “competition for jobs in the media was fierce” with The Argus attracting 130 – 140 applicants for every new junior journalist job advertised. 

It is important for a journalist not to be afraid to be daring and go and sniff out stories; they should also be interested in people and the community. It will help your chances if you get work experience at a paper, and or a qualification that makes you stand apart from the rest such as the National Council for the training of Journalist (NCTJ) certificate - and it does help to have shorthand. 

Mr Beard, who started his career at the age of eighteen, has worked in the newspaper industry for over thirty years. One of the most memorable days as a reporter was when news came in of the death of Princess Dianna. Like many for many of the British public, it was a difficult day for many journalists because the day was full of intense emotion and it was their job to report dispassionately on the facts. During any major event unfolding there is always so much speculation around, journalists have to remain focused and sift through the information to ensure what they print are the known facts.

“Technology has changed the industry massively,” Mr Beard said with immediacy of communication and the introduction of instant online news available to the public 24 hours a day. Mr Beard said he did however miss the atmosphere of an old newsroom. When he first started in the industry reporters had typewriters which created a tremendous noise as reporters bashed out their stories with the noise increasing as the deadline loomed. Now most newsrooms are relatively quiet.  

The changes in technology have changed the way people are now accessing their news and more and more are turning to online versions of newspapers. That will eventually be the way most of us will get our news in the future.  Mr Beard predicts that it will be the development of newspapers online sites that will determine how well a paper does. The FT have developed a good online site which serves its readership well, other papers are following. Mr Beard believes that The Argus most concentrate on ensuring it develops its online output and whilst a print version of The Argus will still exist in ten years’ time he predicts it could be in print version on a weekly basis.

On the issue of press regulation Mr Beard believes it is only right for a free press to be regulated by the press.  Whilst he freely admits that the certain elements of the media brought down the reputation of the rest with underhand practices, he thinks that it is important that the Government do not try to control the press. “If government are involved in setting regulation then the power for the press to freely serve the public interest becomes clouded.”

If Mr Beard wasn’t working in journalism he would be either an English teacher, as he always had a passion for writing. He would have liked to have been a footballer but he admits “that dream very quickly faded”. On living and working in Brighton he thinks is it is one of the best cities in the country and offers everyone a place to be “creative and unique.”