More than an English lesson!

Written by Sally.

A school workshop that’s more than an English lesson!

A workshop with me can capture the attention of schoolchildren more than any normal English lesson.

WJournalism for Schools - Junior Journalist Trophyhy?

Because it may be the first time they’ve seen how to use the English language they’ve learnt in a real-life situation.

It’s not all about grammar, verbs and spellings. It’s about accuracy, integrity and proper communication.

When reporting on a story it’s vital that the journalist understands what they are writing about, so research is also important.

During my workshop students learn about the mistakes that can be made when reporting and how to avoid them. I’m hot on accuracy and my mantra is CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!

Pupils find themselves slightly starstruck because I’m ‘in the paper!’

They love the fact that I’ve met popstars and Royals and as the session progresses they start to fire more and more questions at me. They want to hear details about the more dramatic stories I’ve done – murder, suicide, and how to report on the sensitive subject of death.

And then there’s the excitement and satisfaction when they get their own news story down on paper.

One budding young journalist told me she had read through one of my stories and re-written it. She had changed the ‘angle’ of the story!

Wow! 10/10 for listening and using initiative!

It’s time like that I feel so proud of the students and thrilled to see how I’ve opened their minds.

How it all began ...

Written by Sally.

I have spent years doing workshops with children in my own three children’s classes as they have gone through school, mainly in primary schools plus the odd one at Brownies and Cubs.

Teachers were biting my hand off to get me in and thanking me profusely afterwards. The kids loved meeting a ‘real life journalist’ and some of them who professed to 'not like' writing surprised themselves by thoroughly enjoying the class.

Sally Hunt - Journalism For SchoolsOne day I realised that this could be taken further and give me a business of my own while doing something I’m passionate about – talking to young people about journalism. My first workshop at the Deepings School in Lincolnshire left me buzzing. One year 8 student came up to me afterwards: “Please, please come back again,” she said: “We want to go into town and find a story and come back and write it up!”

The school, a mixed comprehensive which has recently become an Enterprise Academy, welcomed the learning experience, and indeed a TA who sat at the back of the lesson during the two hours I was with the students said she had never seen the children so enthralled and engaged.

I am continuing to write freelance articles for several publications. This keeps my workshops fresh and up-to-date as I can show students something I have recently worked on which is current and interesting.

Give me a call or drop me an email – and find out what I can do for your students and your school.

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