Youngsters are given a taste of what life 
is like for a journalist

WRITING SKILLS Thomas Tucker, eight, and Faye Francis, nine '         Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150159-7)
WRITING SKILLS Thomas Tucker, eight, and Faye Francis, nine ' Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150159-7)

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The children in Year 4 at Hart Plain Junior School were very excited when they got to meet a real journalist, writes teacher Josh Phelan.

They got to find out exactly how the process from event to a newspaper story happens.

They were given a chance to ask questions about the life of a journalist and how they too could become a writer.

As part of their work in English the children will be writing as journalists.

They are going to be to promoting the benefits of recycling to their parents and the local community.

To help them understand what makes a newsworthy story the children invited Ruth Scammell from The News in Portsmouth to come in and talk to them.

Talking about her career, inspiring the children by telling them that she wanted to become a journalist to use her writing skills in a job, Ruth told them all about her typical day explaining how writing can be fun but it gives her a challenge.

The children were amazed to see how Ruth writes in shorthand and hearing about all the famous people that she has met.

They included players and other people who are associated with Portsmouth Football Club.

To finish off the visit, the children were given a chance to show off their own interviewing skills.

First of all, they were given a demonstration of how to interview a witness of an event then trying it themselves.

They have responded well, showing how to use open questions and choosing them carefully to get their answers as detailed as possible.

The teachers commented on what a fantastic opportunity it was for the children to see that newspapers are not just for grown-ups.

It also highlighted the importance of reading them too.

Afterwards, the children said that they had learned lots from Ruth.

They commented on how they were very excited to go on and use their new journalistic skills.

They will be interviewing members of the school about the recycling project we have been working on across the term.

The children, and the adults involved, are very excited to see how the reports turn out when the children have finished writing them.

Some of the reports will be being sent out to parents so that they can read it in our school’s newsletter.

Perhaps it will be the start of a journalistic career for some of the children.