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BBC News School Report takes the temperature


Hundreds of schools will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest interactive weather report on Thursday 11 March.

As part of the record attempt teenagers across the UK will take a temperature reading for their area at 9.15am and feed the data to the Weather Centre at BBC Television Centre.

The temperature readings, taken in celcius, will then be used to fill in a BBC Weather map for a special broadcast later in the day. Each school taking part has a temperature disc on the map which has been located using the coordinates of the school and the combination of the discs on the map will show the variation of temperatures across the UK. Students in London will also be joined by well known weather icons such as Michael Fish as the event unfolds.

BBC weather forecaster Carol Kirkwood – who will be at Wildern School near Southampton for Breakfast TV on the day – said everyone taking part should have a great time: “The weather is the one thing in our lives which changes on a daily, even hourly, basis. It’s hugely interesting and lots of fun.”

The record attempt is part of this year’s BBC News School Report – a project taking place on the same day to engage 11-14 year olds with news and bring their stories and voices to a wider audience.

This is the fourth year for the RTS [Royal Television Society] award-winning School Report project.

Teachers across the UK have been using resources available on the BBC News School Report website ( to help their 11-14 year old students develop journalistic skills and become “School Reporters”. More than 50,000 teenagers have been involved over the school year sometimes with practical help from BBC mentors.

This year more than 700 schools across the UK will make and publish their own news stories – on every topic under the sun – including the day’s weather. Around 25,000 teenagers will take part, simultaneously creating multi-media news reports, to a deadline of 2.00pm and publishing them on their school websites by 4.00pm.

The BBC News School Report website will link to these websites and will also stream School Report Radio and School Report LIVE for the day.

Many schools have enhanced their foreign news coverage by talking to other schools around the world, and for the first time schools in South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Kenya have been involved as part of a joint initiative with the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme.

Students’ reports will also be available on the BBC’s Red Button service and there will be coverage throughout the day on the BBC’s international, national, regional and local TV, radio and online services.

School Reporters are working on a wide range of stories including interviews with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman, the war in Afghanistan, the impact of repatriation from Wootton Bassett school, immigration, teenage drinking, the floods in Cockermouth, prospects for the Commonwealth Games, the future of education, fundraising for Haiti, the first interview by young people of the new Children’s Commissioner for England and much more.

BBC News presenter and former teacher, Huw Edwards, is lending his support to the project sharing his expertise through a series of short videos.

He says: “I’m involved because I want to give young people the chance to make the news themselves, and I want to share the principles of good journalism.”

Helen Shreeve, Editor, says: “Often we see teenagers on the news in stories about crime or education but we don’t get to hear their views or other aspects of their lives or interests. School Report gives 11-14 year olds the chance to set the news agenda themselves, and it gives the BBC’s audiences the opportunity to see the world from their perspective.”
Notes to Editors

School Report is an annual project open to all schools in the UK with 11-14 year old pupils. For more informtion see

Coverage on Thursday 11 March will spread across:

School Report LIVE is a dedicated multi-media channel that will showcase students and their work in a number of locations around the UK. On screen viewers will see a mixture of live TV, live radio, pre-recorded video, audio, graphics, photographs sent in by teachers and text messages and emails sent in by BBC mentors and teachers. This will be hosted at Television Centre in London by political reporter and ex-Newsround presenter Adam Fleming working with a team of School Reporters.

School Report Radio is running for the third year but for the first time you will be able to watch it. The School Report team is trialling a new sort of radio visualisation which will enable audiences to see graphics, photographs and texts whilst listening to radio output. School Report Radio is also working in partnership with 5 Live throughout the day and there will be a two-hour section from Manchester presented by 5 Live presenter Tony Livesey and Heather Stott (weather presenter NW Today) working with a team of School Reporters.

There will be outside broadcasts from Bristol, Edinburgh, and Ammanford in South Wales, with the BBC Bus in Leeds, a newsroom at the Big Bang Science Fair in Manchester plus live internet links with schools across the British Isles and elsewhere in the world.

School Report 2008 won a Royal Television Society (RTS) award for innovation in education in June 2009.


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