Developing a School Media Team

Whether we talk about Physical Education, English, Science or any other subject, given the correct stimulus, pupils can produce some incredible pieces of work, worthy of showing off! Developing a school media team can be a way of enthusing pupils to work, celebrate their successes, reward outstanding pieces of work and provide information for people worldwide by publishing on a website. The school inspectors seem to love it too!!

Starting out can sometimes be the most difficult part. Ideally the school media team should be run by pupils of all year groups and overseen by teachers. Examples of roles I have found useful in having as part of the media team follow. For each role I have included a description of what the role entails.

Roles

Website Administrator – involved in updating web site (e.g. putting match reports on website)

Journalists – write match reports on various events

Cameramen – video matches for use in creating highlights for displaying in school or on website

Photographers – to photograph various events

Video Editors – to edit video footage and create highlights for displaying in school or on website

Editors – editing match reports written by younger students

Some roles do require expertise in certain areas, however I found that many pupils already had these skills. For example GCSE or A Level students of IT have substantial web design/programming skills-required for updating and developing the website. It is also important to provide students with training in using certain equipment. For example using a camcorder effectively.

The media team provides excellent opportunities for pupils to develop many key skills outside of curriculum time. However it can also be used as part of schemes of work for many subjects. Here are a few examples:

  1. Report/Review Writing in Year 9 English or Welsh Lessons

As part of the schools inter house/mural competitions, the media team are involved in recording footage for creating highlights to show on the schools plasma screen at reception. This footage can also be used for students to watch in English. They then have to write a report on the competition. Alternatively pupils could write a watch and review the schools annual drama production.

  1. Website Creation for GCSE IT Students

Pupils with a keen interest in Physical Education who also study IT could be involved in developing a certain aspect of the departments website. I once had a student who was a keen badminton player also studying IT at GCSE. For his coursework he developed a badminton section to the school’s PE website. He included aspects such as coaching tips and videos, reports on recent events and much more. Click here to see what he produced.

I have developed a media team in both schools I have worked at and have found that pupils enjoy their efforts on the sporting front being celebrated online (they enjoy seeing themselves or seeing their names on the internet!) Match reports have to be proof read before online submission, especially for lower school students. It does require a lot of work to start out, however if you can find the right pupils for the administrator jobs they can take a lead on many aspects. It is vital that the whole process is monitored well by teachers.

Finally after a school inspection in 2008 my previous school was awarded the top grading on Key Question 3 (How well do the learning experiences meet the needs and interests of learners and the wider community?). As an outstanding feature the inspection report read:

“The use of ICT to promote pupils’ and students’ learning experiences is an outstanding feature. The physical education department has an established website with the aim of creating more interaction between staff, pupils and parents. Pupils and students are heavily involved in collating information for the web site. Pupils access details about the school’s sports clubs, results and match reports. In the KS3 section, pupils also access the interactive learning resources linked to developing key points of certain skills. ICT is increasingly used by the department in its teaching programme. This initiative enhances successfully pupils’ learning experiences and enjoyment of the subject.”

Explaining the schools media team, its role and showing the inspection team some of their work led to this comment.

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