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BBC News School Report

Pupils at Cirencester Deer Park School have joined schools across the country today, Thursday 16 March 2017, taking part in the BBC News School Report.

BBC News School Report gives pupils in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience. Participating schools research and produce their own news reports on interesting things happening in their area. Teachers help develop pupils' journalistic skills to become School Reporters, so they can report on the stories that matter to them and make their voices heard. Last year around 30,000 pupils from over 1,000 schools took part in the annual News Day. 2017 will be the 4th year that Deer Park has taken part.

We will be publishing news throughout the day and hope to have all our stories online by 4pm, so please save this page as a favourite and return to it later.

bbc news school report day march 2017
Well done to our BBC News School Report team!


Pete Reed, Olympic hero (click to open story) 

Pete ReedPete Reed (@PeteReed), former Deer Park pupil and three time Olympic Gold rowing champion, took the time to answer questions from our BBC News School Report team. Thank you! Have you seen the challenge he has set to his Twitter followers? #Bringit2017


  1. What is the driving force behind what you do?
    This is a great question and really made me think. I would love to tell you that it is a desire to see what is possible or to continue to push the limits of human potential. I’d love to say that I do it to inspire others to do the same or to be the best in the world. But, really, the driving force is enjoyment. I love what I do. I train hard with amazing people in a high performance setup. I am very lucky and I love my job.
  2. Why have you decided to go for another gold?
    I made the obvious choice to carry on rowing for the very best reasons possible. Because I enjoy training, I love racing and I think I have one more in me.
  3. What advice does your coach give you and what do you think helped you achieve your previous medals?
    The great Jürgen Grobler told me to never give up. To always try to be better and work hard. To be honest, reliable and never to complain. He taught me that the mind is stronger than the body - you can push through pain. You can be strong when in extreme discomfort. I will summarise what he taught me for you: be brave.
  4. How do you feel when you hear a crowd roar?
    I will never forget the Dorney Roar. I knew then what a Roman Gladiator must have felt like. This unique sound, when made for you gives you courage and strength beyond measure.
  5. Off the water, what is it that interests you most?
    People and photography. People really. What could possibly be more fascinating than the people around us. Everyone is different. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. We all have something to give and share. The older I get, the more I listen, learn and share. People are amazing. Sometimes I have the honour of photographing them.
  6. As a child, were you very sporty and were you interested in water sports? What sparked your initial interest in rowing?
    I was always playing outside as a child and as a young man, that turned into a healthy lifestyle. I would cycle, hike, jog - I’d play team games at school, but I was never very good. I found rowing at university aged 20. I clicked with it immediately.
  7. Do you think that having the world’s largest lung capacity has been a major factor in your success? How was this measured and how are you maintaining this?
    I think it is a factor, but everyone at elite level has something special. My lungs work for me, but I look to my team mates; they have huge hearts, legs, shoulders, lactate tolerance, aerobic endurance, power, VO2 max scores. They all inspire me. My lungs were measured with some physiological tests in 2006 and one doesn’t need to maintain the capacity - that is what I have. What I need to maintain is my fitness. That is the hard bit.
  8. What is your favourite food? How often are you able to eat it and what is your typical training diet?
    I love fresh vegetables, fish and brown rice. Porridge. Fruit. Chicken. Meat. Pasta. Potatoes. Eggs… everything really - as long as it is fresh. Luckily I get to eat that kind of stuff every day. Add this up to 6000 calories and you have my typical training diet. That’s a lot of food.


Sugar Tax (click to open story) 

by James M and Charlotte (Year 9)

Celebrity cook Jamie Oliver, has been campaigning to combat childhood obesity. When making a speech in parliament, he said that government must “be brave” and create a sugar tax.

sugar tax

From April 2018 there may be a levy on high sugar content drinks in the UK. It will mean any drink with over 5g sugar per 100ml will be taxed. Sugary drinks have been blamed for a lot of children having a high sugar diet, since the drinks can contain as much as 3 times the suggested daily intake and are often popular among groups of people with already poor diets like teenagers and young adults.

The revenue from the proposed tax, expected to be around £520 million in its first year, will be spent on programmes focused on school sport clubs and improving children's lifestyle in the UK.

Would this tax have any effect though? Are enough measures already in place? The Catering Manager at Cirencester Deer Park School says “I think that people need educating about not giving their babies and young children too much sugar from the beginning...  (it can be) hard to give up.” At Deer Park measures are already in place to prevent sugar proliferation. “We only sell school compliant drinks which are sugar-free or low sugar. We don't sell fruit juices that are harmful to teeth.”  Pupils are also limited to purchasing a maximum of two sweet things per person and can only spend £5 a day maximum. 

The tax was first announced in the 2016 Spring Budget by then Chancellor George Osborne. This may become a Bill and be taken to parliament by Summer 2017 and may become law in 2018.


Youth Parliament (click to open story) 


uk youth parliament

by Susan and Charlotte (Year 9)

The UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) is a youth organisation in the United Kingdom. It consists of democratically elected members aged between 11 and 18. Formed in 2000, the parliament has around 600 members, who are elected to represent the views of young people in their area to government and service providers.

Millie, 15, at Deer Park, is a candidate to be a representative for the Cotswold and Stroud Region. She is a part of the Stroud Youth Council to promote young people’s voices in the community. Her campaign is to give young people in our society more of a chance to be heard.

“Right now,” she states, “I’m working on my campaign and in order to do that I’m speaking to people, doing an assembly and various other events like this interview. At first running for the UKYP was hard, but over time it gets easier.”

If she gets elected, she says she will give young people a voice in the crowd. There will be more information on our website next week. 


Deer Park Bake Off (click to open story) 

by Josh and Ethan (Year 7)

red nose day bake offOn Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 March a large cake bake will be held at Deer Park to raise money for Red Nose Day.

Miss Wood, from our Maths Faculty, has organised the two day Deer Park Bake Off, for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 pupils. They will be making delicious Red Nose Day themed cakes and biscuits. These will be judged by Miss Wood herself and Miss Charleston, also a Maths teacher.

The delicious cakes will then be sold at break and lunch time to pupils, raising money for the charity. Miss Wood said “I am looking forward to seeing all the fantastic cakes and sampling a few!"  


Mock Magistrates' Court Competition (click to open story) 

by Susan (Year 9)

At the start of January 2017, a group of pupils in Year 9 at Cirencester Deer Park School were chosen to take part in the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition. The competition is a national active learning project which helps young people understand how the legal system works.

The competition involves a team of pupils working together as they take on roles such as magistrates, lawyers, witnesses and court staff as they prepare a written case. Schools compete against each other in a live format at a real magistrates’ court. 

mock magistrates court competitionThe pupils at Deer Park have been receiving help on the case from a local barrister. They say the tips and advice given has helped them understand the case. “Having the barristers help us prepare our case was really fun and they really helped me learn more about what happens in court,” says Susan who is taking part in the competition. 

In January the pupils visited a Magistrates' Court in Chippenham to further help them understand the courtroom procedure. “It was really exciting seeing what happened in court” said one of the Year 9 team.

The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition, which has been running annually since 1994, introduces the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way. The competition is helping many pupils develop their communication and presentation skills as they explore what happens at court. In the last 26 years, more than 53,000 students in years 6 to 9 have taken part in criminal mock trials all finding the experience fun and exciting.

"I am really looking forward to my day in court and the Trial this Saturday, 18 March." 


Our School Dogs: Cosmo and Denzil


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Editor: James R (Year 10)


Fake News (click to open story)

By James D and Kenneth, Year 9 BBC News School Reporters

bbc news school report 2017 fake newsRecently the phenomenon of “fake news” has spread into epidemic proportions amongst the social media. Fake news is a deliberate spread of misinformation, be it via the traditional news media or via social media, with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically. It can also be propaganda.

Fake news has appeared mostly because of social media. Not all sites on the internet are reliable as official news sites; many are focused on re-posts. Those who publish these are, of course, companies who want advertisement revenue. Barack Obama was interviewed after the recent presidential election and he expressed a clear desire to eliminate all aspects of fake news: "everything and nothing is true in my online world" he said, when asked about the widespread impact of global fake news. Fake news has also been confronted by President Donald Trump to be "one of the greatest dangers to modern society".

Research in the US indicates that if shown a fake news story and asked if they considered it true, 40% of students had no doubts about the news story, 20% had little doubt, and only 10% doubted the reliability of the story. If shown a picture or an article that agreed with the first article at a later date, then this almost erased any doubt in the students.

If YOU think you might have been deceived, the experts suggest either a) checking on debunking websites, such as, to see if the website is reliable, b) seeing if the website you are on has any other obviously fake news articles, c) seeing if the website has copied another reliable news site’s style or URL, d) not clicking on the first website result you get from a search engine such as Bing or Google or e) only using reliable mainstream news organisations, such as BBC News.


Video piece on our School Dogs to follow...

Cosmo, Our School Dog, BBC News School Report, March 2017


We are up and runninng on BBC News School Report Day! Our team are busy researching, interviewing, writing, editing...

BBC New School Report Day 2017


After the successful introduction of Denzil the dog - our pastoral helper and literacy facilitator - Deer Park has adopted a puppy, Denzil's nephew Cosmo, to follow in his footsteps. Look out for an article on ‘A Day in the Life of Cosmo', his daily routine, how he is learning the ropes very quickly and the very positive effect he has on our pupils.

Our Team 

This year our team consists of pupils in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, managed by English tutor Mrs Wyatt.  We meet on Tuesdays after school in the English faculty in E3. Any pupils interested in joining us should talk with Mrs Wyatt or any members of the pupil team.

BBC News School Report 2017

BBC News School Report

BBC New School Report 2017

BBC News School Report
Some of our BBC News School Report team

Why join BBC News School Report? 

The BBC News School Report team requires a number of skills and pupils work together to plan, research, write, film, record audio, take photographs and make editing decisions. We introduce the three C's of scripting: being clear, concise and correct. Through practice sessions pupils are introduced to the pressures of News Day and helped to learn to work as a team to meet deadlines. The idea is not to create the perfect bulletin, but to focus on team building and time management techniques.

Some of our current team members share why they joined the club. I joined BBC News School Report because...

"...I knew it would help future opportunities and I could learn more about writing and the media." Charlotte, Year 9

"...I love to write and I thought that it would expand my vocabulary and I can explore the writing of journalism." Jenna, Year 8

" brother was already doing it. I like being in photos and videos  and I like writing and journalism. I would definitely recommend it to my classmates and fellow pupils." Ethan, Year 7

BBC News School Report Day Preparation 

We are busy practising and preparing for Report Day in our BBC News School Report club sessions (after school on Tuesdays). In February we hope to run a specific session working to a deadline to get articles onto our website, as a practice run for the 'real' BBC News School Report day on Thursday 16 March. 

BBC News School Report 2016 

Read about our BBC News School Report 2016...