Highgate pupils turn young journalists to launch community newspaper

Primary school pupils plan to give the Ham&High a run for its money by launching their own newspaper for the community - filled with reports on parents’ parking rows, a dangerous school crossing and reviews of local eateries.

Children at Highgate Primary School, in Storey Road, Highgate, step into the shoes of journalists at a weekly after-school newspaper club, where they learn different writing techniques and how to create their own newspaper.

The budding reporters took a trip down the road to The Duke’s Head pub, in Highgate High Street, last week to try their hand at food reviewing before the launch of their first school newspaper at the beginning of next term.

Teacher Kate Imeson, who leads the school’s newspaper club, said: “The idea is not only to create a newspaper but to experience what it is like to be a journalist.”

She added: “They are never too young to try out being journalists and throughout primary school they do use different genres of writing, but this gives them a real purpose to produce a newspaper.”

Notebooks at the ready, the pupils eagerly sampled a plateful of crispy chips, and mouth-watering pulled meats at The Duke’s Head before scribbling down their thoughts on paper.

Luckily for pub owners and Highgate Primary School parents Tarik Nashnush and Martin Aberdeen, the young critics gave the food top reviews.

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Their comments ranged from “delicious” and “scrumptious” to “looks better than a Picasso masterpiece”.

After plates were virtually licked clean, Ham&High photographer Nigel Sutton showed the youngsters his camera and taught them about the art of photojournalism.

So far this term, the pupils have exposed bad parking etiquette by parents in the school car park, reported on the campaign for a safer pedestrian crossing in North Hill, and written up their experiences of school trips.

Ms Imeson said: “Even though they have been in class all day, they really love it.

“It is really good for their writing, because it makes the children look at their work really carefully, and what motivates them is knowing it will be in a lovely looking newspaper.”

The school now hopes to produce a newspaper once every term after reviving the journalistic club.

Headteacher William Dean said: “The most important thing is to develop their writing for a real purpose.

“Often at school, we complete tasks that develop children’s writing, but it is much more powerful when the writing is going to be read by the entire community.”