On 26th November forty-six film students from Years 9 and 10 had the exciting privilege of attending a trip to the BBC Broadcasting House in London in order to find out how the building works and what sorts of roles and responsibilities are involved in the researching and broadcasting of the iconic news that we see every day.
Nervously, the students queued up for their turn through security - nothing is left to chance when it comes to such an important establishment. Once successfully cleared, it was past the Tardis and into the spectacular Media Café, where they were given time to graze on their lunch and take in their new and unfamiliar surroundings.
The café boasts a stunning view into the newsroom below, where journalists and news presenters could be seen at their desks, mid-way through their 12-hour shift, their fingers dancing away on their keyboards as they excitedly researched their next big story. In the corner of the room the green screen and autocue machine could be seen set up, ready for the next round of weather to be broadcast by the highly-skilled meteorologist (who will have created their very own presentation for us to behold).
In groups, the students and staff were called up for their tour and presented with professional-looking lanyards to wear, ready to embark on the voyage of discovery that was the wonders of the BBC.
Excitedly, each group gradually disappeared with their guides in a blur of excitement and colour, many still gazing through the magnificent window as they into the bustling newsroom below, desperately trying to get a glimpse into the recording studio where the news had just ended. Ah, the one o’clock news presenter, just sitting down at her desk! It really was quite something to learn the reality of the roles the staff carry out throughout their long shifts.
Along the tour many students experienced such opportunities as presenting the news using the autocue machine; reading the weather in front of the green screen; trying their hand at acting or creating astonishing sound effects for the radio drama, and having the delectably comfortable chance to sit on the sofa, in the spot of some of their favourite celebrities on the set of The One Show!
Photography flashed and inquisitive questions flew around all day, with the students trying to capture the experience in whatever way they could. Thanks to the help of our USH TV crew, some superb footage was captured along the way and will enable us to relive and share the experience for much time to come.
The day ended with purchases from the gift shop, more pictures of the Tardis and some fairly tired staff! (and perhaps students!)
Sarah Turner, English/Media Studies department