BBC School News Report

BBC News School Report gives 11-16 year old students around the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience. It is a collaborative project run by BBC News, BBC Sport, BBC Outreach and BBC Children.

This year Outwood Academy Shafton will be participating in this exciting event and we will have a group of aspiring reporters in Year 8 and 9 producing some fantastic articles on the day.

We hope you enjoy reading the fabulous articles produced by our students.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Crime in Cudworth

In the past month police have had many reports in the Barnsley community about anti-social behaviour near the pub located in Cudworth named The Star. The residents have reported that the majority of the youths are from Outwood Academy Shafton. We interviewed staff and students at the school to get their views on the events. One question asked was whether you think it was fair to blame the students for the behaviour. The principal, Mrs Ackroyd, is very passionate on the subject and when interviewed she said, “If the youths are identified then they can put the blame on the parents because the school only provides education and is not responsible for what the students do out of school.”

Thoughts and feelings on the anti-social behaviour

One of the questions we asked during the interviews was ‘what do you feel about anti-social behaviour in the local community?’ Most teachers replied that the identifiable students should be punished. However, many students thought that the school should not be involved in their out school activities. Also, some students expressed concern and fear over instances of anti-social behaviour and that it may affect them in their day to day lives.

Discrimination against teenagers because of anti-social behaviour

Both adults and students that took part in the interviews felt that youths are discriminated against. For example, Mrs Ackroyd said, “I feel a lot of people, especially the older generation, feel that all teenagers are anti-social when this is not the case.” Many of the teenagers thought they were being generalised when the majority of students have no problems in or out of school.

Reputation on the school

Many people thought that the school’s reputation had been tarnished by these recent events and people thought that it was unjust to blame Outwood Academy Shafton for all the anti-social behaviour without sufficient proof and this may be based on the stereotype of students being anti-social.

Preventions and solutions

One of the main solutions suggested was to promote more social areas and promote community centres. This would encourage the perpetrators to take part in activities that don’t cause any problems to the community or the residents in the community. We also got told that skate parks would be really effective and Mrs Littlewood said that “litter picking would help you to appreciate your community and the effect your behaviour has on it.” In conclusion, those interviewed Outwood Academy Shafton agreed that the school is not responsible for all of the recent events in Cudworth, but that we could all take better care and responsibility of our community.

By Adam, Lauren and Sophie


Life in the Future

Could you ever imagine an alien landing on earth? Or even exploring a new planet? There is no limit to what could be discovered. This is important to the human race because we must expand our reaches in galaxies before our resources are gone. It is extremely important that we find living planets before we are starved of the routines of our daily life.

Possibility of life

Although we have no proof of life in space there is a large chance of finding other habitable planets like Earth. There are a few people that believe aliens exist; such as a teacher called Miss Grace who said “aliens do exist” however, there are some people who disagree with this such as Miss Eaton who said, “aliens do not exist.” Did you know NASA have discovered planets with oxygen levels that are safe for people to live on? Would you live there?


There are a few planets in our solar system such as: Neptune, Jupiter, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Mercury, Uranus, and Venus. However, there are thousands more to be discovered and one person who agrees with this is Mrs Jennison who commented, “it is very exciting for more planets to be discovered and eventually witness them myself.” All through the year more planets are being discovered and it will never come to an end. Many of these planets are unable to hold life however, if something catastrophic were to happen to Earth we will have to move away and one of the new planets could be our new home!

Aliens coming to Earth

Even though Mr Powell says that he’s an alien, there is a possibility of alien life entering our atmosphere. Miss Higson stated that, “I would want aliens to be friendly because I would hate Independence Day to happen. For all we know aliens could enter our atmosphere whenever they please.” There are many things that could happen such as humans and aliens breeding, also a lot of conflict. Miss Allen says, “There could be racism from humans.” What do you think about aliens coming to Earth?

Even though, many people are very interested in things far from us some students at Outwood Academy Shafton are not believers of aliens and other planets. Cameron, Connor and Lucy said “There are no Aliens!” This shows they wouldn’t be bothered about moving to another planet. Maybe they wouldn’t move now but how would they feel if Earth was coming to an end! The next time you stare up at the stars make sure you look out for an alien spaceship because one of those stars might just be an alien spacecraft edging closer to Earth.

By Bailey, Georgia, Tomas and Kelsey

Mental Health in Schools

Can schools help students with mental illnesses? What can your school do to help? There has been a large increase in mental illnesses with over 850,000 children in the UK diagnosed with several of forms of mental illness. To make matters worse, one third of students were not confident talking to a teacher about the subject.

After questioning many staff and students we got an overall view that schools need to do more about the issue including having one to one sessions or even putting less stress on pupils as they are going through secondary school. The causes of these illnesses are unknown but it could be down to pressure from exams (GCSEs) or down to a natural genetics, brain defects or injury, prenatal damage, exposure to toxins, poor nutrition or simply not enough sleep.

One student called Ellie commented that she is coping with the pressure of exams but her friends are nervous and afraid they won’t get good grades. When interviewed, 11X1 Literature felt that they lacked a social life and do not feel they are getting the right emotional support. Whereas another student, also in year 11, stated that he wanted more revision and he felt that he needed more support than he is currently getting in order to pass his exams to do what he wants when he grows up.

With 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 suffering from a diagnosed mental health disorder there are a lot of medications being given to the parents and carers, but do they read the labels and side effects of the medication? As one student named Layton said, “They should make sure the children are happy with the medication and then give it to them.”

In the world today there are 5 main mental disorders they are: Hyperkinetic disorder (severe ADHD), Anxiety, Depression, Conduct Disorders. Depression is where a person can never get happy even from a great thing that excites everyone. Anxiety means a person is always worrying and overreacting. Hyperkinetic disorder is when a person at early age doesn’t get much attention. Conduct disorder is a mental disorder diagnosed in childhood or adolescence that presents itself through a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated. These disorders are affecting young people in every school up and down the country and we must act now to support our most vulnerable students.

If you are suffering, or think you may be suffering from any form mental health issue, use some of the sites below to gain help.

There are many sites that can help people with mental disorders such as: Childline, Contact A Family, Family Lives, Bernardo’s, Kidscape, Penumbra (Scotland), CALM, PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) and Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.

By Lewis and Matthew

Generations of Plastic Bottles Invade Our Seas

Plastic bottles and other substances are damaging our environment drastically. Not only is it damaging the environment but it is damaging wildlife and causing pollution. If this carries on, it will become unsustainable and other generations will also go through the same problems.

Whale Washout

The existence of plastic bottles and bags in our oceans must end. Last month a whale was found off the coast of Norway, with its stomach full of plastic and more than 30 plastic bags were found in it. On the coast, it was starving to death due to the consumption of plastic and it had trouble digesting it. 12.7 million tons of plastic is entering the ocean every year; 1 in 3 turtles have now ingested marine litter and over 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs. In the UK alone, we use 35 million plastic bottles every day and 16 million of them end up in our environment and it is damaging it. It is unsustainable!

Plastic Dependency

Plastic bottle addiction is ruining our oceans; tens of millions of plastic bottles are sold each week. Bottles and tops designed to be used just once before they are being thrown away make up sizeable proportion of the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic polluting our areas. As mankind pours a truck load of plastic into seas every minute, soft drinks companies will sell over 2 million tons of single use bottles and tops every year. Two million tons of plastic bottles are the equivalent to 11,000 dead Blue Whales. Mrs Ackroyd said “I am very concerned that they need to put plastic in landfill sites. I am astounded at the comparison of plastic and whales and I think everybody should be recycling!” Mrs Carr said “I think it is disgraceful that plastic bottles are taking over our environment and it is about time that the government find ways of reducing, reusing and recycling.” 85 people were asked this question: How many of you use plastic bottles on a daily basis? 100% of the 85 people asked said that they use plastic bottles on a daily basis – this is a shocking figure!

Plastic Bottle Tragedy

A large amount of global soft drinks companies have been discovered as major contributors to the plastic pollution in our environment. An investigation has found that 5 out of the 6 biggest companies in the region sell a total of 2.15 million tons of single use bottles a year, with only 6.6% made from recycled material.

Plastic Solutions

Students from Mrs Senior’s Year 11 Science class have given ideas on how to help the environment with pollution. One student by the name of Megan said, “I think we should use carbon neutral cars, bio-fuels, compost heaps and plant more trees.” Miss Grace said, “We should introduce fines for plastic bottles being dropped and not recycled.”

Will slaughter save our oceans? Everyone should be recycling so we can make the world more sustainable and safer for wildlife. We could plant more trees and bring back glass bottles. We must reuse, we must recycle and we must reduce for everyone’s sake!

By Beth and Grace