First News School Newspaper of the Year winners 2020-2021
9th July 2021
We said it last year and we’ll say it again – you budding bunch of journalists and editors don’t like to make our jobs easy, do you? Year after year, your journalistic talents never fail to amaze us at First News – and this year especially, that makes you all winners.
News has become such an important part of all our lives throughout this dreadful pandemic. The good kind of news (not the fake kind!) has kept us informed, safe and even entertained over the last year. And for many of your schools, your school newspapers, websites, newsletters and podcasts have kept you together at a time when you’ve been forced apart. Hard work has clearly gone into each and every one of this year’s First News School Newspaper of the Year entries and everyone involved should be beaming with pride right now. To stay strong, to report and deliver the news during some of the hardest times we’ve ever known, truly means every entrant is a winner this year. As a result, this year’s winners are definitely the best of the best. Extra loud drum roll, please…
This is always one of the toughest categories to judge, but this year the award has to go Ashcott Primary School for The Ashcott Compass. Their newspaper is put together by the Ashcott Press Club, who clearly know just how important their product is to their readers, and that community school spirit shines through on every page. Oliver, 11, told us: “We provide a voice for everyone in the school.” A smartly written, diverse and dynamic newspaper.
Another toughie to judge! But this year originality caught our eye. Half-termly newspaper Onward’s beautiful, original and colourful design caught our attention instantly! Onward showcases a large variety of student voices across a number of sections, including current affairs, fashion and STEM. To appeal to a wider readership, they also include more light-hearted content, such as puzzles, horoscopes and a teachers’ page. The team also produce a podcast, Onward: On Air, which was a serious contender for this year’s Innovative News Project award.
Notre Dame’s editorial team display that something extra! The team is spearheaded by chief editor Ella, who has been encouraging students of all abilities and backgrounds to write about the issues that interest them since the start of the school year. There’s also a pool of dynamic and intelligent writers adding fresh, original content to a supreme online publication.
YOUNG REPORTER AWARD: RAAGHAV DAS, CHRONOLOGIE EDITOR
To be honest, we’re still getting over just how amazing Raaghav is after giving him last year’s Young Reporter Award. This reigning champ is a one-man editorial army, producing his own mature and sublimely written e-newspaper single-handedly!
INNOVATIVE NEWS PROJECT: HAWLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL, A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
News comes in a vast variety of shapes, sizes and formats, and this category was an opportunity for you to show how you bring your news reporting to life. It was a tough call, but A Little Bit Of Everything made us laugh so much and so hard with their excellently produced vlog, we had to award them Innovative News Project of 2021. Isabella, Winifred and Nina from Hawley Primary School should be very proud of their efforts. See you on the telly one day, girls!
The Pulse, St Martin’s School
Castle Park Journal, Castle Park School
Emmanuel Express, Emmanuel CofE Primary School
Valley Times, Oeiras International School
The Spark, St Martin’s School
Congratulations to all winners and runners-up and, of course, each and every one of your pupils for taking on the challenge of reporting their news for their community. If you would like to start a newspaper project at your school, download the First NewsSchool Newspaper Club pack now! The pack contains lots of advice on how to set up a school newspaper – written by the First News editorial team – plus tips on how to inspire budding journalists.